Last night I tearfully said goodbye to my favorite TV show after fifteen years. It is the only nighttime drama I have ever watched on a regular basis and the only one I've watched at all for as long as I can remember. When ER began it had a cutting-edge new camera style. I'd almost forgotten since so many have copied it since then. Instead of feeling like you were watching prewritten scenes - you felt like you were behind a camera racing down a hallway following a gurney in a frantic emergency every episode. It's funny that I loved this show so much because I am completely needle-phobic and I am not fond of blood either. I've spent a portion of every show with my hands over my eyes waiting for the gore to be over. If you're squeemish there's nothing like watching a stretcher emerge from an ambulance holding a person with some sort of sharp inanimate object sticking out of his torso.
But it was the characters I loved. Real, flawed human beings with past lives to discover. I never stopped missing the character of Mark Green (Anthony Edwards). I remember an episode in the first season called "Love's Labor's Lost" when his pain and agony over losing a mother after giving birth tore your heart right out of your chest. Last night they echoed that amazing episode with a similar story. The character of John Carter was, to me, the heart and soul of the show. He began as a wide-eyed intern under the heartfelt mentorship of Mark Green and the show came full circle last night as John Carter became a mentor to Mark's daughter when she showed up at County General as a medical student.
The cast of the show gave the late author, Michael Crichton credit for the credible and touching characters in the show. Crichton created the show based on his experience as a med student in an ER.
Last night 16.2 people watched the ER finale, which is the highest rated drama finale since 1996 (Murder She Wrote). ER earned 122 Emmy nominations and ran for fifteen years - pretty incredible. I was truly sorry to see it go and for me - Thursday nights will never be the same.