culture

Bramwell

I recently discovered Bramwell, a mid-90s show (now on Netflix) that has Jemma Redgrave as a doctor in 1890s London, who can’t get an appointment at Ye Olde Englysshe Hospitale — because she’s a woman, gasp! — so convinces a birdbrained lady philanthropist to give her money to start a charity hospital in the East End, which she very creatively names the Thrift. (Because her patients are poor. Get it?)

Don't mess with Dr. B.

I get the sense that the budget was all spent on period-appropriate costumes (because Jemma gets to wear some really awesome Victoriana, including a bike-friendly split skirt — like skorts, remember those?), because the supporting cast is hilariously bad. It’s like they called up the Royal Acting Academy for the Congenitally Monotone and asked for their middling-average students. Plus, the writers were intent on making every episode a Very Special, targeting issues like racism, sexual double-standards, and … the importance of a good cognac at dinner parties.

It’s basically Dr. Quinn in London instead of Frontiersville. Awful and awesome and I can’t stop watching. The fact that I’m trying to rework the stats on my thesis just might have something to do with the latter.

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