'ER: The Complete Thirteenth Season'
(Goran Visnjic, Maura Tierney, Mekhi Phifer, Parminder Nagra, John Stamos, et al / 6-Disc DVD / NR / 2010 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Another longtime cast member departs and another regular joins in ER's 13th season, as the Emmy-hoarding drama neared the end of its run. But first things first: tying up the sensational cliffhanger from the previous season, in which a pregnant Abby (Maura Tierney) was left bleeding on the ER floor and Sam (Linda Cardellini) and her annoying son, Alex (Dominic Janes), were abducted, leading to a deadly conclusion.
DVD: I can remember first watching this show when I was 8 years old and absolutely loved it. They say that the original is always the best and in some cases that may be but to me all the ER seasons or at least up to season 9 are great. The actors are all wonderful but who could not like George Clooney, his character in the first season is so heart warming and likeable I enjoy him a lot.
It's probably unfair to compare this with other hospital TV series, but it's inevitable - at least, it is for me. For the most part this is an excellent series, but not quite as good as 'Grey's Anatomy,' because I didn't identify as closely with the characters. Anthony Edwards was fine in the lead, and, again George Clooney was surprisingly good. The one character I found distasteful was the one played by Eriq La Salle. I don't think it was the actor's fault. He didn't write the lines, nor was he the director. It's just that his character is always negative and makes all sorts of contorted, smirking faces to show his displeasure at everything, and with everyone.
As with other seasons on DVD, in this 13th season I do have a problem - being that there are no gag reels! The bloopers are one of the favorite things I love about the show, but they haven't been included on seasons 11, 12, and now, 13!! There IS a gag reel for season 13, because I've seen it! I miss the bloopers!
One more thing. I don't see why so many people hate the Africa episodes so much. They take us along with Luka, Carter, and Pratt, to a hugely neglected part of the world and show us what needs to be done in those countries. These episodes gave me a reason to live, when I was terribly depressed, and I intend on making a difference in central Africa one day - thanks to ER.
So, if you're anxious to recapture some fond memories with the original cast of ER and remember why this show continued to work so well, then you can't go wrong with the first season of ER. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.