Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why We Love St. Elsewhere

Remember the shock of discovering that troubled resident Peter White (Terence Knox) was the St. Eligius rapist? Bold, uncompromising story choices like that, and a willingness to take its characters to some very dark places -- those are the qualities that made St. Elsewhere a series ahead of its time. In retrospect, NBC's classic hospital drama has more in common with today's taboo-breaking premium cable fare (like Breaking Bad or Nurse Jackie) than with a straightforward network drama such as Grey's Anatomy.

Canada's ichannel airs St. Elsewhere every Thursday night at 10 pm ET/PT, and on Sundays at 8 pm ET/PT. Here's what's coming up in February:

"The Women" - Feb. 3 and 6
In this Emmy Award-winning episode, three women sharing a room at St. Eligius (guest stars Eva LaGallienne, Blythe Danner and Tracy Nelson) become friends as they face the new realities forced upon them by their ailments.

"Cramming" - Feb. 10 and 13
Pressure mounts on the young residents as the dreaded National Board exams approach. Facing trial on sexual assault charges, White (Terence Knox) takes a big risk by agreeing to a polygraph. A stressed-out Armstrong (Kim Miyori) makes a tragic misdiagnosis, while Ehrlich (Ed Begley Jr.) is distracted by the arrival of his eccentric Aunt Charice (guest star Louise Lasser), who has romantic designs on Dr. Westphall (Ed Flanders).

"Rough Cut" - Feb. 17 and 20
As the first-year residents anxiously await the results of their exams, knowing some will be cut from the program, Armstrong (Kim Miyori) grows increasingly erratic. While Fiscus (Howie Mandel) poses for a provocative photo spread, Joan (Nancy Stafford) and Dr. Caldwell (Mark Harmon) attempt a romantic getaway to Paris – but all does not go as planned.

"Hello Goodbye" - Feb. 24 and 27
The residents scatter as vacation begins. Joan (Nancy Stafford) faces a difficult decision when structural problems close down the emergency room. Steven Craig (guest star Scott Paulin) returns home from rehab, and widower Morrison (David Morse) puts aside his wedding ring to spend his first night with another woman (guest star Helen Hunt). With his fight against liver cancer taking a turn for the worse, Dr. Auschlander (Norman Lloyd) collapses in the elevator.

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