During the seven long weeks since the last new
ER episode, news broke about the impending departure of
Goran Visnjic. That disturbing development got me thinking about what I'd like to say to the Powers-That-Be over at the Peacock network about the future of our beloved show. Herewith, my plea, along with some thoughts about tonight's developments.
For starters, let me just say up front that I have been a fan of
ER since those heady, early Must-See-TV days. I've stuck by the show while all of my favorite characters - Doug, Carol, Benton, Mark, Carter - have taken their leave. Heck, even Kerry had won me over by the time she departed for Miami with son Henry in tow. So, I think I've been patient and I've given new cast additions a chance to grow on me. I've invested myself in the stories and the natural evolution of characters who came and went, sometimes with little fanfare or explanation. (In my heart, I keep trying to convince myself that Jerry is still recuperating from those gunshots, while my head reminds me that
Abraham Benrubi is over on
Men in Trees now.) Basically, I've stuck it out and frequently suspended my disbelief, probably a lot longer than a good number of former fans. (I knew this was the case back in September when I told friends I was blogging
ER and they responded with, "Is that still on?".)
There's no easy way to say this, but I think it is time to talk about letting go. Like the photographer capturing the last days of hospice patients (poignantly portrayed by
Annabella Sciorra), there is a heroic beauty to ending on your own terms with grace and dignity. As news of Visnjic's exit became public, I started thinking about all the plot contrivances the writers would have to throw at us in order to justify separating Luka from Abby and baby Joe. Maybe a sick father in Croatia? A hospital scandal? Death? As I thought about all of these options, I got angrier and angrier. Luka and Abby are the heart and soul of this show. Viewers have anxiously waited for them to find some happiness, and now it will likely be snatched away to accommodate further cast turnover. (As a fan of Neela and Ray, don't even get me started on the rumors that
Shane West may be following suit.)
It is no secret that networks, NBC included, are interested in making money. (How else can you explain the proliferation of cheesy B-list celebrity-hosted game shows?)
John Stamos was widely credited with leading the ratings resuscitation this year, and there is a good chance that the show could sustain some of that momentum into a 14th season, even without some of its star players. But is that really what we want? I, for one, would be very satisfied to see this beloved, once-groundbreaking series end on a high note. A wedding for Luka and Abby. A new romance for Ray and Neela (or Neela and Duenko, since it doesn't appear that that is out of the question based on their tense interactions tonight). Maybe Alex really turns around and proves himself to Sam. Maybe Pratt steps in for Luka. Maybe Tony shaves. I don't know. Maybe I am crazy to think that the Powers-That-Be at NBC will listen to the ramblings of one dedicated fan. But I can hope, can't I?
During the seven long weeks since the last new ER episode news broke about the impending departure of Goran Visnjic That disturbing development got me thinking about what Id like to say to the Powers-That-Be over at the Peacock network about the future of our beloved show Herewith my plea along with some thoughts about tonights developments Dear NBCFor starters let me just say up front that I have been a fan of ER since those heady early Must-See-TV days Ive stuck by the show while all of my favorite characters Doug Carol Benton Mark Carter have taken their leave Heck even Kerry had won me over by the time she departed for Miami with son Henry in tow So I think Ive been patient and Ive given new cast additions a chance to grow on me Ive invested myself in the stories and the natural evolution of characters who came and went sometimes with little fanfare or explanation In my heart I keep trying to convince mysel