"The Good Karma Hospital," streaming Monday on Acorn TV • Three stars (out of four)
A young doctor, sad from a breakup and under pressure at a big-city hospital, impulsively packs up and moves to a rural area where she hopes she can do good.
Been there, right?
But "The Good Karma Hospital," arriving on Brit-centric streaming service Acorn TV on Monday, is a magical combination of familiar and exotically foreign.
Amrita Acharia stars as Dr. Ruby Walker, who grew up in England with her British mother and never knew her father, who was from Mumbai, India. But she heads for a hospital in south India not because she wants to get in touch with her roots but because she's desperate for a fresh start.
Based on a glossy brochure, she thinks she's arriving at a modern institution. Instead, she winds up in a quirky public hospital where she's called on to do everything, immediately, while trying to adjust to village life and get to know oddball coworkers. Think "Hart of Dixie" meets "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."
Everything about "The Good Karma Hospital" is by the numbers. Ruby has a tough, independent chief (Amanda Redman as Dr Lydia Fonseca), who sees "something worth discovering" in her. Her supervisor (James Floyd as handsome and snippy Dr. Gabriel Varma) is instantly dismissive and also, of course, a potential love interest.
Cases amusing or deeply tragic immediately test both her medical skills and her knowledge of Indian local culture, both lacking.
But as trite as it might seem in outline, The Good Karma Hospital" won me over quickly, and I flew through all six episodes in an evening.
Acharia, whom "Game of Thrones" fans probably won't recognize as Dothraki handmaid Irri ("It is known"), is both charming and completely believable.
Fonseca, who starred in the long-running BBC detective drama "New Tricks," makes Lydia both heroic, for keeping the hospital running, and bluntly human. Rounding out the core cast are the local bar owner (Neil Morrissey) and Indian father and son Nair (Darshan Jariwala and Sagar Radia).
The six-episode season also features a prominent guest star whose voice you'll surely know, if not immediately her face. Maggie Smart, a tourist with joyful plans for the rest of her life, is played by Phyllis Logan, Mrs. Hughes on "Downton Abbey."
I'm saving the best for last, though, and that is the place itself. Chaotic, urban India is all too familiar to "Amazing Race" fans, but this is coastal India, with water so blue you'll want to book a ticket immediately. Yes, there is scary traffic, but there are also bars on the beach and elephants at weddings.
Sadly, "The Good Karma Hospital" wasn't actually shot in England. The gorgeous location is Sri Lanka, but that doesn't make feasting your eyes on it any less enjoyable.
In fact, I enjoyed everything about "The Good Karma Hospital," a drama you'll remember long after you finish watching it.