Look. Television can throw an infinite amount of hospital-set shows at me; no doctor drama will ever top ER. I won't argue that the series didn't peter out in its latter years, but when it was good, it was good. And the good of it all included sucking audiences into the early-series relationships between couples like Doug and Carol; Peter and Jeanie; and, my personal OTP: Mark and Susan.
Yes, Dr. Mark Greene and Dr. Lewis. They should have been a thing. Anthony Edwards' and Sherry Stringfield's characters made up one of those 'ships that never quite got off the ground. Life, fear, and friendship got in the way of them taking the next step in their relationship, and then Susan had to go and leave town. Nothing against Dr. Elizabeth Corday, she of the fabulous British accent and even more fabulous hair, but I always pined for "the one who got away" from Dr. Greene.
(Also, Susan and Carter? I'm sorry, but no. It was icky when he tried to kiss her in Season 1 and only a little bit less icky when she returned. They were so platonic.)
I await the day when ER hits Netflix or Hulu and I can fully experience the truncated romance of my two favorite County General physicians. Until then, this 'ship rundown will have to do. Here are 12 reasons why Susan and Mark are the only ER OTP I need:
1. They're Supportive Colleagues
Everybody needs a loyal work spouse. It makes the days shorter and the stress easier to manage.
2. And Also Disgustingly Chummy In Their Off Time
Susan and Mark BFFed outside of the hospital more than any of their colleagues. You've got to really like someone to come off of an 18-hour-shift and still not be sick of looking at their face.
3. Everyone Else Thinks They're Doing It Already
Where there's smoke, there are coworkers who are definitely getting it on a regular basis.
4. Seriously, Everyone
Why ever would anyone suspect? It's not like they're painfully suspicious or anything. (Mark, explain this hat.)
5. And If It Were Happening, We All Agree It Would Be Hot
Dummies, in their own words:
"Meet up with you to go tequila shopping and all of a sudden we're having a torrid affair?"
"Who's saying it's torrid?"
"No one, but I'm just assuming it would be!"
In all languages, that last line translates as "MAKE A MOVE."
6. Mark Is Hella Tight With Little Suzie
Susan ends up raising her deadbeat sister's child for a lot of Little Suzie's young life, and Mark is always there to lend a hand. Look what an adorable family they make.
7. There Are Cute Pet Names
Doug makes it up, but Mark is visibly bookmarking it for later.
8. Then There's That Time They Nearly Go On Vacation Together
In the middle of bragging about her upcoming getaway, Susan blurts out an invitation for her "best friend" to join her. A last minute invite to a Hawaiian paradise for two? Does it get more romantic than that? NO. NO IT DOES NOT. I'm assuming.
9. And Mark Waits Around Like An Abandoned Puppy While Susan Is Gone
Is she back yet, is she back yet, is she back yet?
10. It's Just A General Heart-Eyes Situation
Someone tell these two that this is a serious drama about life and death, because they're disrupting the entire class.
11. Whatever This Is
Gross. Get a room.
12. And Finally: Because They Love Each Other!
By the time Mark finally confesses his feelings for Susan, it's too late. She's already leaving Chicago. But it makes for a super romantic and urgent train platform scene, where Susan confirms that Mark wasn't the only one who would have liked their friendship to be more.
Sigh. What could have been. At least the potential of Mark and Susan can live on forever in the early seasons of ER.