“ER” revived one last time

A sad thing happened to me last Thursday. ER returned with new episodes — and I forgot. Granted, tornadoes were swirling through town at the time, but I didn’t even remember to be irritated that bad weather always seems to strike during prime time. For someone who has watched ER faithfully since its first year, apathy is a bad sign. So, I have mixed feelings about the show coming back for one final season.

Photo credit: Brian Bowen Smith

I’m not sure what happened to my fandom. After all, Maura Tierney‘s still around.

Photo credit: James Sorensen

Considering all that her character Abby Lockhart has been through, that’s quite a feat. Alcoholism, bipolar mom and brother, failed marriage, medical school, unplanned pregnancy, life-threatening childbirth — reading Abby’s Wikipedia entry is exhausting. Maybe that’s part of the problem.

When Abby and Luka’s baby, Joe, survived his premature birth, I thought that perhaps the writers would let Abby be happy at last. Not even close. Since then, Luka has fallen prey to a bitter former patient; Joe has fallen off a jungle Jim; Abby has fallen off the wagon and into bed with the ER chief. Is more pain for Abby really necessary?

As for the other characters, Neela wore out her welcome with me last season, despite Parminder Nagra‘s adorability.

Photo credit: Danny Feld

Neela always came through brilliantly in surgery, of course, but her personal life was a mess. And, honestly, can you picture such a beautiful, intelligent woman with either Tony or Ray? Especially when, for much of the show’s run, Abby was right there in the next bedroom.

Still, ER has given us some great moments. Like Kerry and Kim.

Kim and Kerry

And Kerry and Sandy.

Kerry, Sandy and Henry

And Kerry and Courtney.

Wouldn’t it be great if those two came back for Season 15 to say goodbye (and demonstrate that sometimes lesbian couples can live happily ever after)? That would be enough to get me to watch again.

How about you? Do you still watch ER? What characters would you like to see return for the last season?