...Once upon a time, a recent college graduate sat down in her apartment and was flipping channels when she happened upon a new television show starting up. It was the premiere episode and she thought she'd give it a try since she'd been a fan of 'St Elsewhere' and nothing like that compared.
That night my fascination with 'ER' began. 15 years of steady watching, lots of milestone episodes and lots of milestones for me. One of the most memorable was worrying about A the day she was born (when I couldn't touch her for the first 8 hours of her life) and holding her so tightly while watching a rerun of the episode "Love's Labors Lost" and crying from sheer relief that she was just fine.
I spent hours watching the show carefully and writing them up on the ER group on Yahoo years and years ago. I recently found the text files of those writeups and wondered why I stopped doing it.
I've been in that ambulance bay, I've met Noah Wyle, and Anthony Edwards. I've been in the same room as George Clooney (while he was in there, but he was leaving darn it).
I finished many a stitching project while sitting up on Thursday nights watching 'ER'. I never stopped or missed an episode.
Last night that 13 year old was working on a project for English class and finishing her Science homework while we watching the final episode together. She'd never really watched it before and didn't get the ending while I sniffled just a little bit at the end.
I teared up more at the beginning than I did at the end, since the end was sort of just there instead of some great ending like 'M*A*S*H', 'Newhart', 'The Wonder Years' or 'Cheers'. A didn't get it, since she wasn't a fan, that the show circled right around to the beginning ("Coming, Dr Greene?"). She wanted to know what happened to the girl in the coma who drank too much, and what happened to everyone after it was over.
Not me. We had a birth and a death and a life hanging in the balance. That was what 'ER' had, along with the lives of it's doctors. It didn't smack you with foreshadowing of what was going to happen - you saw it in the hints and the hopes of the people who were interacting on that last episode if you were paying attention closely.
But now it's over, and it's time to turn the page. Do I have another medical show to watch? Yes, I guess I could watch 'Grey's Anatomy' (which I love too, except that it's on against 'CSI' and I've missed much of this season and last). But I don't think that anything will replace what 'ER' did in terms of storylines and it's special little place in my heart.
Farewell, little well done show that could. Even if some think you overstayed your welcome.