Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Surviving Withdrawals

It's been ugly around my house the past several months. I am in withdrawals and it is getting ugly. Extremely ugly. I was told that "this too will pass" and that "tomorrow will be easier," but it is not true. Today is worse than yesterday, which was worse than the day before. Thursdays are the hardest. I don't know what to do with myself on Thursdays. I am miserable.

Taking ER off the air was a terrible mistake. I miss it more as time goes by. I hate knowing that at nine o'clock, Thursday nights, I have to find something else to do.

I'm not your normal ER fan. I never missed an episode. I watched the pilot that one night, quite by accident and I was hooked. I scheduled my little world around my Thursday night fix. Friends and family quickly learned my phone was turned off for that one hour. Unless my house was on fire, I was watching ER. It was the rule. They learned to accept my little obsession.

Not that it was a little obsession. I'm not a big fan of television. I don't watch it much. I have a life outside that box and I love living it. ER was different. I invited the staff of Cook County into my home every week. I watched them live, love, succeed and fail. I knew them as well as I knew the people in the real world.

Despite the fact I have elevated this one show beyond belief (ask anyone who knows me), I am the first to admit the writing fell of after the death of Paul Manning, I still believed it to be the best show on television. It has yet to be replaced. I don't think it ever will be.

Okay, it has a lot to do with Clooney. I love George Clooney. I recognized the face when I first saw it on the pilot. I didn't know from where, but I recognized him. It wasn't until the second season I realized he had been Booker on "Roseanne", Falconer on "Sisters", George on "The Facts of Life" and the man who uttered "That's the bravest thing I ever saw a tomato do" in "Return of the Killer Tomatoes." Now he is an Academy Award winner actor. Who would have thunk it?

I believe my withdrawals would have be made better if the last two episodes had been written with the quality I had grown use to. With Paul Manning gone, it was a long shot, but I held out hope that it would be exceptionally written. I was wrong. So many mistakes in those final episodes.

They were mistakes only a die hard fan like me would notice. The average viewer probably didn't realize that I'd seen Doug and Carol as ex-lovers who could barely work together. They evolved into co-workers, friends and lovers again. The disappointment was that we never saw them as a family. All those years of creating a relationship and not one single shot of Doug, Carol, Kate and Tess together. I was horrified. My heart still breaks when I think of it.

There was the overly-cheesy and abundantly hokey idea that Rachel Greene would be a med student at County. When her father, the self-righteous Mark Greene, died that long, never-ending and not nearly painful enough death, the Greenes should have been forgotten. Why bring her back and subject the hospital to even more of the family's whining and holier-then-thou way of thinking? You guessed it; I am not a fan of Mark Greene.

Of course, the Ross family would have made their way to Carter's grand opening of the Joshua Carter Center. They would have learned it was the kidney from Seattle that saved him. Another opportunity to see them as a family was shot down.

I'm crying over spilled milk. It is done. It is finished. I can't go back and change it. Then again, maybe I can. The one thing that gets me through the withdrawals of no ER is computer's Word program. I am hammering away at the a script for "ER: The Movie." Talk about a long shot! It keeps those friends of mine alive in my head and heart. They behave as they should. None of the sappiness. I remember the details of the past and incorporate them into the future. I write them as they should be written.

I make ER and my Cook County friends live on. This is my only way of dealing with their loss. It's either that or be admitted to the psych ward in Chicago.