The Good

This is one of those shows that doesn't let up in terms of story and creative situations.

The Bad

It's George Clooney's last season and this is the best they could do for extras?

ER is one of those shows that I have watched only intermittently, yet every time I do I am floored by how solid all of the acting is. This show features actors such as George Clooney, Juliana Margulies, Eriq La Salle, Noah Wyle and those are just the thespians who broke out from this show. ER was groundbreaking for a lot of reasons, the least of which in how strode to take us into the world of the emergency room never apologizing for what it was showing us

This season saw the departure of Dr. Ross (George Clooney), a guest appearance by Teri Garr as a woman who claims she can "see inside" people and delved even deeper into Dr. Green's (Anthony Edwards) character. When one considers the depth of this ensemble cast, I think that it is incredible how this show makes viewers connect with each and every character regardless of the size of their role.

Features

Outpatient Outtakes and Gag Reel

These aren't cut together but since they are part and parcel of the same idea, I figured that it was only prudent that I review them together. Afterall, these are both segments with scenes that didn't make the cut for whatever reason. The Outpatient Outtakes are deleted scenes that appear to have been taken out of the various episodes for time reasons. It makes sense when one considers how many characters and storylines they have fit into a one hour show. The Gag Reel is essentially the cast having a good time on the set. One could say when you've seen one you've seen them all but this worth your time.

Video

1.78:1 - Aspect Ratio. This show could have gotten lost in all the plot lines and subplots that comprise each episode. The feeling that I got as I watched this show is that the creators shot it with an eye on their throughline. In fact, the editing seems to have been done specifically to engage the viewer in each individual character. In a weird way, it somewhat seems like this show has been cut into small segments indigenous to whoevers story we are following for that particular episode.

Audio

English - Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. The characters do their fair share of whispering their dialogue but seeing as how ER takes place in an emergency room (and it was one of the first shows I remember doing this), I am not going to hold that too much against them. The audio, especially this show's score, really drives home the point of specific scenes without calling too much attention to it. I would highly recommend watching ER: The Complete Fifth Season on a system with surround sound.

Package

This six disc set is colored in purple with all the main actors pictures displayed across the front cover. Below them is a shot of Noah Wyle who appears to be in the middle of a surgical procedure. The back cover continues the purple motif in addition to giving us more images from the show, a description of what ER: The Complete Fifth Season has in store for consumers, a Special Features listing and some technical specs. The six discs that make up this set are nicely housed inside this somewhat bulky artwork, where there are more pictures and episode descriptions as well. Overall, I think this packaging could be a tad daunting to consumers but I doubt that that will keep the diehards away.

Final Word

What amazes me is that this show happened fairly late in George Clooney's career. Why hadn't he been a bigger star long before this? People always talk about ageism but there is nothing young about this actor and yet women and men love him. If I were to venture a guess, I would say that while I think age might have something to do with it, there is a classiness to someone who looks like they have some years on them. For instance, Anthony Edwards is close to Clooney in age but he still seems very much like the college student that he played in Revenge of the Nerds. Clooney seems like a guys guy and a gal's man.

ER: The Complete Fifth Season seems to be firing on all cylinders. The cast seems as strong as ever and the episodes themselves are cut in such a way that everyone gets their due screentime. One might think the show plateaued after this but it's currently 13 seasons in and still going strong.

ER was released .