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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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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
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
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 [originally 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.
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.
*** This review may contain 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
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
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!
LIving in Australia, this show still isn't in it's last ever 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
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
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)
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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