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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Complete Season One (review)

Post-Dances with Wolves liberal reinterpretations of the settling of the West by Europeans were never more popular or family-friendly than that embodied by this earnest if unchallenging CBS TV series. Just after the Civil War, patrician lady doctor Michaela “Mike” Quinn (Jane Seymour) heads west from Boston to Colorado Springs to ply her then-unlikely trade on the wild frontier, and her adventures — in medicine and of the heart — garnered a devoted fan following during the show’s six-year run and prompted a spirited protest when it was cancelled. These early 17 episodes follow Quinn as she gets adjusted to frontier life, finds herself saddled with a passel of motherless kids, and goes about the business of winning over a town skeptical of a woman doing man’s work. Will this woman, not only uppity but a new friend to the local Cheyenne Indians to boot, fall for the laconic Sully (Joe Lando), a white man gone native and with big blue eyes and chiseled cheekbones to boot? Of course she will. Rifts between folk will be mended, Indian wisdom will be deployed, selflessness will overcome prejudice, patience will overcome bitterness, and the importance of an open mind and a warm heart will be emphasized. Simple and profound in all its sweet cornballness, this Emmy-winning series is a gentle delight. Extras include an episode of A&E’s Biography devoted to star Seymour.


MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

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