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ER – Is it art?

To its admirers, ER is the pinnacle of its genre, pushing at the boundries of its cultural space. To others its just a soap

By Ben Rogers   44

1st July 1999

Dear Kathryn,

Wednesday nights (when ER is on) begin with scepticism and end in rapture. I can’t believe that the programme is going to meet my exigent, art-critical standards, but it does. The traumas and dramas, the jokes and intimacies of Cook County General Hospital emergency room-the ER in question-sweep me up. The series knows its limitations-it is not Ingmar Bergman-but it is all the better for that. It is art of a very high order indeed.

I don’t have to take sides in the elite versus popular culture wars to champion ER. It is enough to…

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