Watched the E.R.
pilot, which now seems slowly paced. It struck me how the technology of the medical ensemble show has improved since 1994. In the pilot we see a dozen plus patients but we don't get to follow any of them (it is, after all, an emergency room); and all the cases are who you'd expect. There's a guy who got cancer from -- wait for it -- smoking. There's a baby who's been beaten. A pregnant underage girl. A pretty girl who o.d.'s. Every go-to in the book, if you will. Compare that to Gray's Anatomy
where the medical problem is often not what the doctor thinks it is first time around, or House
, where the patient is lying
There's something to be said about throwing all the clichés into your pilot, though. Josh Schwartz remarked that he put every glamour soap cliché into his pilot for The OC
. Clichés work, after all. In E.R.
you start with a patient who flatlines. They put the paddles on her and she's okay. There's a baby that's born after, honestly, very little fuss as these things go. These are two things that always
get me, a patient who comes back after flatlining and a baby crying for the first time. If those don't get you, check your pulse; you may not be human. And after all the only requirement of a pilot is that it gets the audience to tune in for the second episode. You can bet in the Exposure
pilot, which is about models, we have a fashion show. And pretty girls in lingerie. And some other big ole Things We Wanna See in a Model Show.
So don't be afraid to go for the throat the first time out. Or you may not get a second time out.