Providence (TV Series 1999–2002) Poster

(1999–2002)

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A simplistic and touching lightweight drama.
WestAct23 October 1999
Providence does not bear the heavy weight that "good" hour-long dramas carry with them. As a result, it ends up being more profound and watchable than most of the rest put together. Each episode is often pastoral or simplistic, with very straightforward writing, acting, and presentation. But the actors are so capable, and the attitude so honest, that the people behind Providence are able to make every episode into a very touching--and often humorous--hour. While most hour-long dramas struggle to fill fifteen minutes of genuine story or emotion, Providence is bursting at the seams. It is one of the best hour-long dramas to come down the pike in a number of years.
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If Providence were really like "Providence"
Stevie-258 May 1999
I am one of the only people I know here in Providence who was actually born and raised on the 'east side' of Providence. As a child, I would sometimes amuse myself wondering what a TV show called Providence would be about, and would it be successful? Now, as an adult, my adolescent fantasy has come true, and every Friday night, I can see my little town on the national tube. I see the houses I drove past on my bicycle, and the sidewalks I bruised my knees on when I was running from loose dogs.

You would think I would be happier than I am, but the problem is "Providence" is not even close to what I imagined "Providence" would be like when I was a kid, making up TV stories instead of paying attention in school. You see, "Providence" is a bit of a success (to many people's surprise) and in order to succeed, so often Hollywood has to play down to the audience's lowest, common denominator. "Providence" does just this. All my friends and family thought this show would flop, but America seems to relate to it!

In every episode, you can see how an autistic or abused child can be instantly cured by looking into the eyes of a puppy dog. You can see how the only person with a Rhode Island dialect is the cab driver in the first episode - but really he was probably an actor from Jersey, or something. Of course, they did capture the flavor of our controversial, but politically brilliant Mayor, Buddy Cianci, in all his genuine charisma! His Marinara sauce really is quite tasty!

Yes, I wish I lived in "Providence", where I could bring my cat Whitman to the neighborhood Vet when he gets sick, but instead, I have to watch "Providence" from my TV in Providence, screaming PROVIDENCE!! with every passing scene of my little city, looking better than I ever noticed as a kid. Yes, I have to suffer through this condescending dribble every Friday night, eight o'clock, NBC.
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Control freak! how can anyone stand this?
minavagante13 March 2002
First of all, this show is *not* about a location: this show is about *just another* female character! Secondly, call me male chauvinist for what I am about to write, but I am a woman. We have all had a colleague at work that is just the complete control freak- always in charge of everything, welcoming more and more responsibilities, lecturing others and *not having a life*. Well, here's Melina Kanakaredes' role in "Providence": a female doctor who is, in a word, perfect. In two words, she's your ordinary and unsustainable control freak.

She works? No, she does everything at work! Other doctors should only be extras! She volunteers? No, she is probably preparing to run for mayor one day. She helps, she befriends? Yes, but only developing relationships with people she can control more, eg her patients (how professional)! She is even in touch with her dead mother, mind you, because they clearly took her away without her consent! Who could have been so stupid to challenge her almighty powers like this? Does she ever engage in useless, yet funny activities? Does she ever avoid to take her heroic self so seriously? If I were one of her colleagues I would just tell her politely to *Get A Life* and resign from my job. Oh, and when the show isn't concentrated on the epic of this woman there is also her family - a bunch of poor actors who try to raise the morale of the show with some humor, only to succumb under lines and gags that are worse than those from "The Drombusch Family". The saddest thing is that writers surely didn't need to invent anything for her characters: women like that are everywhere theses days. If it's coming near you, get a bigger tv set to accommodate the ego of this character.
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Why is this show being cancelled?
asilliag10 November 2002
I love watching Providence on Friday nights. It's a good way to unwind and feel good. After the wedding of Sydney Hansen, the show will be off the air. NBC is cancelling another awesome show, and in the middle of the season. I used to like NBC but now it seems they are cancelling all these good shows. I will miss Providence and all the characters. I wish the show would at least last through May, 2003.
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One of the best TV dramas to come along
Ivory-318 December 1999
I am so glad I have this show to watch every Friday night. I look forward to it, have my dinner ready at 7:59pm and sit there and experience the travails of the Hansen family. I loved the two hour movie on Thanksgiving, and hope this show is on for a long time. After I watch it, I am so emotionally drained cuz I lived every moment with them, but would gladly sit there and watch ten more episodes! I am looking forward to the day I am older and it lives on in reruns. I absorb every moment and talk about them as if they were friends of mine. I was crying with them when Lily was killed, I was in that car with the Four Musketeers. I lived in Providence for 6 years and long to move back. This show makes that longing even more bittersweet. I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!
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Not what it promises...
Joy-2512 February 1999
For a show that purports to show the charm and wonder of living at home in Providence, it certainly misses its mark. Much of the information given about Providence and its surrounding area is highly inaccurate and borders on insulting at times. To top it all off, the writing is poor and the stories inane. For a good look at Providence, Rhode Island, come see our city. For a good Friday night, read a book instead of watching this bilge.
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Hi! I'm reality! Have we met??
bing-149 October 1999
This show is completely unrealistic. No family is like that. Sid looks like a man. And everyone else annoys me. However, my mom likes this show a lot. She obviously hasn't been out much. This show is like Dr. Quinn in today's times, only suckier. And you thought it was fun to make fun of that show.....
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A charming show about real family values and a little bit about Rhode Island.
VeganThespian30 October 1999
I believe that the strength of the tv show Providence is that it demonstrates real "family values" and not the traditional "family values". The "family values" i refer to are that members of the family accept one another no matter what they do "wrong" (one is a schemer and gets into trouble, another is a goody goody with excessive pride, and another is a klutz who also has a child out of wedlock... also the Dr. hires a worker who is a klutz and is accepting and nurturing of her - how symbolic that maybe the central theme of the show is the prototypical country veterinarian, taking in wounded animals and nurturing them to health), and they love one another no less when the day is through. They meet their challenges with seriousness and humor, when the situations can allow, and almost always kindness.

The show does not moralize so much as it shows people dealing with real situations (already, 2 major characters have perished)and they are lead by the strong but extremely gentle and understanding character that Mike Farrell portrays, "Dr. James Hansen". He provides an almost unnoticed moral center, strong but gentle.

One daughter forgoes a successful career in los angeles as a plastic surgeon to go home and live with her family and work in a charitable clinic. The other daughter forgoes a fortune if she had gone to Japan and promoted her accidentally invented recipe, to take care of her baby and be with her family. She nurtures a mentally ill man who happened to be the ideal employee for her, and helps him escape when the authorities are after him, the morality being that she cannot harbor him, but she cannot let him be incarcerated either. The son gets into trouble, but works on being good.

We see progressive ideas shown in a viable light. The show accepts gays, it loves people who make mistakes, have accidents, they take in runaways, work at a clinic, find the good in mobsters, mentally ill, take in stray animals, have no negative judgments on ethnic groups. There is very little against a single mother, other than she needs to take responsibilty. And so on... what will be next ? These are all strengths in my opinion, and i think the country and society in general has been waiting for something to show them about this, what i believe to be, inherent unconditional love that exists in all of us, but somehow gets lost at times within the scope of the hustle and bustle of society.

Of note, I also believe that while some people say providence is not really about providence, i believe that it does capture different elements of the area. I think it more pulls together the strengths of the community than focussing on a particular group, providing an amalgam of local people. The parents are suspiciously like my grandparents (who are real life providence lifetime natives), even their bedroom is almost exactly like the television set bedroom. Also, personally i had lived in los angeles ginally went there to be in medical / grad school], working as an actor, and returned to rhode island because a family member was on deaths door.
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Your typical heartwarming drama series and the discovery of another beauty Melina Kanakaredes.
Brian-27222 October 2000
NBC has found a nice new hit drama as part of the Friday night lineup and it seems to have once again put NBC back as a major player among the networks. "Providence" a heart-to-heart drama filled with emotions and decisions for real- life situations has viewers feeling amazed. Based in Providence, Rhode Island is Dr. Sydney Hansen(Melina Kanakaredes) who after her mother's death who Kanakaredes character communicates with in flashback manner in every episode when advice is needed, Kanakaredes takes care of her younger sister and small infant along with caring for her stubborn brother and aging father now if that's not enough of a load then the duties as a top female physician should bring poor Sydney down, but never fear her strength and virtue she received from her dead mother journeys her on. NBC must have had the greatest talent scouts or beauty judges out and about their work sure paid off with the discovery of Melina Kanakaredes, I remember the very first episode of "Providence" I watched or perhaps it was the pilot or an advertisement in which a scene that Melina had stripped down to a blue bra and panties "all the oxygen was sucked out of me", she certainly is one of the world's most beautiful women a great discovery for NBC. Believe me you have nothing to lose on a Friday night "Providence" is a great show plus all male viewers and anyone who wants can admire the looks of Melina Kanakaredes.
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Finally a good TV series for that is family oriented without exaggerations! The scenery makes me want to visit Rhode Island!
I love the fact that dad, Mike Farrell (MASH) has his clinic in the basement. All those dogs coming in and out is really cute. The younger sister, Joanie, Paula Kyle reminds me of my own baby sister. A little babyish but lovable! The brother Robbie is a nice guy. Hopefully, he will not get addicted to gambling. Dr. Sydney Hansen, played by Melina Kanakaredes, is a beautiful and exotic woman. It is nice to see a woman in such a role. It is also nice to see Leslie Silva playing Dr. Helen Reynolds, breaking some stereotypes there. The mother Linda, Concetta Tomei (China Beach) always showing up in the same outfit is hysterical! I hope the series remains a family type of show. We are enjoying watching it! We loved that show where Joanie ends up using beast milk for her clam chowder recipe.
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Family Drama
Monica Egger7 November 2005
The series is about a family trying to find their way after their mother dies at the youngest daughter's wedding. It keeps the older daughter-a plastic surgeon in CA from returning to her practice, leaves daughter pregnant without a groom, dad with his in home Vet practice and son as wayward as ever-a pretty full house. Sydney-eldest daughter turns her training and knowledge to work at a free clinic. Joanie with the help of her family raises her daughter as a single mom. Robbie works at a bar and like his siblings can't get a relationship to work. Set in Rhode Island this drama does look at the lighter side of life at times too.
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Great show!
Monika-526 October 1999
This a great show about the Hansens, who became closer than ever following the death of the wife/mother, who still appears in the dreams of her oldest daughter, Sydney. Syd, a warm, devoted doctor, is played to perfection by Melina Kanakaredes, as are everyone else in the cast. I also love the sets and beautiful scenery and location shots. A great drama!
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One Of The Greatest Drama Series Of All Time
Lho332337012 July 2001
I saw a little bit of this show. It's about all these people who work in a hospital. My uncle and aunt watch this show all the time. Well I saw this program when I was nine years old. The doctor tries to make people alive. This Show is kind of like ER.
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Great Show!
br-19898 May 2010
I wished "Providence" had continued on indefinitely but like all good things, they must come to an end. I think Joanie (Paula Cale) was a loser and I was so glad when Burt (John Hamm) found someone new as he was such a good person and Joanie being the selfish little tart realized it too late...stupid woman. Old man Hansen's (Mike Farrell) character was too much after he was shot in the head and he would have been better paired with "Rocket" (the chimp) for comic relief. For not having a very active life, Dr. Syd Hansen (Melina Kanakaredes) had more lovers than I care to shake a stick at. Robbie was OK but a bit of a wimp. Elliot Anderman (Scott Thompson) role should have lasted longer as he at times carried the show.
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10/10
Super Programme
crunchisparrow18 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I'm in the UK, so I watch this on ITV.

Probably a bit old by the time I saw it 2002.

My father died that year and the show kind of kept me going.

I felt the those same feelings as sydney and in reverse by brother is like joanie.

I would love to have the whole series on DVD, is there anywhere I can buy it?

it helped me so much

Regards

Lygia
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Questions
thrudastorm200210 July 2005
Hi all. This is my first time posting to this board. I was just wondering if I am the only one who thought that Owen was a bit of a jerk. To me, he just came off as cocky, childish and just a general smart aleck. It seems like Syd would have ended up with some other professional dude, who had some sort of tact and humility. Your thoughts? Also, since I have been missing the episodes, due to my schedule, can somebody please fill me in on what eventually happened to Joany? Also, has anyone heard about any sort of reunion being done for the show? I think it would be cool to see what the characters are doing these days. (i.e. Nicholas in junior high or something.) Thanks
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Episode
MovieNut1829 April 2005
I was wondering what episode it is where Syd gets in trouble at her job because the parents of a baby sue her because she was looking for his spine with the needle and he was crying and the other lady ended up having to do it, I know it is Season 1, any help would be appreciated, thanks I really like this show and I have the collection DVD Can't wait for them to come out with the other seasons. I always used to watch it on TV. My favorite episode is Tying The Knot. It is just such a cute episode. I love it when Hannah gets older in the episodes she is so cute. Act Naturally is another one of my favorite episodes because Hannah has a lot of lines in it. I've also seen the movie Enough and it has her in it.
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Everything you could want in a TV drama
leanne82nw9 June 2003
Providence is a great television drama. It has elements of drama, comedy and romance in each episode, and revolves around the close-knit Hansen family and their fathers vet clinic.

Some parts of it are Ally McBeal-esque, particularly the dream sequences that almost always begin each episode with Sydney Hansens mother and some crazy thing happening to Syd.

After watching just a few episodes you really care about the characters and what happens to them and want to keep watching them.

Some of the parts in the hospital and clinic are a bit like ER but the show is more relationship based.

This is one of my favourite American TV dramas of all time!
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Best Show Ever!
flaming_pie332 January 2003
LIving in Australia, this show still isn't in it's last ever season, season five so I had no idea it was being cancelled until I looked it up on a website. Providence is my all time favourite show, equal only to the Australian show SeaChange. It is a mystery as to why it is being cancelled. Dr Syd Hansen is a wonderful, kind, smart, funny and of course beatuiful person. She helps anyone in need, even the schitzophrenic man who was stalking her, which would be very scary! She looks after her whole family (not on her own though she would try that...) and puts her own happiness second sometimes. Every relationship she's ever been has somehow been stuffed up, usually Syd dumps her boyfriends because they don't quite live up to her standards. She and Owen are perfect for each other and I hope they last for ages. Melina Kanakaredes plays Syd perfectly, no one could be better in my opinion. Joanie, Syd's younger sister, is funny and also helps the family to keep going, even though she has to look after her young daughter (Hannah) without a husband. SHe runs the barkery, a bakery for dogs. Robbie (the youngest Hansen child) is a prankster but still extremely dependable, even though he's still sort of a child on the inside (not that there's anything wrong with that). NOw that he has a wife and a step son, and almost a son of his own, he tries even harder to do the right thing.

Dr Hansen (Syd's father) is the backbone of the family, now that his wife has died. He is a vet with his own clinic in the basement. After being shot in the head, he has made a wonderful recovery and become the clever and caring person he used to be. Now he has a new girlfriend, Meredith and is putting his accident behind him. Owen is the best thing that could happen to Syd. Tina is perfect for Robbie, and her son Pete is very funny. They all work together to be the perfect cast and best family you could hope for. I wish this show could go on forever, and I advise everyone to watch the re runs when they come on.
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Enjoyable and heartening program
kesa27 February 1999
I lost my mother in 1997 and this program shows what my family has gone through. From the loss, to the first date of the widowed father. It is entertaining, touching and an excellent portrayal of the different reactions of family to the loss of a loved one.
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I can't get enough of this show!
geckogal2117 September 2000
Newly addicted to this show, I came across it this summer on the Fox Family channel and decided to check it out. Now I am hooked. I love the dream sequences between Syd and her mother. They are hilarious. And Jim Farrell is a great actor. There isn't a show like this on television. It's sentimental, sweet, funny, and just plain good television. Many congratulations to NBC for taking a risk and putting out a show that is a little quirky and not quite mainstream. it paid off big time. I will continue to watch this season on NBC and catch the reruns of the eps. I missed on Fox Family.

Allison
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Touching and funny. It is worth paying attention to.
cheris23 January 1999
Providence is touching and funny. It is an accurate reflection of the way we deal with painful events in our lives. Not always serious. A fresh new type of drama without the bicoastal cynicism we have come to accept all too easily.
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