E.R.: THE COMPLETE FOURTEENTH SEASON
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The drama in the Chicago E.R. contineus for a fourteenth season. We see a fight for a new E.R. chief, originally filled by Dr. Moretti (Stanley Tucci), but struggles with changing the staff. We also see Dr. Lockhart’s (Maura Tierney) marriage erupt while she fights to stay sober and Dr. Kovac (Goran Visnjic) returns to Croatia. The season begins and ends explosively and violently, keeping the danger in the hands and at the feet of the doctors of County General.
WHAT I LIKED
The biggest praise that I’ve been able to hand down to “E.R.” is that it’s an exceedingly well made show. Ever since it started in the mid-90s, the show has pushed the limits of cinematic television, being ahead of its time during its early years. Into the fourteenth season, this trend continues, though sometimes the camerawork tries to be a little too kinetic for my tastes.
If you like the characters of this series, there’ll be plenty for you to chew on. The show manages to juggle the medical struggles with the personal ones. And while many of the extreme storylines are laid on a bit thick, it never quite becomes the freaky disease-of-the-week that current medical dramas stoop to. (You hear me, Shonda Rimes?)
Well acted and grim, “E.R.” lays on the drama thick. So if you like that sort of thing, you’ll get plenty of it in this season. Plus, it has a powerful (albeit predictable) cliffhanger to lead into the fifteenth and final season coming soon to DVD.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
While “E.R.” had alwasy been a well-made show, it was never something I liked watching. This falls to character, in that I’ve never connected with any of them on the show. The earlier seasons had the best ensemble, and this is nothing against the actors themselves. I just don’t find them terribly appealing. Like current medical series, the characters are just too flawed and unlikeable for me to really support throughout a series run.
Like previous seasons, many of the episodes include “Outpatient Outtakes” (which are basically deleted scenes). Because the fourteenth season includes the 300th episode, there is a “ER at 300” special feature that looks back on this milestone in half-hour audience Q&A session. Finally, the special features are rounded out with a gag reel, all of which isn’t a bad catch for a fourteenth season of a series.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE