Goodbye (for now) Dr. Lewis
Joshua Spaulding | Ossipee, New Hampshire | 06/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Since it's beginning in September of 1994, ER has been my favorite television shows. The great story lines and great characters that have appeared on this show have occupied my Thursday nights for 11 years.
While I still enjoy the show now, the prime of the show, at least to me, was in the beginning. With Anthony Edwards, George Clooney and Sherry Stringfield, plus Noah Wyle, Julianna Margulies and Eriq LaSalle, the early years were some of the best television hours ever.
Season three was one that saw a number of changes to the ER. Dr. Susan Lewis (Stringfield) left the ER for Phoenix. She returned a number of years later and is still part of the show, but her departure left a hole in the staff, not to mention, in the heart of fellow doc Mark Greene (Edwards). This season also saw the edition of Laura Innes to the regular cast. She appeared in season two as a recurring character and was added to the cast to start season three. Her character of Dr. Weaver has experienced some of the greatest changes of anyone since her arrival on the show.
Some of the key storylines early in this season involve Greene and Lewis, as there is an obvious romantic connection between the two, that leaves Greene feeling betrayed when she leaves. A highlight episode of the season was "Fear of Flying" where the two docs take a medivac chopper to a remote accident scene and save a family of four. Greene, who is one of my all time favorite television characters, also experiences a brutal attack in the restroom of the hospital and has a hard time readjusting as he returns to work.
Dr. Doug Ross (Clooney) begins the season as he ended the second, still moving from woman to woman, but when a woman whom he barely knows passes out at his apartment and eventually dies at County, he begins to change his ways, mainly pointing his affection in the direction of nurse Carol Hathaway (Margulies), who is also one of his exes. Clooney's work with a homeless teen, portrayed excellently by Kirsten Dunst, is one of the great story arcs throughout the season.
As for Hathaway, she takes the medical school tests, and does incredibly well, but realizes that she likes being a nurse. As nurse manager, she takes on the administration with some solid results and also gets a highlight episode where she is caught in an armed robbery at a convenience store. It is in this episode that you see the true Carol Hathaway and her compassion for others. Ewan McGregor also does a great guest stint as one of the robbers.
Dr. John Carter (Wyle) looks so young, especially as I finished this past season watching him leave the show after 11 seasons. Carter has an affair with his superior, and also sees the death of one of his fellow surgical interns (guest star Omar Epps). He also begins to realize that he may have chosen the wrong elective, as he sees that his healing ways may be better suited for the ER, not the surgical unit.
Dr. Peter Benton (La Salle) is probably one of the best surgeons on the staff, but it is his people skills that make his turn in pediatrics a tough one. The death of intern Gant weighs heavily on Benton, but it is the birth of his son as the season comes to a close that really begins to change his ways. The Benton as father story line served the show well for a number of years until his eventual departure.
Weaver (Innes) is in almost constant combat with Greene. She has ideas that she tries to implement that just don't sit well with the senior doc. Her kissing up to the bosses irks not only Greene, but a number of other staff members. She was not a likeable character for a long time, but that has changed over the last few years.
The one ER character that I never really cared for was PA Jeannie Boulet (Gloria Reuben). This season featured a lot of stories for her, as she battled her HIV status and considered relationships before reconciling with her ex. This character, although Reuben is a good actor, always seemed to be concerned with herself and nobody else and that always bothered me.
Additionally, this season saw some great guest and recurring stars. As mentioned, Dunst and Epps were key figures for many episodes, while William H. Macy and John Aylward continued there positions as hospital staffers. Jorja Fox came on board as Dr. Maggie Doyle and Veronica Cartwright won praise for her guest turn as the mother of a sick young man. Glenne Healy, cch Pounder, Kevin Tighe, Sam Anderson and Jamie Gertz were just a few of the many who had a presence in the ER. Maria Bello guest starred at the end of the season and was added to the staff in the next year.
There are two great commentary tracks, as well as two very good documentaries. One involves the Fear of Flying episode while the other deals with the support staff at the hospital, the nurses, desk clerks, etc. Both are very informative. There are also a great gag reel and some deleted scenes.
Of course I am biased, as this is my favorite show, but I don't think you could find a finer group of actors and better story lines than this season of ER provided."
Another Amazing Season Of Brilliant Brilliance!
belvis | renton, washington | 02/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow. "ER" just rolled along from season to season with amazing storylines and superbly compelling drama, didn't it? Season Three is no exception. It lives up to the standard set by the first two seasons splendidly, and it without a doubt worth picking up on DVD (not until after buying seasons one and two, of course). Each character also gets plenty of memorable storylines, including:
Mark Greene (Anthony Edwards): What an interesting season for Mark this is! Although a glorious character, Mark makes some very controversial decisions in this season, including invading the privacy of Boulet by sneaking into her private files. Also, Mark suffers a brutal beating in the hospital men's room and ends up pretty screwed up by the incident, eventually buying a gun in an act of insane paranoia.
Doug Ross (George Clooney): Ross gets stuff to do in this season, but not quite as much as in the previous two. Clooney was quite busy filming the disastrous "Batman and Robin" during season three to get a whole lot of really good storylines, but he does get some, including an excellent continuing storyline with Kristen Dunst as a problematic teenage girl.
Susan Lewis (Sherry Stringfield): Yes, this is the season that the beloved Dr. Lewis tragically leaves the show, but the good news is that she gets plenty of good episodes before doing that. Her and Mark come very close to being lovers when she unexpectantly invites him on a Hawaiian trip with her. Mark ends up falling deeply in love with her, but when she announces her plans to move to Phoenix and be with her sister Chloe, he's torn between telling her his love and letting her enjoy her new life. Sherry Stringfield will be back in 2001, but as I said in my reviews of seasons one and two, she just never was the same when she came back, so this is the last season where we can really embrace her wonderul, beautiful character.
John Carter (Noah Wyle): Carter goes through a significant romantic relationship with Abby Keaton, played by an excellent Glenne Headly, but the relationship comes to an end when she moves away. Carter also embraces a new career as a hospital resident, when he realizes that surgery just isn't for him. An exciting year for Carter, definately!
Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies): Wow, what a year for Carol! Carol accidentally kills a patient by giving him the wrong blood, and when she chooses to fess up to her mistake, the hospital suffers a humiliation in a local paper and she is fired. Fortunately, she gets her job back after an exciting day in a convenience store in "The Long Way Around," perhaps the season's most exciting episodes and one of the best episodes of the show. This unique episode spends 3/4 of its time outside of the hospital, and has an excellent performance from guest star Ewan McGregor and of course Julianna Margulies.
Jeannie Boulet (Gloria Reuben): Boulet gets another excellent year, even better than her previous season. She is diagnosed with AIDS in the season premiere and spends the whole season dealing with problems with hospital policy related to her condition, and eventually gets in some major trouble when Mark finds out she has HIV. Eventually she admits it to the whole hospital, and also deals with problems with ex-husband Al. You got to love Boulet, and Gloria Reuben's gentle acting makes her such a loveable character.
Kerry Weaver (Laura Innes): Weaver was a very significant guest star in season two, and gets to join the rest of the cast in the main credits this season. This is a good year for her character, especially for those who pigeonhole her as the bitch of the hospital. She shows real sympathy with Boulet's HIV problem. She also helps encourage Carter to pursue the career he wants near the end of the season.
Peter Benton (Eriq La Salle): Benton gets an excellent year here, when his girlfriend (barely a girlfriend, really) gets pregnant with his child. The baby is born prematurely near the end of the season and Benton deals with other hardships throughout the year, especially when he learns he may be responsible for the suicide (?) of a resident near the middle of the season. Great acting from Eriq La Salle!
So, there you have it. Season three is full of memorable acting and great scenarios for all characters involved. "ER" was the tip top in the ratings at this time, and it's no wonder why.
The DVD set follows the style of the previous two, mostly. The packaging changes very much. The group shot of the ER staff is changed to little square panels with a large photograph at the bottom, and the four double sides disks are now changed to six single sided disks. The content inside is excellent, as usual, with incredible transfers (looks just like a movie) in anamorphic 16:9 widescreen. Excellent quality that enhances the amazingly cinematic feel of "ER."
What are you waiting for? The only reason to put off buying this season is if you haven't bought the first two, and if you've bought those and love them as much as I do, you can NOT turn down the incredible season three! Highly recommended! Order it now!"
Brenda Lee Fan | Chattanooga, TN | 04/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have seasons One and Two and I think season Three is a better layout overall. I don't mind that Seasons 1 & 2 are double sided discs, what bothered me about them is they are not labled so you wouldn't know which side you are putting into the DVD player. However, season three is nothing like that. It's easier to deal with. Now I cannot wait until season 4 and I hope they keep the same layout and design."