“Amazing” is the only real word I can use to describe a television series that has stayed on the air for a full ten years and has barley lived through half of its lifespan. ER is a show that just keeps on trucking along through season after season and traumatic event after traumatic event but never once loses steam. Characters arrive on the scene and then end up taking off a couple years later. New faces come in and are hated by not only everyone on the show (storyline wise) but also by the fans, yet they are integral parts of the series and things can’t be imagined without them. One of the only programs that I can think of that has this kind of lasting power is the original Law & Order, but it just doesn’t have quite the same continuity and feel of ER, which it brings to the table each season and every single episode. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The entire crew of the most famous emergency room in all of history continued to grow as a really big dysfunctional family into season seven, even though some knew their time was coming to an end. A lot of the actors saw their personas progress while others watched as they shot off into entirely different directions. And with a cast of close to twenty main characters, ER continued to showcase each one with their own plot line and enough time to make them work.
Once again that is a description that holds true to what ER is exactly about. I said it for seasons seven through nine, and now say it for season ten. You can’t really expect things to get much different than that considering that ninety percent of each episode takes place inside the hospital. And almost ninety percent of those scenes take place in the emergency room. You do learn an awful lot about the characters and more then likely you’ll develop a relationship with them that may be a little too close for comfort. None of this series description is really necessary though for anyone who is a fan of the show. And if you’re not a fan of it, then you probably get the gist of the whole thing.
One of the biggest storylines you’ll notice this season is one that puts Dr. John Carter and Luka Kovac in Africa, thousands of miles away from the operating room in Chicago. Together they face grave dangers, learn new types of medicine while also experiencing great new changes in life – changes that will forever alter the way they perform their practice. What could be looked at as the biggest change is seeing the on again, off again relationship between Carter and Abby dwindle off almost completely as he finds a new love and she just moves on thanks to heading back to nursing school. Things are stressful enough with all this but it doesn’t help that the newly crowned kind of the ER, Rocket Romano, is more pissed off then ever due to his unfortunate accident last season.
Everyone of course has his or her own drama to deal with throughout the season and that is evident by the situation Susan is put into when an elderly man by the name of Ben wanders into the ER after a suicide attempt. Ben, played by Bob Newhart, is getting older and going blind so he figures he doesn’t really have much left to offer the world or himself. This develops into a friendship between the two that isn’t so much drama, but a really cute and loving storyline that shows a side of Susan we’ve never really seen before. It’s good to know that things can kind of calm down from the rush of the patients and the overall personal drama that usually comes from all those involved in the Chicago hospital.
New faces roll in this season making for the variety that we long for but keeping the comfortableness we are used to. You’ll notice that all the episodes are top notch but the beginning and the ending episodes are what give season ten its strength and allow things to continue moving forward into the next season and beyond. A lot of guest stars, some well known and some not so much, pay their visits in the form of patients, friends, or troublemakers but they are all welcome and surprising additions. ER has quickly become one of my favorite television series ever and it is all because I threw my name into the hat to review DVD set of season six some time ago. Since then, I just want the next season set to hurry up and get here so we can get to what happens next. STAT!
Out Of Africa
The Greater Good
Death And Taxes
Touch And Go
Forgive And Forget
Where There’s Smoke
Just A Touch
The episodes are seen in an Anamorphic Widescreen format just as they were when they first aired and all looks great. The colors are bright where they need to be and the shadows cast great darkness for the more gloomy situations.
The episodes are heard in Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Sound and sound fantastic. The use of the surround sound is excellent as every single beep of a machine or gasp for air can be heard from all sides as you watch the action on screen and pay attention to the main conversation. Never too loud and not too soft, everything comes through perfectly.
Gag Reel – Even though short, these are always fun. Tons of flubbing lines, laughing uncontrollably, and just having fun on the set. (9:20)
Outpatient Outtakes – Four of the twenty-two episodes have these outtakes which are actually the deleted scenes from the episodes. Nothing much is in any of them and they make no real difference being left out. Those episodes are: “Shifts Happen,” “Blood Relations,” “Where There’s Smoke,” and “Midnight.”
The tenth season of ER is not only a good one, but a very important one for longtime fans. The season introduces some new faces in the emergency room and they would remain in practice for close to a decade. Halfway through the full run of ER on DVD there’s no let-up in the quality;. fans and non-fans alike will love this season because it is overwhelmingly good. As for the DVD package, we don’t get much. One difference this season though is that Warner has gone away from the fold out DVD sleeve and now has an extra-large keep case that all the discs come in. Much better, but I hope it stays consistent from this time on and doesn’t change any more.
Warner Home Video presents ER: The Complete Tenth Season. Created by: Michael Crichton. Starring: Noah Wyle, Laura Innes, Maura Tierney, Laura Ceron, Goran Visnjic, Alex Kingston, and more. Running time: 987 minutes on 6 discs. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: March 3, 2009. Available at Amazon.com