The Doctor Quinn Way
Every young girl with access to daytime television* has at one point in her tender years aspired to be the Medicine Woman herself. Doctor Mike is such a positive role model for the ladies, isn't she? Look at her with her gutsy ways and Strong Moral Fiber (yes, yes, I am allowing the Americanism here, seeing as it's Dr Quinn) triumphing in a gloriously politically correct manner over all adversity, rewriting history itself. What a woman.
However, I am a little troubled that her morally enriching adventures appear to be consigned now to sporadic appearances on regional television and the occasional feature length dramas on Channel Five, condemning today's youth to a Medicine Woman free zone. What hope have they of finding another such role model in our callous, ceramically straightened hair'd 21st century society? So I have provided here a fully comprehensive guide to living the Doctor Mike way of life, for the sake of the children.
- Be a woman. This helps a lot. If your gender happens to be against you on this one, find another reason why you can feel oppressed and victimized, e.g. your race, your political views, your irrational love of the colour yellow (which is, apparently, the colour of oppression, as well as coming in some nasty shades) etc. etc. Whatever you like. What's important is you have an angle. You'll need it for the impassioned speeches (see no.9).
- As a woman, exercise your right to go completely alone into an extremely male dominated chauvinistic environment, where the men don't get much female company. Think of it as the 19th century version of a woman on her own in a very very sleazy club. However, fear not, because solely based on your truly exemplary moral and freethinking ideals you will not get hassled/raped/otherwise bothered, and you will, of course, end up being a pillar of the community.
- Find some orphan children to adopt, preferably outcasts from society. It doesn't matter how ugly/stupid they are, under your benign and liberal care they will flourish and grow up to become fine upstanding young men and women. However it is important to note that only the girls may become doctors. If you're a male Quinnette, you can only become a decent farmer or journalist.
- Fake hair is good. Especially if it has lots of curls. Men with fake flowing perms are also good, especially if they have a leather jacket with tassels on to go with it. Mmm, sexy. The exception to this is no.8.
- Wear more make-up than anybody else, even the town whore. If at all possible, it should also be a style of make-up that is completely anachronistic. Yes, waterproof mascara is available to you out on the prairie in the 19th century, because, well, you're already defying so many aspects of history that a few more can't really hurt, as long as they make you look good.
- As far as clothing goes, this should stay true to the period, apart from the fact that you have a wardrobe that has an entire claim shanty to itself. I know you're bringing up three orphan children, saving the Indians and running a surgery on very little money, but it is important that you have a different dress every day. These clothes will only get torn and dirty if you are in the pursuit of the Greater Good.
- Pivotal moments in your life should come in slow motion, preferably with some heart rending orchestral music. These bits are easy to spot because there will probably be a deathbed nearby, or you will have just rushed in gasping 'what is it?' or there will be a small child, or in fact all three of the above.
- Beware of men with Fake Handlebar Moustaches. The FHM is a symbol of Conservatism and Oppression and Bad Things. Men who have FHM must be conquered by the Impassioned Speech (see no.9).
- The Impassioned Speech. This is one of the most important parts of the Doctor Quinn Way of Life. Obviously, the aim of the speech will change every time it is used, but the most important point to get across is that you are Morally Correct In Every 20th Century Way, and everyone must bow to your anachronistic views and fashion sense, despite living in an entirely different period of history. For the longer speeches, pointing out that you are a woman also helps. And looking earnest is very important, especially in your close-ups.
- Finally, the Tear In Eye is the jewel in the Doctor Quinn crown, especially if your eyes are two different colours. This means that not only can you vary the level of moisture depending on the nature of the situation, but you can also introduce variety in the colour symbolism. For example, if you find out you are pregnant, it might be a misty green-eyed moment, symbolising the joy and springtime renewal of life, but small innocent child dying of disease is definitely a compassionate blue eye swimming with tears sort of occasion. (Some completely anachronistic contact lenses are of course available to you if you need some help with this one.)
*As well as some of the boys, but they probably won't admit to it.