July 20, 2020  (Web Review)

The Good Karma Hospital: Series 3

Acorn Media, 275 min, not rated, DVD: 2 discs, $27.99, Feb 18

Reviewer rating: 2.5/4

This warmhearted British series, set in an underfunded, understaffed rural hospital on the coast of Southern India, takes a different approach to the familiar medical drama. The third season opens with Dr. Ruby Walker (Amrita Acharia) returning to the hospital from a four-month sabbatical and rekindling her tentative romance with the handsome but aloof Dr. Gabriel Varma (James Floyd), which gets complicated when his former lover (Priyanka Bose) joins the staff as the new plastic surgeon. While that low-key melodrama plays out, the show addresses a more serious issue when a staff nurse is scarred in a brutal acid attack perpetrated by her fiancĂ© and the young woman withdraws almost entirely from the world. Amanda Redman takes top billing as the no-nonsense doctor who runs the whole enterprise and Neil Morrissey offers comic relief as the local bar owner and Redman’s easy-going boyfriend. The acid attack aside, the show traffics in the usual medical drama clichĂ©s and the sunny, exotic backdrop, measured pace, and easygoing tone keeps the show on the light side, but it also offers a fresh and interesting canvas in practically every shot. The show is available in the U.S. on the streaming service Acorn TV, making disc the most convenient way for many fans to see it. For fans of British drama and shows set in countries and cultures not usually seen on American or British TV. Six episodes on DVD and Blu-ray plus a behind-the-scenes featurette. Optional purchase. (S. Axmaker)