American TV audiences have a problem saying goodbye… well, let me clarify, American TV show producers have a problem saying goodbye as evidenced by how often they keep the shows on life support long after all of the story lines have been exhausted and the audience has moved on.
Though NBC’s ER happens to be a big exception to that rule. By centering the show around a revolving cast of characters, each as interesting as the cast they were replacing, creators managed to keep the show going strong for 15 seasons.
Finally ending its run in April 2009, the last season of the show is finally out on DVD and Blu-Ray. With 22 episodes, writers did a decent job of tying up some loose ends without completely closing the loop on all relationships. Most notable about this season was the feat of bringing back some of the most memorable early cast members in a creative way (Eric La Salle, Noah Wyle, Julianna Margulies, and surprisingly George Clooney, all pop up towards the end of the show’s run, as well as Anthony Edwards – who had been killed off years ago – in a flash back sequence).
The writers proved long ago they were adept at putting together wildly entreating cliff hangers (hostage situations, ambulance bombings, shootings, car accidents, etc.), but the 15th season proved the creators were also particularly inventive with their story telling techniques including shooting a particularly memorable episode with several different endings.
Keeping a show going for 15 seasons is a big task, managing to keep it creatively interesting for that entire run is remarkable, and ER did just that.
ER – The Complete Fourteenth Season: The Final Season/5 DVDs/Warner Home Video/ 997 Mins.