ER (The Complete Fourteenth Season) – DVD Review

The penultimate season of long-running medical drama, ER begins and ends with the gripping drama the series was known for. In the first episode, “The War Comes Home,” we pick up where season thirteen left off with Dr. Neela Rasgotra (Parminder Nagra) injured after a riot breaks out during a protest.

The biggest change to County General Hospital this season was the introduction of Dr. Kevin Moretti (Stanley Tucci) as the new Chief of Emergency Medicine. He clashes with the regular characters throughout the season and has an affair with Dr. Abby Lockhart when she falls back into alcoholism. The season also saw major romantic developments, like the secret romance between nurse Sam Taggart (Linda Cardellini) and Dr. Tony Gates (John Stamos).

As someone who began watching ER in the tenth season, this is a particularly enjoyable season for me. In the fifteenth and final season, many of my favorite characters departed the show long before the finale. This fourteenth season feels like classic ER, with Tony as a the maverick doctor, Abby struggling with her own demons and failing marriage and Dr. Archie Morris (Scott Grimes) and Dr. Gregory Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) lighting up their scenes as buddies. There were many captivating medical storylines to suck you in throughout the season, like a young prodigy who diagnoses his own rare, terminal illness in “In A Different Light,” the ER treating a record 300 patients in 24 hours in “300 Patients,” and a woman dealing with her thirteenth pregnancy in “Truth Will Out.”

In the season finale Steve Buscemi guest stars as a mysterious patient with a lot of dangerous enemies (an interesting preview for his work on Boardwalk Empire) and a shocking ending leaves viewers wondering if it was Sam or Pratt who got into the rigged ambulance before it exploded. Even though I’d seen the fifteenth season and knew the outcome, I still gasped. ER is one of those shows that stands up to the test of time.

The Episodes

Disc One

  • The War Comes Home
  • In A Different Light
  • Officer Down
  • Gravity

Disc Two

  • Under The Influence
  • The Test
  • Blackout
  • Coming Home

Disc Three

  • Skye’s The Limit
  • 300 Patients
  • Status Quo
  • Believe The Unseen

Disc Four

  • Atonement
  • Owner Of A Broken Heart
  • …As The Day She Was Born
  • Truth Will Out

Disc Five

  • Under Pressure
  • Tandem Repeats
  • The Chicago Way

The DVDs are presented in a “matted” widescreen format to preserve the aspect ratio – so basically, it looks just like you remember.

Most episodes include a few deleted scenes called “Outpatient Outtakes” that can occasionally add interesting context to a storyline. A special tribute to ER‘s 300th episode at the Paley Center for media features cast and crew and will be a treat for devoted fans. A must-watch for everyone is the gag reel, which is surprisingly funny considering how dramatic and intense the show is.

As a fan of the later seasons of ER, this DVD set is a pleasant reminder of how much I loved this show when it was on. For those who quit watching after a few years, I’d recommend watching these later seasons. Performances from Parminder Nagra and Linda Cardellini will make it worth your while, and you can’t go wrong with John Stamos in scrubs.

Warner Home Video presents ER: The Complete Fourteenth Season. Created by: Michael Crichton. Starring: John Stamos, Goran Višnjić, Mekhi Phifer, Maura Tierney, Shane West, Parminder Nagra. Running time: 914 Minutes. Released on DVD: January 11, 2011.

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