DAVID BIANCULLI

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ERIC GOULD

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NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
Acorn Releases Season 3 of 'The Good Karma Hospital'
November 11, 2019  | By David Hinckley
 


The Good Karma Hospital
 has been compared on occasion to Call the Midwife as an engaging, generally upbeat medical drama, and someone on the writing staff seems to have taken that comparison deeply to heart.

The first episode of Good Karma Hospital, Season 3, which becomes available Monday on Acorn, features so many expectant mothers that they have to be broken down into subgroups.

Hospital chief Lydia Fonseca (Amanda Redman, top) walks into her crowded, overheated waiting room and tells the crowd to move to three separate areas for the first, second, and third trimester.

Later she clears the last patient from the men's wing of the hospital – he seems to be a bit of a malingerer, anyhow – to make room for more anxious mothers-to-be.

That is not to say that Good Karma Hospital only cares about the action in the maternity ward, however.

Rather it serves up a well-paced mix of medical crises and personal mini-dramas played out against the colorful, breezy, sun-drenched countryside of India. (Actually, it's filmed in Sri Lanka.)

Now, as in the first two seasons, the hospital is perpetually short of money, staff, and everything else. Except mini-dramas.

The first two seasons developed a tone not entirely unlike that in the late USA series Royal Pains, though the socio-economic backdrop could not be more different. Like Royal PainsGood Karma Hospital treats medicine as something that happens in people's lives and slips right into their lives, not disruptive events that get in the way of lives.

The third season takes a couple of darker turns, though. Almost all the people here are good and decent, which is not to say they always make the right choices.

Our other central figure, Dr. Ruby Walker (Amrita Acharia, top), starts the season by coming back from a four-month absence that leaves some of her colleagues hurt and puzzled.

That includes Dr. Fonseca, who saw Ruby as a sort of protégé even though they often clashed. It also includes Dr. Gabriel Varma (James Floyd), who saw Ruby in a rather different way and wanted to do anything but clash.

Putting those relationships back together would be plenty for Ruby, except that's not why she came back. She came back because she felt Good Karma would offer the best care to her pregnant sister. That is, it would let Ruby handle her care.

How that works out is, well, instructive.

The season also starts roughly for Greg McConnell (Neil Morrissey), Dr. Fonseca's live-in partner and the owner of a tiki bar. Everyone loves Greg. The local authorities, however, have some issues with his business. On the brighter side, he gets a nice family surprise.

A less bright twist awaits Jyoti Gill (Sayani Gupta), a young nurse who Dr. Fonseca hopes will stay around and anchor the perpetually short-staffed nursing corps. Jyoti announces she is engaged, however, and that as a good Indian wife, she will leave her career decisions to her fiancé/husband.

Several of the subplots in Good Karma Hospital have that cultural angle. The majority, however, are split between medical and romantic. We like the characters enough to wish for good outcomes in both areas.

 
 
 
 
 
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