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Series / Strong Medicine

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Strong Medicine is a medical drama with a focus on feminist politics, health issues and class conflict, that aired on the Lifetime network from 2000 to 2006. The series was created and produced in part by comedian and activist Whoopi Goldberg, who made a couple of cameos in the series, and Tammy Ader. The series initially starred Janine Turner and Rosa Blasi, however Turner decided to later leave the show and her position was later filled with Patricia Richardson and later Rick Schroder. Strong Medicine was highest-rated original drama on basic cable in 2001.

Strong Medicine brings together the worlds of two completely different doctors, Dr. Luisa “Lu” Delgado (Rosa Blasi), and Dr. Dana Stowe (Janine Turner). Lu is a single mother running a free clinic in the inner-city. Dana is a Harvard graduate and top female health specialist. The two come together when Dr. Lydia Emerson wants to combine Rittenhouse Hospital’s practice with Lu’s financially failing clinic to provide the best care for the patients of both doctors.


The staff and its visitors tend to be racially, politically, and economically diverse. A core class/political duality in the episodes' storylines tend to be driven by comparisons and contrasts (and often cooperation) between liberal Delgado, and her fellow women's health practitioner across the lobby, who sees paying patients and generally has more conservative values. When Dr. Dana Stowe leaves, Lu’s partners include Dr. Andy Campbell and Dr. Dylan West. The show often places the characters in ironic, soul-searching situations in which they are forced to question the solidity of their personal beliefs or else cause them to fight for what they believe in


The show has examples of the following tropes.

  • Ability over Appearance: Inverted. In-universe, an overweight woman sues Dr. Jackson for weight discrimination, feeling that he didn't hire her as his new secretary because of her weight, despite her numerous qualifications.
  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: While counseling teenage girls about sex and birth control, Lu reveals, "I'm 30, and my son is 14", leaving them to do the math.
  • Abuse Mistake/Cut Himself Shaving: Dana notices bruises on Dr. Jackson's wife. The woman's vague explanation makes her suspicious. When she's rushed to the hospital a few days later, having "fallen down the stairs", Dana is now certain that Dr. Jackson has been abusing her. . . only for it to turn out that his wife really had fallen. She's an Ill Girl and is developing multiple sclerosis.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Every so often, there would be an episode where Lu would learn that not all rich people and/or men were evil, only for her to go right back to hating them the next week.
  • And Starring: Rick Schroeder gets this distinction when he joins the cast in the final season.
  • Artistic License – Medicine:
    • The episode "Type & Cross", has multiple violations of patient privacy that everyone involved would be fully aware of in Real Life—Dana is present while her date is being interviewed before he donates, Peter questions Dana and Lu simultaneously, and having discovered multiple health problems among a group of nuns who have come to donate, Dana reveals all of them to their Mother Superior. Additionally, Lana donates even though her history of prostitution would make her ineligible.
    • Andy scrubs in on an operation before officially starting work at the hospital. It doesn't matter how qualified she is, doing anything without staff privileges at a hospital is a tremendous breach of regulations.
  • Babies Ever After: Dana quits to be a full time mother to two girls that she's adopted and the series finale sees the birth of Lu and Jonas' baby.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Dana is shocked when Lu accuses her friend Rand Kilner of rape, stating, "He's handsome, intelligent, wealthy, a doctor. . ." Lu freely admits that this is all true, but it doesn't change the fact that he didn't listen to her when she told him "No".
  • BookEnds: The episode "Trauma" starts with Lu conducting one of her usual Q&A sessions with women from the community, only she's completely distracted due to her rape having happened in the previous episode. It ends with her in a similar session with her rape support group.
  • Bottle Episode: "Wednesday Night Fever" and "Rape Kit" take place over only one night.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Jessica, though it's understandable due to some things—moving in the middle of the school year, her parents divorce.
  • Butt-Monkey - The Complainer Is Always Wrong: As he dares to be a man and in an administrative position, Dr. Bob Jackson was always given the short end.
    • Despite being female, the second trope often applied to Dana and Andy as well, should they dare to disagree with Lu. Dylan actually held his own pretty well, for a while.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Andy finds her daughter watching Lifetime and asks if there's anything good on.
    "You'd be surprised." note .
  • Chosen Conception Partner: Dana asks Peter to be the father of her baby, having decided that he has all the qualities that she would want a child of hers to have. However, despite them sleeping together, they're not beginning a relationship, he just feels that the natural way to conceive a child is best.
  • Christmas Cake: Dana. She's mostly okay with still being single, it's her ticking biological clock that bothers her.
  • City Mouse/Country Mouse: Lu, who grew up in one of Philadelphia's poorer neighborhoods and has clearly been struggling all her life, now tending to the the people in that very neighborhood vs Dana, who clearly grew up wealthy. When the two are forced to merge their practices so that Lu doesn't lose funding for her inner-city clinic, Dana is initially very uncomfortable dealing with the influx of low-income patients and their related health issues. And then there's Lu's and her pathological hate of people who are richer than she is.
  • Contrasting Replacement Character:
    • Andy to Dana. The latter is a single, childless woman who evidently grew up wealthy and is a veteran of elite schools and debutante balls, while the former is a married mother of two and an Military Brat who herself joined the army.
    • Dylan to both for no other reason than that he's a man.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Lu, a doctor—and a women's health specialist at that—fails to realize she's experiencing pregnancy symptoms until Dylan gives her a verbal Dope Slap.
  • Cousin Oliver: Kayla Thornton, despite being an adult, is clearly this, as a rookie physician as opposed to the more experienced ones.
    • Dylan's college sweetheart reappears in his life—with the teenage daughter he never knew existed.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: When one of Andy's daughter's friends suffers an overdose, Andy has to talk her through performing CPR, which is a classic example of this trope. In fact, it even cuts to the girl being brought into the hospital just as she begins compressions.
  • Creator Cameo: Whoopi Goldberg, one of the executive producers, made several appearances in the first season as a doctor who was both a colleague and friend of both Dana and Lu.
  • Crusading Widower: Dylan fell into such a Heroic BSoD after his fiancée's death that he nearly gave up his medical career. He snapped himself out of it and decided to honor her by switching to her specialty—women's health—and throwing himself into it.
  • Cunning Linguist: Andy. Being an Army brat has left her fluent in 6 languages. It pays off when there's a patient that speaks Tagalog (a Filipino language) and she's able to converse with her, and when another patient claims to be French, but her inability to understand Andy reveals that she isn't, just an actress pretending to be.
  • Daddy's Girl: Andy. It's very obvious that she took up a military and medical career in order to follow in her father's footsteps.
  • Date Rape: Of the "acquaintance" variety and related to the "Rape as Drama" post. Dialogue makes it obvious that Lu and her assailant already knew each other from work, explaining why she was completely comfortable accepting a ride from him and allowing him into her apartment.
  • Dead Man Writing: Several weeks after Milo's death, Andy is in a especially abrasive mood, snapping at everyone and refusing to open an envelope that has arrived for her. At the episode's conclusion, she finally reveals what's in it—two tickets to Hawaii for a vacation they'd planned.
  • Dead Sparks: Dr. Jackson confides in Dana that his once happy marriage has become this. This likely explains why he's become attracted to her.
  • Derailing Love Interests: Poor, POOR Leslie. He was a kind House Husband to Andy for several seasons, and then he starts resenting it and abusing her for no reason at all, just so Andy can kick him out and search for "a new boyfriend who validates and appreciates her". And said boyfriend is killed off.) That's what you get for being a Nice Guy in Lifetime and NOT being called Peter, Les.
    • As Leslie was originally so likeable and his derailment was so asspullish, even hardcore fans of Lifetime's trademark "man-bad-woman-good" fare called shenanigans—even Lu, the resident Straw Feminist, couldn't believe that he had turned into a wife-beater.
    • This inadvertently happened to many of Lu's boyfriends as well to the point of Cartwright Curse. One's a perfectly Nice Guy who freaks out and heads for the hills as soon as he learns she has a kid, another is a spineless Nice Guy who lets his Rich Bitch ex-wife bully him into dumping her by threatening to take away his kid. Another helps her heal from her rape and they're seriously discussing marriage. . .only minutes before he gets shot protecting her. And yet another seems perfect for her, only for things to just fizzle out.
    • Dana's boyfriend Nick as well. Actively pursues Dana and clearly adores her and puts to rest her initial qualms over their age difference (she's ten years his senior), as well as the fact that she's his supervisor. For several years, they're blissfully happy—until she starts bringing up marriage and children and he reacts like a scared jackrabbit, prompting her to give him the boot. It's understandable that she wouldn't want to waste time with someone who doesn't have the same goals as she (especially since she's running out of time to have children), but he's made to look a jerk for something that's entirely reasonable on his part (he's only in his late twenties and it's understandable that this isn't his top priority).
  • Domestic Abuse: Andy's husband Les slaps her during an argument. Although shocked and horrified, she's reluctant to throw away years of a happy marriage and promises to consider reconciliation if he'll go to counseling. Although he claims to be going, she notes a discrepancy in his story and realizes that he lied to her. His dishonesty is the last straw for her and she files for divorce.
    • Les does return later in the series, having sought therapy, apologizing to Andy for his actions and they're able to repair their relationship to friendly terms.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female/Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted. While treating a recently paroled sex offender (he comes to the clinic for chemical castration shots), Lu talks with his sister, who confides that they were both sexually abused by their mother. At no time are they treated dismissively or as if her actions were any less despicable than if she'd been a man. The fact that the boy ended up as a rapist himself shows that it was just as damaging.
    • Also averted in an episode where a pop star is accused of molesting a young fan. Although the girl later admits to lying, having been pressured by her mother, her allegations are taken just as seriously as if she were accusing a man.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: Also averted. One of the very first episodes featured a young man coming to the clinic for HIV testing. After some gentle prodding by Lu, he admitted that he had been out drinking late one night and was assaulted by a group of men when walking home. Lu reacts perfectly appropriately, refusing to let him blame himself for being drunk, being out late, and being in a bad neighborhood.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Dylan West has "St. Helens" for Lu; people around the hospital mistake it as an honor, until they hear why he gave it to her: for her tendency to erupt angrily at his sexist musings (it's short for "Mount St. Helens").
  • The Ending Changes Everything: Several episodes have a major twist in the final scene that has the characters (and audience) see things in a new light.
    • The creator of a successful role-playing game franchise is dying and has a "do not revive" option. Her husband, however, fights the doctors for hours, stretching her survival into the next day before he gives in. A few days later, however, the doctors read that the woman's will had stated that had she died just one day earlier, all the rights for her game would have been donated to charity. By dying when she did, her husband inherits it all. Thus, what they saw wasn't a man unwilling to say goodbye to his wife but desperate for her to live long enough that he got $17 million.
    • A man is brought into the ER with a severe head wound from a fall off a cliff with his wife by his side. He can't speak but the doctors press for an experimental procedure that will allow him to "type" with his mind. His wife argues, telling him point blank she doesn't want to lose him. It goes through...and the man's first words are telling everyone how his wife pushed him off the cliff.
    • Another woman is brought in after a car accident. She is only able to babble that she wants to see her husband. Efforts to call the man are unsuccessful and so are Peter and Lana's attempts at finding him. The woman finally dies from her injuries, with everyone lamenting that they couldn't find her husband. Until the cops show up and one of them recognizes the woman's name. It turns out that her husband himself died in a car accident several weeks prior and that her accident was in fact a suicide—she had deliberately crashed her car into a tree. Her pleas to see her husband was to presumably be reunited with him in the afterlife.
    • After being stuck with a needle, a nurse is soon revealed to have HIV. The hospital wants to fire her as a threat to patients and she sues with Lu backing her up. Thanks to Lu's push, the nurse ends up with a very nice settlement. But days later, an irate Lu shows up at her door with the latest check-up showing the nurse now has AIDS. Since it's impossible to go from HIV to full AIDS in such a short time, this means the woman knew she was HIV positive for almost a year, had been treating patients and used the needle stick as an excuse to trick the hospital (and Lu) into a settlement to provide for her family once she was gone.
  • False Rape Accusation: A young girl accuses a pop star of molesting her, but inconsistencies in her story (which is actually not uncommon in a victim of any age, especially a young one), forces her mother to admit that she coerced the girl to lie in the hopes of receiving a large settlement.
  • Family Versus Career: Dana quits to be a full-time mother to the girls she's adopted. Dr. Jackson also resigns to spend more time with his ill wife and their daughters.
  • First-Name Basis: Lu insists on being called her first name, so it really stands out when she rudely—and completely falsely—snaps at her son's girlfriend, "NO ONE calls me Lu!" when the girl addresses her as such.
  • Flanderization: Lu starts out merely having a chip on her shoulder about rich people and being a slight Straw Feminist. Understandable, as she grew up in a poor neighborhood and frequently saw—and still sees in her medical practice—the end results of that poverty, such as violence, drug abuse, teen pregnancies (of which her son is a result), domestic abuse, etc. This rapidly got completely out of control, to the point where EVERY episode was guaranteed a scene of her screaming her head off about the social injustice of the week and the evils of the rich people and/or men perpetuating it.
  • Gender Flip: The shows was noted by at least one person as having a lot of gender-flipped dynamics common on medical shows, especially regarding Peter, since he was the good-looking, motorcycle riding male nurse surrounded by smart, distinguished female doctors instead of the more typical reversal.
    • He's also the nurse boyfriend to his doctor girlfriend, again a reversal of what's usually seen.
    • Also, Andy's husband is the House Husband and the primary caretaker of their two daughters, constantly packing up and moving to follow her military career, and she ends up paying him alimony when they divorce.
      • Andy herself lampshades this trope upon meeting Peter, noting that he's the male nurse while she's the female doctor with the military background.
    • On a negative note, one of Lu's boyfriends is bullied into dumping her by his jealous Rich Bitch of an ex-wife when she threatens to take full custody of their daughter, an ironic reversal of the typical tripe that Lifetime (and TV/film/books in general) portrays.
    • Lu is adamant that Dylan West couldn't know anything about women's health just by virtue of being a male doctor, echoing the discrimination a lot of female physicians have dealt with. Lana herself doesn't realize that he's the new doctor on staff, also a situation any female doctor could identify with.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Lu didn't abort her teenage pregnancy (the result of which is her son Mark) and despite an amniocentesis report that states that her child will have Cri Du Chat syndrome, Lu adamantly refuses to consider an abortion. This is someone who has been well established as a staunch supporter of abortion rights.
  • Heroic BSoD: Lu has this not only after being raped, but it kicks into high gear after of course the grand jury declines to indict her attacker. She has another after her firefighter boyfriend is shot and killed trying to protect her from a vengeful patient.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Several patients, of course. Lana is implied to have been this as well.
  • Hospital Hottie: Practically everyone
  • Hypocrite: With all the discrimination she's undoubtedly faced as a woman and as a Latina, Lu seems downright outraged at the very idea that a man(Dylan) could be a women's health specialist.
  • If I Can't Have You...: Lu and the father of Mark's girlfriend hit it off and begin dating, only to have his Rich Bitch ex-wife file for sole custody of their daughter, trying to spin their relationship as something tawdry and inappropriate. Despite being fully aware that she's only doing this out of jealousy, the guy caves in and breaks up with Lu, knowing that she has the money and power to win the case and not being willing to risk losing his daughter.
  • Interclass Romance: For all her dislike of rich people, Lu hooks up with several wealthy men during the course of the show, ultimately marrying one (Jonas).
  • It's Personal: Dana has to pretty much force herself to go on automatic pilot while performing the rape exam on Lu, clearly having never imagined that she'd have to do something like this for a colleague.
  • Last-Name Basis: Andy consistently addresses everyone this way due to her military background.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Averted with Dana. Having decided to have a child on her own, she struggles to conceive, then miscarries soon after she finally does. She resigns herself to never being able to have a child naturally and to that end, ultimately decides to adopt two girls. . .and never does conceive on her own.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Dylan blames himself for his fiancée's death. First for falling asleep while driving, leading to their accident, then by being unable to save her despite being a physician.
  • Lifetime Movie of the Week: Now in TV series format! With all the clichés (man hate, perpetual victimization and infantilization of women, big leaps in logic, etc.) too!
  • The Lost Lenore: Dylan's backstory includes a fiancee killed in a car accident—caused by him when he fell asleep at the wheel.
  • Making Use of the Twin: This is the first show in which one of the Mowry twins was featured, but not both. Of course, this means Kayla (Tamera) has a twin sister, Keisha (Tia), as seen in "My Sister, My Doctor, Myself". Keisha turns out to be The Ophelia as well.
  • Manly Tears: Peter, of the Single Tear variety when visiting Lu after her rape.
  • Maternity Crisis: Lu goes into labor while trapped in the rubble of a house explosion. To make matters worse, she has to talk Jonas through performing a C-section. Luckily, Dylan arrives to take over.
  • M.D. Envy: Peter does not have this, he's clearly quite happy being a nurse/midwife, to the point where he's downright offended when Kayla suggests he go to medical school, not because she doesn't respect him as a nurse, but because she does.
  • Medical Drama
  • Military Brat: Andy. And given that she joined the Army just like her father, her daughters are as well.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Lu is understandably annoyed that Dr. Jackson didn't consult her about hiring a new partner, but she decides to handle it by being incredibly rude to Andy, who had nothing to do with his decision.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Peter. Nurse, rides a motorcycle, vegetarian, Buddhist, former Peace Corps volunteer, was in a band before going into medicine, heavily implied to be a great lover, etc. Dylan West also. None of Peter's abovementioned qualities, but still a very good looking man.
  • Mistaken for Gay: When Peter's mother drops by for a visit, he's rocked that she talks of how she's "finally accepted" he's gay (her "reasoning" being he's a nurse in Philadelphia who doesn't have a steady girlfriend). The rest of the staff find that hilarious as they know Peter as a ladies' man. He tries time and again to get her to realize he's straight but finally just goes along with it as it makes his mother happy.
  • "No" Means "Yes": While testifying at his rape trial, Lu's assailant freely admits that she told him "no" and "stop" throughout, but insists that she did it in a playful, flirtatious manner, indicating that he thought this trope.
  • The Not-Love Interest:
    • Peter to Lu. Any other show would have Will They or Won't They? tension, but here, they are genuinely just good friends. As well as with Dana. Even though he insists on actually sleeping with her when she asks him to father her child, it's not because of Unresolved Sexual Tension, it's merely because he feels that the natural way to conceive a child is the best. And while she's clearly impressed at his bedroom skills, it never turns into an actual relationship between them.
    • Dylan to Lu. Any other show would translate their antagonism as Belligerent Sexual Tension, but it turns out they are simply two people whose personalities and way of doing things clash. And when things start to improve, it isn't because they're falling in love, just merely finally learning to get along and work together.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Several episodes have the doctors' attempts to help just making things worse.
    • Lu pushes for the investigation into a rash of illness in a poor neighborhood. It turns out to be mold in a huge apartment building which is condemned...meaning everyone there is now homeless.
    • Lu argues against a cop using a taser in a school area because of the risks to kids. The tasers are banned...and the area is soon hit with gunshot wounds and deaths.
    • Dana is annoyed to learn a new patient is the woman who made her life miserable in college as a rich elitist who loved drinking. She's surprised to learn the woman is a kind-hearted figure involved in charities and apologetic for her behavior. She claims she had a vision from God to change her ways. Dana finds out she's actually been affected by a brain tumor altering her behavior and wants to remove it but the woman begs her not to as she's worried about how it can make her that person again. Dana gives a talk on how there's no way a tumor could do that, it was her all along. She does the surgery and comes to see the woman in recovery...and meets an arrogant bitch who insults those around her, wonders why her money has been given away to "a bunch of deadbeats and illegals" and demanding a drink. Dana just stares as she realizes she's saved the woman's life but ruined the good person she was.
    • When a local pharmacist refuses to carry painkillers for fear of being robbed, Lu pushes for him to do so, as many patients in the neighborhood genuinely need them. Sure enough, the store is robbed and the owner murdered. His brother refuses to reopen it, and the episode ends with a woman bringing her son in with an asthma attack because she couldn't get his medication—"The last pharmacy in the neighborhood, and it's gone."
    • Similarly, she urges a school to lift its "no drugs" policy after a little girl almost dies because she wasn't allowed to carry her inhaler with her (the principal points out several instances of children smuggling in illegal drugs in legitimate bottles of aspirin, etc.) By the end of the episode, a boy is brought in suffering an overdose from huffing paint thinner that he hid inside an inhaler.
    • In "Orders", Lu advocates on behalf of a pregnant woman accused of killing her first baby via negligence. (She's The Fundamentalist who doesn't believe in medical treatment). When she appears to insist on medical care for her second baby, Lu successfully argues that she not only deserves to retain custody, but have the charges dropped. However, upon her release from the hospital, the woman reveals that her beliefs have not changed, meaning that her second child is in just as much danger as the first.
  • Older Than They Look: Former Teen Genius Kayla Thornton. A Running Gag is to have people amazed that someone that young-looking is a full-blown doctor.
  • Once per Episode: The majority of episodes started with Lu leading a group of women in discussion of a medical/social/personal issue.
  • The One Guy: In the final season, much to her dismay, Lu's newest partner is a male doctor as opposed to the women she worked with before. (Though it's not just his gender, but the fact that they couldn't stand each other when they worked together years before). He lampshades this when he introduces himself to the equally shocked Lana.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Lu, occasionally. Unfortunately, she never seems to learn to think before she talks:
    • When Dana takes time off to spend with her mother, Lu makes a snide comment about them taking "a Paris shopping trip", only to be coldly informed by Dana that her mother has breast cancer.
    • She's incredibly rude to her son's girlfriend until the girl zings her for hating her for being white rather than for being rich.
    • She's also quite rude to Andy after she's hired, insinuating that she can't handle working with low-income patients, until Andy reacts like she wasn't even listening to her.
    • She lectures Andy about supposedly exploiting her Eastern European nanny/housekeeper. Andy angrily informs her that she is doing no such thing—she's paying the woman even more than the norm and has taken care of the necessary paperwork.
  • Playing Gertrude: Rosa Blasi (Lu) is only eleven years older that the actor who played her son. Slightly justified since she was a teen mom, even though she states that she had him at 16.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: The episode "First Response" was intended to be the first episode of a spin-off series of the same name, featuring, like its parent show, two polar opposite medical professionals—one a doctor, another a paramedic—who also happen to be a Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling pair. While ratings were not bad, it failed to generate enough interest to result in a new show.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Rule One of this show: Dr. Lu Delgado is ALWAYS RIGHT. Even if she's not. And no one should dare question her.
  • Rape as Drama:
    • Lu is raped by one of the surgeons. The final episode of the storyline involves a gathering of women—including the prosecutor in her case—who had been assaulted and whose attackers had gone unpunished for a variety of reasons. It might seem like typical Lifetime tripe, but it's actually a very depressing Truth in Television.
    • In one of the episodes, a teenage girl needs a transplant. When no match could be found, the girl's mother tells the staff there is one possible remaining donor candidate- the girl's father, who had fathered the girl by raping her mother.
    • Also, Part of Lana's backstory is that she is a rape survivor as well, and in an episode she's again raped by a thug that broke into the hospital's hall at random.
    • The trope is used with such ridiculous ease that it brings up terrible messages: "women should pretty much inevitably expect to be raped", "90% of men are rapists", "women don't experience true abuse and trauma unless their genitalia is involved", etc.
    • One of the very first episodes featured a young man coming to the clinic for HIV testing. After some gentle prodding by Lu, he admitted that he had been out drinking late one night and was assaulted by a group of men when walking home. Lu reacts perfectly appropriately, refusing to let him blame himself for being drunk, being out late, and being in a bad neighborhood.
  • Rape Discretion Shot: Lu is offered a ride home by a colleague. The next shot is of her wandering into the ER, falteringly declaring that she's been raped. We never see the assault, only her and his recounting of it to a grand jury.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: An unusual version where we never see the incident in question when Lu and her accused rapist testify before the grand jury. She describes them having a nice evening at a reception to celebrate his appointment as Chief of Surgery (they're both doctors at the same hospital), him offering her a ride home when her car broke down, escorting her to her apartment, kissing her, then refusing to stop even though she repeatedly told him "no". In his version, it's she who kissed him and he insists that she said "no" and "stop" in a playful, flirtatious manner, indicating that she really meant yes. (It's unclear if he's lying or sincerely believes what he's saying)
  • Really Gets Around:
    • When one of Lu's old high school boyfriends shows up, Lana asks her if he was "the first one". Lu sheepishly admits that rather, "he was the only one I didn't do it with."
    • When her son's classmate claims to have been molested by their teacher after she tests positive for an STD, the teacher informs Lu that he's a swinger and as such, makes certain to stay healthy—he doesn't have the STD in question and therefore, is not the girl's abuser.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: A few plots were.
    • The most blatant was the plot of the sixth-season premiere "New Blood": A flood of patients comes in from a train wreck from someone leaving a car on the tracks. Later, a bipolar girl in manic state comes in to tell Lu how she got over a suicidal impulse. Her method: Drive a car onto the tracks and wait for a train. She got over it...but she left the car on the tracks. This is pretty much how the 2005 Glendale train wreck happened (though the perp in real life was a man.)
    • A storyline in which a young girl accuses a pop star of molesting her, only to finally have her mother admit that she coerced her into lying so as to get a huge settlement is clearly based on the Michael Jackson case, which was kicking into high gear at the time.
  • Say Your Prayers: The moment that tells us that Dylan West isn't the Jerkass he's been acting like throughout most of his first episode is when he's seen praying before a surgery.
  • Sexless Marriage: Dr. Jackson confides in Peter that his marriage is this. Peter assumes that it's because she has multiple sclerosis, but he admits it was like this even before.
  • Shout-Out: Andy's daughters are named Jessica and Elizabeth, though they aren't twins.
  • Special Guest: The show occasionally had famous actors or TV personalities making appearances, but not as themselves.
  • Stay in the Kitchen:
    • An Army recruiter has a rather patronizing attitude to a young woman interested in joining, and to Andy herself, until she coldly reminds him that he's not only speaking to a fellow officer, he's speaking to a superior and tells him to shut up.
    • Dr. Dylan West pretends to have this attitude to get a rise out of Lu.
  • Team Mom: Lana, again, also the Only Sane Man, to the point of Magical Negro, given the sage advice and counsel she frequently doles out.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Lu's son is the result of this, and a later episode had him fearing that he'd gotten his girlfriend pregnant.
  • Third-Person Person: Lana frequently referred to herself this way.
  • Tomboyish Name: Andy. Lana calls her "Andrea', assuming that Andy is short for this, but Andy corrects her and informs her that "Andy" is her full name, given by a father who had been either wanting or expecting a boy.
  • Transgender: Subverted. Dana treats a man who turns out to be a woman who is passing herself off as a man. However, this is not because she identifies as one, but because she wanted so badly to be a priest that she changed her name and doctored all identifying documents.
  • Unexpected Positive: When the hospital staff was subjected to drug testing, Peter worried that he might test positive given his occasional pot-smoking. He didn't, but Lana tested positive for cocaine, stunning her as she had long since given up that lifestyle. It turns out the medium used for testing—human hair, because toxic substances can linger in the hair long after a person has last used the drug—could also easily pick up outside substances. Lana lived in a poor neighborhood where drug use was frequent and the cocaine particles in the air had clung to her hair (and it being African-American hair made them even more likely to stick than to hair of a different ethnicity and texture), making her test positive even though she no longer used drugs.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Dana and Dr. Jackson, though it's mostly one-sided on his part. When he asks her "if I wasn't married. . .?", she immediately shuts him down by reminding him that he is. In another episode, when he passes Nick over for a position, Dana outright tells him that he's doing this out of jealousy, and in yet another episode, upon hearing that she's looking for a sperm donor, offers his, er, services.
  • Wham Line: At the end of Lu's rape storyline, Lu hosts a gathering of women who had been assaulted and whose attackers had gone unpunished. Beginning with Lu, they declare their name, their assailant's name, and that he was never punished. Lu is stunned when the final woman to step forward is the prosecutor in her case.
    "My name is Jules Sorenson. I'm an assistant district attorney for the city of Philadelphia. I was raped by a man named Clifford Swann. A professor of mine in law school. And he was never punished."
  • Where da White Women At?: Andy's new boyfriend is African-American. His mother is not pleased when they meet. And he gets killed off.
  • Writer on Board: Lu seems to be a mouthpiece for the Lifetime people's black-and-white view of the interactions between men and women.
  • Written-In Infirmity: Lu's pregnancy is because Rosa Blasi was pregnant in Real Life.
  • You're Just Jealous: Dana flat-out tells Dr. Jackson that the reason he's passed Nick over for a position is, "You're jealous because I'm with him and not with you."


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