Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Call The Midwife, Season 1 - Some Quick Thoughts

My wife & I recently watched the first season of Call The Midwife at our house. It's six one hour episodes are relatively compelling.

Call the Midwife is a BBC original period drama...

...Time out...

I feel like recently any time anyone says something about BBC TV series, they feel the need to compare it to Downton Abbey. I am not going to compare it at all to Downton Abbey...my wife and I have watched a handful of BBC series over the years, and every one does not need comparison to Downton

...Time in....

...Call The Midwife takes place in the east end of London following a group of nurses and nuns at Nonnatus House, a nursing convent. It is based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth.

The show is kind of girly. I respect these characters for the incredible work they were expected to do as true community nurses, riding their bikes across town delivering babies in people's homes. It's fascinating the think about and some scenes in the first season are simply striking and emotional.

Yet, I say it's girly, not because nursing is girly, or child birth is girly, but because the show predominatly features young single woman who swoon over boys, figure out how to handle tough real world issues, and deal with their mothers.

For that reason, my wife probably (definitely) enjoyed it more than I did. She's a mom, who recently has had children herself. She could put herself in the shoes of these woman much faster than I could. Plus, she liked the swooning female moments (such as when they're sitting playing monopoly together talking about boys).

Jessica Raine as Nurse Jenny Lee does a fascinating job. As a central character, her role is unique because while she is central in many scenes, she is often an observer instead of the center of the action. Perhaps this comes from it's memoir roots, where she might be telling what she saw, not just what she did.

Yet, in terms of performances the true gem is Miranda Hart as "Chummy" the large uncoordinated nurse who arrives in the second episode and who's love story, mother issues,and inspiring nursing really makes the show compelling.

I always appreciate a TV show with good characters, interesting stories, and some unique glimmers into the world. And like many great shows, this one helps us see how much things have changed in just over a half century, but how some other things have also really remained the same. 


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