Generally I think there are four situations when television is a good thing:
1. When you are nursing a baby at 2AM.
2. When you're too sick to do anything else.
3. When you've had a bad day and you get enjoyment from watching sitcom morons screw their lives up more than you have.
4. When there's an real event or crisis and you know exactly what's happening.
I like sitcoms because there are no committments to watch again. I don't like reality shows with people who would normally appear on Jerry Springer or those who act like their age is their IQ. I have never watched an episode of Law and Order or CSI, even though I'm sure they are good programs. And sadly, I don't have much of an imagination for fantasy. I don't own a DVR or a Tivo because nothing is worth recording - okay, the real reason is that I would record General Hospital every day.
But I have watched ER since the first episode when they wheeled in Nurse Carol after a suicide attempt. ER doesn't fit into any of my four reasons to watch TV though - and it's very strange that I like it so much since I spend the majority of the show with my hands splayed over my eyes since I am squeemish (almost faint) at the sight of 1. needles 2. blood 3. surgeries 4. anyone in pain. Nevertheless - I've always loved the show.
Last night was heart-wrenching. (SPOILER ALERT) If a show is well-done and you have watched the same characters for years in vulnerable situations - you feel like you know them - kind of like a good book. Last night Dr. Greg Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) died surrounded by all his ER doc-friends trying desperately to save him. You could swear you were witnessing a real person facing his own death - the terror on his face was so real.
My only point here is that sometimes TV shows are amazing. We're so used to everything looking so real that we take it all for granted. Imagine what it takes to make some of these shows. Actors get waaaaaayyyy too much attention and glory and I always say they are just people pretending to be other people - big deal. But last night Mekhi and company broke my heart. So this is my little tribute to one of my all-time favorite shows. It is in it's fifteenth and final season (how time flies!). Hunky doctors have come and gone and I'm still watching - and I think I'm going to miss it when it's gone.