ER - 20 Things That Were Annoying
ER - only 20?
1. That ludicrously pompous scene featuring a traumatised and naked Mark Greene staring out at the rain while a piano plinked moodily on the soundtrack. Put some clothes on speccy, and pull yourself together before you get arrested for flashing on the L train.
2. The opening credit sequence where Eriq La Salle looms at the front of the screen and looks sharply from left to right as if inspecting your living-room carpet for stains.
3. Eriq La Salle's apparent belief that spelling his name with a q set him above all the planet's humble Erics.
4. Kerry Weaver's annoyingly dainty nose.
5. Anspaugh's hat. Anspaugh's many chins. Anspaugh's pathetic putting stance. Anspaugh's sensitive side. Anspaugh.
6. Carter's extravagant wealth, that enables him to refuse a salary, yet for some unfathomable reason still allows him to be a saintly and philanthropic human being. Not very likely.
7. The fact that whenever Doug Ross argues violently with a female junior, you know they fancy each other something rotten.
8. Notwithstanding number 7, Doug Ross's unconvincing reinvention as a clean-living paragon who avoided having it away with every Scandinavian air-hostess who happened to be working the Helsinki-Chicago route. We lived vicariously through Doug, and frankly we didn't get our thrills from helping unfortunate street kids. We wanted more air-hostesses, even after Doug had acqured all the duty-free liquor he could handle.
9. Neela and Elizabeth were English characters played by English actors. Sometimes the scriptwriters forgot this and made them say stuff like "diaper" or "fanny-pack". Could those actors not have had a quiet word and asked for a rewrite?
10. Ewan McGregor's cameo guest apperance as a hoodlum. Actually all cameo guest appearances.
11. The way the producers and writers became obsessed with the drippy, sappy Abby Lockhart and her interminable battles with the long line of implausibly attractive men who wanted to be with her, despite the fact that she couldn't have a small glass of Chardonnay without turning into a self-pitying drunk. No wonder her mum Sally Field was loopy.
12. The producers decided to (spoiler alert!) kill off the peerless Romano, rather than give him his own spin-off show as an acerbic jerk-doc (years before House). He could have spent most of the episodes running away from rogue helicopters; I would have watched.
ER - you know you miss it
13. The criminal underuse of the great William H Macy as Morgenstern.See also the criminal underuse of the great Stanley Tucci as . . . well who remembers?
14. The comedic interludes of that terminal klutz Morris. Wouldn't any half-decent hospital have thrown him out long before he got to practise his annoying quasi Robin Williams bedside manner?
15. Brenner the Australian playboy stud, who seemed to have stepped out of a time capsule as a kind of Austin Powers with a stethoscope. For libidinous Aussie docs in a TV drama see Chase in House for how it should be done.
16. That terrible episode in season 12 with the chimpanzee. Scriptwriters in urgent running out of ideas scenario.
17. Brave kids facing life-changing choices. There were simply far too many of them and an unrealistic shortage of snotty, whiny kids stealing stuff from the ER.
18. Carter's heroin addict cousin Chase Carter. Now I know this is America we are talking about, and first names obey no restrictions of sense or logic, but where do you get a first name like Chase (as a second name it's perfectly reasonable: see point 15). Was he named after Chase Manhattan bank, named ironically because of his habit of chasing the dragon, or in a camp homage to the Michael Caine crime classic Get Carter?
19. The monkeypox quarantine that brought Carter and Abby together. Is there any such illness? Actually there is and Wikipedia suggests an alternative name. You can see why the producers went with the monkeypox version.
20. They stopped making it. I loved that show.