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ER: The Complete First Season (review)

Nine years after its multiple-Emmy-winning debut season, ER‘s combination of intense medical realism and dishy doctor soap opera has inspired a devoted fan following, and this jam-packed set will be catnip to them. A look back at where these now-beloved characters got their start — burnt-out resident Mark Green (Anthony Edwards), naive med student John Carter (Noah Wyle), ladykilling pediatrician Doug Ross (George Clooney), superconfident doc Susan Lewis (Sherry Stringfield), and all the rest — is a major treat, as is the somewhat shocking realization that as fast-paced as ER was when it premiered, these early episodes are downright leisurely compared to today’s installments. But the presentation and the bonus features are extraordinary: all-new widescreen transfers (these episodes were originally broadcast in full screen), additional scenes and outtakes, audio commentary on three key episodes, making-of documentaries that include interviews with the original cast and executive producers Steven Spielberg, Michael Crichton, and John Wells, as well as features on the medical realism of the series. Pick this box up, stat.

MPAA: not rated

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