ER: Ya, I Don't Think I'll Be Missing Benton Much

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chuck C, Dec 13, 2001.

  1. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    I mean, the guy was alright to watch, but he had such a negative aura about him...he brought everyone down.

    Hail to Carter!
     
  2. Paul P

    Paul P Stunt Coordinator

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    That's what worked for benton: he was real. That's the way a lot of surgeons are. Look at Ally Mcbeal. The show peaked when they had two vicious, slightly emotionally unreachable characters(Ling and Nell). Then they both became super nice. The rating slid dowwwwwwnnnn.

    Personally I think the writing for Benton's subplots was always substandard. He had a lot more potential. Wasted.
     
  3. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    I think we'll all be surprised how much of a hole Benton is going to leave on that show. Although, I must agree that last season's plots for him weren't very interesting, this years with his son were good (although the show still hasn't regained its spark altoghether).

    I won't miss Finch at all, they never did anything of substance with her.
     
  4. Ricky Hustle

    Ricky Hustle Supporting Actor

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    I'll miss Benton. I thought his character had depth. Carter and Green are all that's left that interest me, and Green is gone seasons end. The casting dept. has its work cut out.
     
  5. todbnla

    todbnla Screenwriter

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    I will miss Peter too. It will be interesting to see how long the show survives after Green is gone (isn't he leaving soon too?) I enjoy the show and will hate to see if it goes by the wayside as their are only a few shows I watch every week and this is one of them. My other favs are NYPD, ER, Frasier (sometimes) Third Watch, Soprano's, 6Ft Under. Back to the show, I like Carter but dont know if he can hold the show together.
     
  6. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    Cater is great and I think the new black doctor has potential as well. I think he will become a permanent cast member (NBC needs its token minority characters =P). I think Marisa Tierney's character is a little too manic and I'm not a big fan of the Ukranian? doctor. Weaver and Romano are always good to hate and I'm sure we will see the standard homophobia plot line emerge (well, I guess it has already come up ... so develop would be more appropriate).

    All in all, I think ER will survive. I think it will just be like Law and Order. Entertaining but nothing special.
     
  7. Paul P

    Paul P Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey!! Watch your mouth about Law and Order! [​IMG]
     
  8. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    Which one? [​IMG]
     
  9. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I think you meant Maura, not Marisa (as in Marisa Hargitay from L&O:SVU, and was on ER a few years ago as a slightly incompetent desk jockey).

    I liked how they had Carter say the final goodbye to Benton because just as we go through life, and people move on (the only constant thing is change), there are certain people that give you that kick in the pants and challenge you to be better. Benton was that kick in the pants for Carter.

    Actually, Benton has has plenty of storylines, but since he's not overtly explosive, they tend to blend into the scenery. He being black allowed the writers to explore minority situations (like gangs) and show the repercussions of students in gangs hit home (when Benton lost his nephew due to gang violence). And then he was also encouraging, though challenging, other minority med students to be better and to do the job. His love life was very complicated, he had quite a few women in his life, mainly with Carla, Jeannie, and finally Finch (did they ever explain why she left County General? I swear NBC probably didn't air one of the episodes that explained her jump to the new job). Plus it allowed the writers to explore raising kids without the traditional family unit, and how these situation arise.

    But, at this point, it's good that Benton moves on to greener pastures, his homelife dictated it once Carla was out of the picture.
     
  10. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    While I'll miss Benton it's the other major event this season that will have the biggest impact for me. I won't give details in case there are people that are unaware.
     
  11. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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  12. John_Lee

    John_Lee Supporting Actor

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  13. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Doh! I knew that! For some reason I "thought" the spelling, but didn't quite throw in that "k".
     
  14. Paul P

    Paul P Stunt Coordinator

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    Benton has had a lot of storylines, but they weren't really well written, weren't very powerful. With the exception, of course, with the death of Jesse. That episode was extremely potent drama. Carter had his stabbing, recovery, and many screw ups along the way. Abby had her mother. Luka had the priest(not the best, but some of it was really good). Green had his surgery, beating, wedding, baby. Corday had her mother, getting sued, wedding, internship. Romano hasn't had much, but he's still the villain. Weaver had her mother, the psychiatrist relationship, and really well performed subtle acting(lot of subtext) behind her wanting the ER chief job and not getting it. I don't even need to mention Ross and Carol. They speak for themselves. Lewis had the baby(Really well done).

    Seriously, what had Benton had? A couple arguments with his brother in law about money, with Carla about custody, and a few situations about struggling to take care of Reese. Even the custody battle felt flat to me. Maybe it was his acting, but more so I think it was the writing. You have never seen Benton break down. Not once. Not even alone. You could write ONE episode where he is overwhelmed. Give the man some depth.

    With the exception of the Alabama episode, nothing has ever really focused on him.

    I was disappointed. Like so many ideas, lots of wasted potential.

    And everyone knows about the situation back in '97 I think it was, when every character on the show got their own TV guide cover except for Benton. The cast boycotted TV guide for that one.
     
  15. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Actually, Benton grew a lot, he went from being a self-involved technically gifted career-driven surgeon, who went through his share of relationships, and thread of AIDS not once, but twice, and finally when he's called to step up and take care of his child, he does the right thing, he goes from being a career-driven surgeon first to being a parent first, and putting his career second. This is a long-time character arc development, but it felt right that it happened as it did because the ER is a chaotic place, and it amazes me when guys like Mark Green and Elizabeth Corday can balance the two (but it'll come to head at the end of the season when Mark leaves as well for more stable hours).

    Some people aren't built for huge dramatic moments, some act when pushed to do so, Benton has been this kind of character. He's lowkey, and cool under pressure (you have to be if you are an ER surgeon worth his salt). I never found his "lack" of humanity a problem with his character.

    I think he sees himself as the last line of defense for the patients that show up in the ER, he's the one that has to patch the patients up for them to have a chance to live.
     
  16. Paul P

    Paul P Stunt Coordinator

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    I dunno, even his AIDS scenario was downplayed. That was much more about Jeannie. And yes he is a strong guy, the backbone, the whatever. But to be honest, that's not a fleshed out character. ER is a character driven show, and though it tries to be realistic, one of the reasons I believe it succeeds is because it spotlights situations that push each character to their edge. Abby seemed like a nice normal nurse turned med student. Inexperienced, driven. Then you bring in her mother and an immense side of her character is revealed, from backstory to emotions. Benton never had that. He shouted a lot. He occasionally was soft spoken. But I don't remember enough of the other sides. It was mostly life gets harder for him. He tries harder. He succeeds. You never saw him REALLY fail. Others failed around him, and he would usually just detach. But y'know what, bygones.
     

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