Guide to the mythical series ‘ER’, whose 15 seasons are coming to HBO Max | TV

There hasn’t been a series of doctors like the emergencies, and its glorious 15 seasons aired on NBC from September 1994 to April 2009. Based on an original idea by Michael Crichton, the author and filmmaker has found and Steven Spielberg to an ally — at that time, friendly souls thanks to Jurassic Park- for the development of television. However, the real engine of To display was John Wells, producer, screenwriter, director and true captain of the ship Emergency room. Sunday, finally, its 15 seasons will be available on a digital platform, in this case HBO Max.

It is a propitious occasion to review some of its keys and great moments, which were numerous, because the emergencies he was right with the scripts, the actors – he catapulted the career of George Clooney – the characters, the meticulousness of the recreations of medical acts and a certain soap opera tone. Thus, it became one of the great programs in the history of television, which won 23 Emmys out of 124 nominations (in nominations it held the record until it surpassed it Game Of Thrones).

The legendary cast of 'ER'.
The legendary cast of ‘ER’.

Doctor John Carter. In the early seasons, this character set the pace for the action. His debut at County General Hospital is the start of the series. John Truman Carter III, his full name, from a wealthy family, gave him life Noah Wyle (for the following generations he is the protagonist of the saga the librarian), and appeared in 254 of the 331 episodes of the 15 seasons of Emergency room. Most of all the characters. If the series can be defined as a soap opera, it is above all thanks to the love swings of Dr. Carter: a roller coaster when it comes to feeling.

Chicago County General Hospital. Strictly speaking, it only existed at 4000 Warner Boulevard in Burbank, California, in the studios where To display. The show’s creators took inspiration from the much larger, real-life Cook County, which is mentioned in some episodes at the cry of “The wounded are being returned to us from Cook County!”. If you visit Chicago, there is the possibility of imagining it thanks to the subway. Downtown Chicago is traversed by The Loop, the elevated train system that circles the handful of city blocks. downtown. In the series, less than 20 meters from the hospital door, there is the Sheppard Avenue stop, belonging to the green line. The station is fictitious; however, the line exists. Enter west to east on Lake Street before turning 90 degrees and heading south on State Street. There would be the County General, and the food stalls and bars where doctors, students (it’s a teaching hospital) and nurses eat after hours.

First episode. It’s the title 24 hours, aired Monday, September 19, 1994; the second came soon after, on Thursday the 22nd, since Thursday was its broadcast day. 24 hours it lasted 1h28 because it was the pilot. The rest is 45 minutes. The series grew out of Michael Crichton’s experience as a medical student, and legend has it that the script for this first episode remained intact until filming, just as Crichton had written it 20 years earlier. In fact, it has undergone a drastic change for the better. Originally Nurse Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies) He died after taking his own life due to love illness with pediatrician Doug Ross (George Clooney). Thus, Margulies appears as a guest star in the credits. After a few previous passes, the leaders decided that he would survive. Due to a lack of budget, this pilot was shot in a hospital that had closed four years earlier: the Linda Vista Community in Los Angeles. Hired for the season, the floors have been raised. By the way, this first episode was directed by Rod Holcomb, a director who was only responsible for six episodes, although among them were the first and the last of the whole series.

George Clooney. Giving life to pediatrician Doug Ross, Clooney became the real born star of this series, of which he was the first five seasons. Before the emergencies, the actor had done all sorts of countless television jobs. So much so that he even brought another doctor to life in 1984 in a series that also took place in a Chicago hospital. Additionally, the original title of the emergencies time IS, emergency room acronym. The 1984 series, starring Elliott Gould, was titled… E/R.

Balonsto. Clooney loves basketball and he has set up a basket beyond the board to pass his free time. Soon, this makeshift court became part of the on-screen county general. By the way, Clooney made fun of the fact that Noah Wyle (Carter), Anthony Edwards (Dr Mark Greene) and Eriq LaSalle (Dr Peter Benton) were six feet tall and it made him look short.

The basket that was at the start of the series off the set.
The basket that was at the start of the series off the set.

Ray Liotta deserved his Emmy. In 2004, the recently deceased Ray Liotta played in the episode Time of death, the sixth of the eleventh season. Liotta played a heartbreaking character, that of Charlie Metcalf, a guy who ruined his life and who will die in an hour, without being able to find his family – with whom he wants to reconcile – nor, therefore, to repair the mistakes of his life. .past. It’s a very unique chapter, shot on camera in a documentary style, but mostly because it doesn’t use the usual opening curtain with the credit titles, but rather these are superimposed on the action. . Liotta won a much-deserved Emmy with him.

Ray Liotta, in 'ER'.
Ray Liotta, in ‘ER’.

Throw, throw, throw. George Clooney was the first of the main cast members to leave the show. Subsequently, there were many replacements, incorporations… For example, the role of the handsome man of Clooney was inherited by Goran Visnjic and ended up with John Stamos. 15 years of the emergencies they gave for countless character changes, comings and goings… There were actors who were starting out in the business like Dakota Fanning, Kal Penn, Zac Efron, Shia LaBeouf, Rooney Mara, Octavia Spencer, Aaron Paul, Josh Radnor, Chris Pine, Mena Suvari, Josh Hutcherson, Eva Mendes or even Lucy Liu, already consecrated who appeared as guests as Jeanne Moreau, Rosemary Clooney, Susan Sarandon, James Woods, Steve Buscemi, Wallace Shawn, Sally Field, Forest Whitaker or basketball player Scottie Pippen again. Gloria Ruben (who played Jeannie Boulet) and Erik Palladino (Dave Malucci) left the show because they thought their characters were underrated.

Six-year-old Dakota Fanning in the emergency room
Six-year-old Dakota Fanning in the emergency room

The helicopter. Dr. Robert Romano is one of the great villains in television history. Unpleasant, self-centered, successful and manipulative. A bug and at the same time a top surgeon. On the roof of the hospital, there was a helipad. Until then, Romano went to tend to a patient at the start of the ninth season, and one of the blades severed his arm. He came back with a prosthesis, for which one of his classmates calls him a Robodoc. The nickname contains a joke, since the actor who played Romano, Paul McCrane, played one of the villains of RoboCop in 1987. In the following season, the tenth, this same helicopter crashes on the roof and bursts into flames in the courtyard, where Romano, who sees it coming, can only shout a “Nooooooo!” anguish. before being crushed to death. Huge irony of the writers. By the way, he was not the only one of the main characters who died due to the demands of the plot. In the emergencies there was no mercy with the protagonists, an attitude that decades later also embraced Game Of Thrones.

One live episode (twice). This was probably the biggest challenge the team faced. The start of the fourth season, the episode titled Ambush, It was broadcast live on September 25, 1997. To justify the cables and the camera, the plot was that there was a crew from PBS, the American public television, recording a documentary. It is also the chapter in which another of the great characters of the emergencies, that of Dr. Elizabeth Corday (played by Alex Kingston). Due to possible errors, the technical team also wore hospital clothes. And because of the different time zones, they had to do it twice: once for the East Coast and once for the West Coast. On YouTube, you can see comparisons between performances and on-set interviews after completing the challenge, in which Steven Spielberg appears.

Not without my crutch. The second character that appeared in the most episodes, specifically 249, was Dr. Kerry Weaver, who was animated by Laura Innes (who also directed 12 episodes), who used a crutch to stand move. For years it was not explained why, until it was finally revealed that it was due to congenital hip dysplasia. Because of so much body-straining filming, Innes ended up suffering from health issues, which is why the writers decided that his character would undergo surgery to correct his walking. Additionally, Weaver was the series’ first lead lesbian role, which was reflected in various storylines as a dramatic element.

Quentin Tarantino is directing! Several episodes led by the series cast (Anthony Edwards, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Laura Innes, Paul McCrane and Eriq LaSalle). However, the most well-known name that was put behind the cameras was Quentin Tarantino. It was right after winning the Oscar after Pulp Fiction, and in Maternity, the 24th episode of the first season, he showed his talent as he did it in one take for each shot. Actresses Julianna Margulies and Sherry Stringfield never took off their Ray Ban sunglasses, in tribute to Reservoir dogs.

Quentin Tarantino, with Julianna Margulies and Sherry Stringfield, on the set of his episode of 'ER'.
Quentin Tarantino, with Julianna Margulies and Sherry Stringfield, on the set of his episode of ‘ER’.

The final season. the emergencies it ran for 15 seasons, one more than expected, as the writers’ strike of 2007 and 2008 left the fourteenth season half gas. And another was made, to get a great ending. One way or another, all the main performers appeared in the closing of the series, the last episode of which aired on April 2, 2009. In the 19th chapter of this episode (which was written and directed by John Wells), Ancient times, Set partly in Seattle, audiences saw Carol and Doug again: still a couple and practicing medicine.

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