This week, we must bid adieu to 15 years of County General's emergency-room, well, emergencies. Amidst the trauma and drama, these 10 really stood out — in fine (and not-so-fine) ways.
John Carter, 1994-2006 Why Best?
When John Carter started working in the ER as a third-year medical student, he was the butt of all jokes. When he slept, the other doctors put his leg in a cast as a prank; when the phone rang, he would fall out of his chair. No one did physical comedy in a hospital environment quite like Wyle, who managed to balance his hilarious performances with some serious doctoring that convinced us Carter would one day be a fabulous physician. And we were right. Fifteen years later, in a stint of 2009 guest appearances, Carter could run the place — now that he has a new kidney that is (thanks, Doug Ross!). What more can be said about the actor who serves as bookends to the longest running medical drama on television? Thank you.
KEEP READING: Dr. Robert Romano was the worst![PAGEBREAK]
Robert Romano, 1997-2003 Why Worst?
Talk about having issues. The general surgeon came off as heartless even before
he (a.) blacklisted Peter Benton (Eriq LaSalle
) for acting against his objections and (b.) had Dr. Legaspi (Elizabeth Mitchell
) fired, essentially for being in a homosexual relationship with Kerry Weaver. Maybe it was bad luck, maybe it was karma — but when you get your arm severed by one helicopter and then eventually get killed by another one a year later, our guess is what comes around goes around.
KEEP READING: Dr. Doug Ross was the best! [PAGEBREAK]
Doug Ross, 1994-1999 Why Best?
For you under-the-rock denizens, here’s a newsflash — the biggest movie star in the world got his start playing a pediatrician on ER
. With his expert use of stethoscopes and defibrillators, he made our hearts skip a beat, and after a 10-year hiatus, Clooney reminded us, in a much-anticipated guest-star appearance, why we adore both him and his character Doug Ross. As he gently convinced guest star Susan Sarandon
to let him harvest her grandson’s organs, we were thisclose
to offering our kidneys, too (or at least one!).
KEEP READING: Dr. Simon Brenner was the worst! [PAGEBREAK]
Simon Brenner, 2008-2009 Why Worst?
Simon Brenner may be troubled, but OK, on this show, who wasn’t? This guy was no sweetheart. Brenner’s less than charming personality was revealed early on when he slept with a med student and later insulted her romantic and professional skills. He has no interest in teaching medical students, despite often being reminded that County General is a teaching hospital — but it’s hard to reprimand a doctor who is the nephew of the Chief of Staff. Eventually, Brenner’s issues with being molested as a child surfaced and he seemed to redeem himself, but it’s going to take a little longer to convince us … oops, we’re out of time.
KEEP READING: Dr. Luka Kovac was the best! [PAGEBREAK]
Luka Kovac, 1999-2008 Why Best?
When we could no longer have a weekly dose of Clooney, we were just as happy to settle for dark and handsome Visnjic. And not just as viewers — Luka Kovac definitely managed to do the flirt-and-work rounds at County General. First, the Croatian hunk had a fling with Carol, then eventually married Abby, but in between those two romantic pillars were multiple nurses, a medical student and even a prostitute. The doctor wasn’t purely a player though; his troubles with commitment stemmed from the loss of his wife and kids in Zagreb during the Croatian War of Independence. After following the ups and downs between Abby and Luka for almost eight years, we hoped that when the couple finally said “I do” it would be forever. Yet with these two, we’re almost relieved we won’t find out how long "happily ever after" really lasts.
KEEP READING: Dr. Dave Mallucci was the worst! [PAGEBREAK]
Dave Mallucci, 1999-2001 Why Worst?
When Elizabeth Corday (Alex Kingston
) told Mallucci “No one thinks you’re much of a doctor” in season 6, she said what we all had been thinking all along. As a second-year resident, he frequently misdiagnosed patients, didn’t seem to care much about them, and eventually helped cause the death of one in season 8. Malucci always seemed more interested in bedding women than being a doctor, which is probably why he was caught having sex with a paramedic after his patient died. Kerry Weaver couldn’t fire this one fast enough. Buh-bye!
KEEP READING: Dr. Mark Greene was the best! [PAGEBREAK]
Mark Greene, 1994-2002 Why Best?
As the main character on ER
for eight seasons, Dr. Mark Greene always put patients first. That became crystal clear in the very first episode when he turned down a cushy job at a private practice to be sleep-deprived and make a difference. When Edwards left the show in 2002, Greene’s death became one of the saddest moments on the medical show, leaving fans to wonder if the show would die along with his character. It was safe to assume Greene would never appear again, but last November, Edwards returned in a flashback, reminding us why we loved him so much in the first place.
KEEP READING: Dr. Amanda Lee was the worst! [PAGEBREAK]
Amanda Lee, 1998-1999 Why Worst?
Amanda Lee was the ER’s resident nutter. She joined the staff of County General as the new Chief of Emergency Medicine, but it soon became clear that all was not as it should be. All right, so she wrote a few erotic stories featuring Dr. Greene, and she made up some “significant” incidents in her life, but that was nothing compared to when she snapped and locked him inside the CT scanner room, screamed at him and then ran away, only for the hospital staff to find out that this crazy con artist wasn’t really a doctor at all. We know it was before the internet got big, but really — who did the background research on these people?
KEEP READING: Nurse Abby Lockhart was the best! [PAGEBREAK]
Abby Lockhart, 1999-2008 Why Best?
It was largely due to Nurse Abby Lockhart that ER
survived the loss of Mark Greene. The nurse-turned-medical-student-turned-nurse-turned-M.D. was the lovable train wreck that could. When she wasn’t struggling with her alcoholism, she took care of her bipolar mother (Sally Field
), her troubled brother (Tom Everett Scott
) and later, her prematurely born son Joseph. Never have we been so happy to see someone tie the knot. When Abby finally caught a break, it was well deserved.
KEEP READING: Dr. Paul Sobriki was the worst! [PAGEBREAK]
Paul Sobriki, 2000 Why Worst?
Long before Krumoltz played a genius mathematician on Numb3rs
, he did a stint as a schizophrenic patient in ER
’s sixth season. How would you best remember him? Well, as Carter enters one of the ER rooms looking for medical student Lucy Knight (Kellie Martin
), Krumholtz’ character quietly approaches him from behind and very slowly and deliberately sinks a knife into his side. As Carter falls to the floor, he sees Lucy in a pile of blood. Hard to forget, right? For Krumholtz, the experience of playing a mad man was thrilling, but we echo the sentiments of his fans and friends: You shouldn’t do that to people.
VOTE: What doc show will go 15 years like ER?