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ER - 20 Things That Were Annoying

Updated on February 29, 2012

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.

Season 11 cast
Season 11 cast
George as Doug, back in the day
George as Doug, back in the day

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.

The original cast
The original cast


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    • Chaval profile image

      Chaval 4 months ago from UK

      Thanks Oya, but the French form of Eric is Eric. Monsieur Cantona confirmed this for me. Take your point about American English, although I think it was the scriptwriters playing to the domestic audience.

    • profile image

      Oya Lee 4 months ago

      What I found particularly Annoying was how the quiet morale of the ER staff, the intimate moments and the minor ER cases were always overshadowed by major trauma cases ‘coming in’. It means the viewer was never able to see how a situation was resolved or hear how a conversation ended. In fact I was left feeling that if I ever went to America, Chicago is the last place I’d visit because too much drama goes on there.

      On your point of Eriq La Salle’s name - i.e. Eriq instead of Eric - in the UK we prefer to use the term ‘Black’ to verbally describe a nation of people. This is usually clarified on paper when filling in forms to describe one’s ethnic background. However, the surname ‘La Salle’ suggests a French background which could indicate the French spelling form of Eric is indeed Eriq with a ‘q’ instead of ‘c’ which is the English.

      Also, if you look at current trends, you will find that Black people have some ‘interesting’ names with unusual spellings for their children.

      On your point of Neela & Elizabeth using American terms instead of English terms. When your surrounded by foreigners who for every word you use you have to explain ‘the english’, it can quickly get monotonous. Life is much simpler - easier, quicker & safer to ‘get with the programme’ and speak whatever the dominant lingo is. You can command & demand more respect whilst keeping an eye on your own self-developmental progress. Both of these surgeons had that - or at least Elizabeth had that in the beginning.

      Thank You!

    • profile image

      nadriljekar 3 years ago

      Glad to see someone else who find Abby annoying and overused in the series (to put it mildly).

    • Chaval profile image

      Chaval 6 years ago from UK

      Thanks for the feedback Alecia. I think it's a aign that we really love a show when we start to care about every detail.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      This is a great hub. I have to agree with you on a lot of accounts like Eriq La Salle using a q instead of a c or even a k. And yeah, I agree about Carter and Abby's characters too they were a little too unbelievable. Well-written and I enjoyed reading it!