STUDIO: Warner Brothers
MSRP: $49.98
RATED: Not Rated

  • Outtakes
  • Gag Reel

The Pitch

Noah Wyle goes to Africa, while everyone else stays in Chicago. Lives are saved. 

The Humans

Noah Wyle, Maura Tierney, Goran Visnjic, Sherry Stringfield, Ming-Na, Parminder Nagra, Linda Cardellini and Paul McCrane

The Nutshell

County General has a lot of fresh new faces this season. Dr. Romano (Paul McCrane) intends to break them down into the next wave of formidable doctor. Dr. Carter has departed to Africa to help people in Africa. But, can he keep his wits about him while he fights against certain defeat. Plus, Linda Cardellini plays a hot nurse.

America’s greatest doctor.

The Lowdown

Neela (Parminder Nagra), Archie (Scott Grimes) and Taggart (Linda Cardinelli) arrived at the E.R. this season. They were mostly welcomed additions, except for Neela. But, every show needs the whiny newbie that keeps trying to win over the others’ approval. It’s just sad that she was doing this until the show’s final season. Onward to the 2003-2004 season.

The season brings some international flavor into the mix. Dr. Kovac went missing last season in Africa and Dr. Carter is going over there to retrieve his M.I.A. buddy. Quicker than you can say genocide, Dr. Carter is over his head. But, there’s some fresh new faces at the hospital to keep you from dwelling on that. Is that not enough? Well, Bob Newhart is guest-starring as an older man that wants to kill himself.

It’s like Scrubs sans the whimsy.

The show still a little too weaksauce for you? You know how they celebrate Thanksgiving at the E.R.? They drop a helicopter on the head resident. You won’t see that shit on Scrubs. Unless it’s in J.D.’s head. Then, it’ll be scored to the sounds of The Shins and feature Turk dancing around Bob Kelso’s severed arms. Sorry, I got distracted by a slightly better show.

This is the season where the E.R. formula got pushed into shark-jumping territory. I’m not sure how much of that you can pin on showrunner John Wells. But, it becomes noticeable when you plot the show out on a longform chart. Over the course of the year, the season’s many action flowed this way. Intro of newbies, Africa, special guest star, forced romance, newbies in trouble, MAJOR EPISODE ACCIDENT EVENT, newbies out of trouble, guest star comes back for Emmy consideration, stars out of Africa, relationships are tested and newbies prove themselves. This pattern ended up getting repeated so much over the years, that the April 2009 bow was a mercy killing for a tired dinosaur of a show.  

The show went into that delicate area, where you try to defend old favorites. I remember at the time when this season aired, hearing from long-time fans. They did the old one-two of defending the acting ability of the cast without addressing the decline in story. It’s sad to watch a beloved favorite start to circle the drain. Hell, it’s worst to see the guest stars blow away the main cast. But, they give you something to watch. It’s just that you’ve got to make up your mind whether or not you want to watch it.

E.R. – The Complete Tenth Season proves that the show should’ve ended with the death of Anthony Edwards at the end of Season 8. The DVD’s special features are light and show the uneasy creative decisions that were made this year. Hell, the sheer amount of deleted scenes show that there were too many forced cuts to accomodate the show formula. Then, there’s the blooper reel. I don’t really have much to say about that.

Darfur? Darfucked is more like it.

The Package

Outpatient Outtakes – You can flashback to the 2003-2004 and watch what hit the cutting room floor. There was an entire plot point dropped out of the latter half of the season.

Cutups – You also receive a ten minute gag reel. What’s going to make Maura Tierney crack up today? Find out here.

6.8 out of 10