Dr. Dana Stowe (Janine Turner, Northern Exposure
) is the head of womens medicine at Rittenhouse Hospital and doesn't let her emotions get in the way of her work. Dr. Luisa "Lu" Delgado (Rosa Blasi, Noriega
) runs an inner city clinic and does whatever it takes to get her poverty-stricken clients the care they need. When the two women are paired up to run the Rittenhouse Women's Health Center, they must learn to work together even with their respective approaches clearly on opposite sides of the operating table. But can they get past it? From Executive Producers Whoopi Goldberg and Tammy Ader, this long-running Lifetime series contains all 22 first season episodes on a 5 disc DVD set.
Two strong-willed, capable female doctors with differing approaches to medicine must forge a working relationship when their practices are merged in this premier season (2000) of Lifetime television's longest running original series. All 22 episodes are included in this five-disc DVD box set beginning with the "Pilot," which introduces the characters and frenzied setting of the visceral drama. In an award-winning role, Rosa Blasi plays Dr. Luisa "Lu" Delgado who runs the inner city South Philly Women's Clinic serving a full caseload of indigent, drug addicts, and abuse victims. A straight-talking maverick, Dr. Delgado is sympathetic to the plight of her patients as she fights to keep her free clinic afloat despite financial hardships. Janine Turner (Northern Exposure
) plays Dr. Dana Stowe, a polished-if-not-sterile surgeon at the prestigious Rittenhouse Hospital treating patients on the opposite side of the city and socio-economic spectrum. Practicing textbook medicine, Dr. Stowe chafes at Delgado's unconventional methods. (Turner will remain in the series until the early part of season three). A stroke of fate pairs the women to run a brand new women's heath center and, although sparks fly professionally, the doctors haltingly approach a level of understanding. The season explores a variety of women's health issues: infertility, abortion, rape, genetic testing, co-dependency, breast cancer, and right-to-die. Complex medical questions are explored from several perspectives without succumbing to quick resolutions. Undoubtedly, the series has grown in popularity because of the underpinnings established this first season. Blasi and Turner develop a compelling rapportalternatively appreciating and opposing each otherwhile a supporting cast adds depth in standout performances by Josh Coxx (as nurse/midwife Peter Riggs) and Jenifer Lewis (as receptionist Lana Hawkins). Intense drama is tempered with comic relief, usually by way of Hawkin's banter and, in one case, her correct diagnosis of a patient's phobia of bald men. Season one introduces a budding romance and ends with a cliffhanger. Lending their vision are executive producers Tammy Ader and Whoopi Goldberg, who also plays a prominent role in the Pilot episode as Dr. Lydia Emerson, a women's health pioneer who returns in three additional stories. The only deficiency is the absence of bonus material: interviews, audio commentaries, or outtakes would strengthen the package. (Caution: violence, language, and adult themes). --Lynn Gibson