Maybe spoilers in comments!
I’m just catching the first episode now, and I’m looking forward to a series shot in Virginia (an America Drama instead of an import!) in which a POC has had a very small speaking part in first five minutes. Here’s hoping the era of the end of the Civil War, in which the show is embroiled, will offer moreopportunities for diversity in the cast than period pieces. I’m not holding my breath, as every one preceding and following has been lilly white.
Its well shot, cinematic and more saturated with color than the Civil War is usually shown.
ETA first impressions of the first episode: it was good! I’m suitably intrigued and will defo be tuning in for the season. New episode is tomorrow after Downton Abby; so if you’re into the costume dramas I would say: give it a go! The white characters are mostly southern (it’s Alexandria under Union rule) with a few northern transplants by way of a nurse and a doctor. It looks like of the three POC characters with speaking parts, one is a kitchen maid with a naive charge in her household, another is a beautiful young woman who is doing much needed hospital laundry, and the third is the young man from the still above. He seems the most interesting of the characters presented and will likely be the bridge between the two “worlds” of Mercy Street.
I’m commenting so much about the POC characters because I’m frankly getting super bored by the MANY rehashings of the same (white focussed) stories in historical dramas. I have really had my “fill” of Civil War heroes and villains, of slave tropes and flagrantly racist masters, but I’m hopeful that PBS is sensitive to the critics of Dowton Abby and that they specifically searched out a story that could bring a new side to this era we have seen so much of in TV and movies.