Main Plot Points:
- Mercy Street follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposing sides of the Civil War, New England abolitionist Mary Phinney and Confederate supporter Emma Green. The Green family’s luxury hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, has been transformed into Mansion House, a Union Army hospital tending to the war’s wounded.
- Inspired by memoirs and letters from real doctors and nurse volunteers at Mansion House Hospital, this new drama reveals the stories of those struggling to save lives while managing their own hardships.
What We Thought:
- Mercy Street is yet another strong production from PBS.
- PBS is a master of these period productions and this Civil War epic is no different. Set design, production value, wardrobe, all through the roof. They spare no cost to get every detail right.
- This 6 part drama is based in a former luxury hotel turned hospital during the Civil War. Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays a head strong New England abolitionist who volunteers as a nurse after dealing with her husband’s illness. Hannah James plays the daughter of the hotel owner who volunteers her time supporting the injured Confederate troops.
- That dichotomy is what makes the series work. You have the Northern free-slave supporters and Southerners who are used to how things are and want to stick to their beliefs and ways. Combine that with the medical oath to heal any patient, and you get a good mix of drama.
- I can see it getting a lot of comparisons to Downton Abbey. There’s multiple characters, overlapping storylines, strong writing and even better acting. Even though characters clearly detest one another, they must interact for the betterment of the situation. Gary Cole is fantastic as the hotel owner and I have to say I was quite surprised with Josh Radnor’s performance as well.
- And you would think that with a PBS production they might back away from disturbing images, but they do not. I truly appreciate that. You see the effects of war on these men and women and the show doesn’t pull any punches. There’s blood and saws and wounds and I respect that they show you the reality of the situation.
- Mercy Street reminds me a lot of The Knick. It reminds me a lot of Downton Abbey. It reminds me a lot of other Civil War projects. Those are good things. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is fantastic as Mary Phinney and she continues to be a very good actress more people should know about. The storytelling and production are top notch as well. If it’s your kind of thing, watch it immediately.
- Jed and Mary
- The Civil War Style
- The Green Family
- Historical Accuracy
- Deleted Scenes
Notable Cast & Crew:
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead
- Josh Radnor
- AnnaSophia Robb
- Gary Cole
- Hannah James
Recommended if You Like:
- The Knick
- The Civil War
- Downton Abbey