Fifteen years is a hell of a long time. It's almost half of my life and basically all of my adult life. And during that time, there has been one constant at 10 p.m. every Thursday. That familiar, muted siren sound, followed by a simple sequence of keys was almost comforting. Admittedly, I stopped watching “ER” years ago. I can only name a few of the current cast and I have no idea where the story has taken them. (Seriously, why was Rory Gilmore there last night?) But what I do know is that when I did watch, “ER” was some damn good television.
The thing I always enjoyed about the show was that women were integrated and integral to its stories. This was not a show about men doctors telling female nurses what to do. This was a show with men and women, in all different jobs and with all different skills, working together to save lives. It was intense and almost always interesting. And, oh, the wonderful women – and even a few gay ones to boot. [Hat tip, The Linster!] I'm partial, of course, to the casts from the earlier seasons when I used to watch slavishly.
Julianna Margulies, Sherry Stringfield, Gloria Reuben, Laura Innes, Jorja Fox – now that's some talent. And then later Alex Kingston, Maria Bello, Elizabeth Mitchell, Maura Tierney, I could go on forever. What was always great about “ER” was that it showed these women in their professional setting, doing what they do best without the burden of glamour. Sure, they were all certainly above-average attractive, but that wasn't the focus. That they were good at their jobs and they were passionate about their work – this was what mattered. Their profession was never secondary, it was the point. Or, just maybe, I'm a sucker for a woman in a lab coat with a stethoscope. Thanks for 15 years, ladies. Happy weekend, all.