I have been watching "E.R." since the very first season, when Noah Wyle was but a mere med student and Julianna Margulies was a suicide-attempt survivor. Every Thursday I've tuned in, despite revolving casts and seemingly ludicrous plot developments. My husband can no longer stand the show. He doesn't think it just "jumped the shark," he says it "ran over the shark with a tank," in reference to the recent episode when an unstable man steals a tank and drives it toward the hospital. Still, I largely ignored the husband's protestations and remained a true believer; after all, it's hard to change a 10-year-old habit.
Last night, however, the show drove me over the edge. In case you missed it, Dr. Weaver's life-partner Sandy (the fire Lt.) is brought in with a few other badly injured officers. Dr. Weaver isn't around when the E.R. docs determine Sandy needs to be intubated, so Sandy asks to see Kerry before they put the tube in her throat. The first thing Sandy tells Kerry is: "It's a good thing I pumped, huh?" That was the first time I reached for the tissue. Little did I know that the writers were actually going to kill Sandy off, then do the most unthinkable thing: make Sandy's family refuse to let Kerry see the baby she and Sandy were raising together because "they're the blood relatives." Before the moment actually happened, I told the husband: "I hope her family doesn't turn out to be homophobic and try to keep the baby." Moments later, that's exactly what happened. Poor Kerry is left at Sandy's brother's home, screaming for her baby, while the boy is kept inside by Sandy's brother and sister-in-law. "We're the blood relatives" he says to Kerry. "This was Sandy's baby."
Now, maybe it's because here in Brooklyn we know several lesbian couples raising children together, but that statement made me soooooo angry. Why would the show put Kerry through this? Isn't it enough that nearly everyone else has endured a death, now Kerry has to be stripped of her entire life, in some Jobean way? It's infuriating the way the show is manipulating the audience. I know it's believable that this sort of thing would and could happen, but did they need to go there? It's just like the horrific Africa episode with all the assassinations. If I want to see that, I'll watch "The Deer Hunter."
Thanks for enduring my rant about "E.R." Chances are I won't stop watching it, but man is the tragedy getting a bit over-the-top at this point!