You won't be disappointed!
The story-telling is good with flashbacks.The film is both funny and heartbreaking. You smile in a scene and get a soulcrushing revelation in the next.
This film is so real. It treats its characters with so much care and sensitivity.
It is encouraging that the film ends so strongly.Otherwise, it wouldn't have been a particularly memorable film
I am greatly enjoying this series. The production has the feel of the period from the mud in the streets, to the period decor of the rooms and costumes, all the way to the amputated limbs being taken away in a wheelbarrow. War is hell, and none was more so than the Civil War, when weaponry had become so efficient as to mow down regiments marching forward in outdated styles of battle. Some viewers might object to bloody surgery scenes. However, one of the most affecting scenes to me was of a Confederate soldier with shell shock who told of the horror of battle, "the smoke and blood and the screaming, you never know where it's coming from." Soldiers who make it to this hospital are cared for to the best of their abilities by Mary Phinney and Dr. Jedediah Foster, played admirably by Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Josh Radnor. Their own personal dramas are interwoven into the story lines quite well. Applause to the producers and directors!
We all know that the Civil War was horrendous and men suffered gruesome wounds. But the explicit and extreme blood and butchery seem like gratuitous fillers for a bad script.I was really looking forward to this show because of the high quality of most period dramas on PBS, but this one is terrible. The costumes are good but some things for this period are just very unrealistic. A head nurse being told she must sleep on the floor, really? Also, the way some of the characters are portrayed they are just all over the map. This show just seems to be a re-hash of other civil war shows, again this goes to a bad script. This is no where near the quality of Luther, Sherlock or Downton Abby. Hollywood can't rest on it's laurels if it want's to compete.
I love all historical and period pieces so watch this one after my Downton Abbey fix. However, I am continually distracted during these episodes by the non authentic accents of characters who are supposed to be Virginians but sound more like they have dropped in from Georgia or Alabama. All southern accents are not created equal. Actors use coaches to learn proper English, Irish, German, Italian, etc. accents. Someone needed to teach these actors to speak Virginian. It is jarring to hear accents that are out of place with the setting. I could also do without all the graphic blood and gore but that seems to be part and parcel of all films these days.The series does hold one's attention. I must have not been paying strict attention because I do not remember the action ever dealing with the Union officer smuggled by Frank. When do they discover him?
"Mercy Street" takes place at the start of the Civil War, in a Union Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, where a newly appointed "head nurse" must contend with multiple issues in her attempt to organize services. There are all sorts of problem she must confront – how to care for Confederate troops in a Union hospital, how to deal with slaves and freed Blacks, the rivalries between different types of nurses, the hierarchical relationship with Physicians, the influence of European medicine, etc.The settings are marvelous as are the costumes. The acting is very good, especially from head nurse and ardent abolitionist Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Confederate volunteer Hannah James. TV Stalwarts Gary Cole, Peter Gerety, and Cherry Jones are on hand as well. At times modernism creep into the dialogue, as well as the mannerisms, but generally speaking it has an authentic mid 19th Century feel. There is also some failings in the accents which seem to range all over the place, even among family members.The first two episodes manage to keep the soap opera elements at a minimum while showing us what it must have been like to be a part of the process. This show is entertaining while it is simultaneously educational. It won't appeal to everyone, but anyone interested in Medicine, or the Civil War, will find it compelling.