After reading/listening to Call the Midwife on audio, I put off watching the show, as I knew that I would be hooked and want to binge watch. That doesn’t really bode well for me during the school year, so I put it off until the summer. And I am so glad that I finally took the time to watch the series.
The show, while some of it runs extremely close to the books by Jennifer Worth, takes on a life of its own and I have become highly attached to the characters. Over the five seasons that are currently available on Netflix, not one of them stands out above the others. The reason for that is that they are all amazing. Remarkable. Undeniably one of the best shows I have ever watched. Ever. And I mean that about every episode!
The show takes place in the East End of London in the 1950’s. Having just come out of World War II, the area has yet to rebound, as it historically was, and continues in the series, to be one of London’s poorer neighborhoods. When a new episode begins, you know several things:
- You will meet people who will do anything to make their lives better.
- Most people that you meet have a long history and a lot of family in the East End.
- The Nuns and Midwives of Nonnatus House will do everything in their power to help those in need.
What you don’t know when you begin, is that you will encounter the truth of the era, see people living in poor conditions with no bathrooms, no running water, but with homes as clean as they can get them, and watch as the Sisters and Midwives work through the squalor to bring babies into the world and help those who are desperately sick.
In pretty much every episode you will also find yourself faced with a controversial issue, from a young nun who is questioning her call to God, women who are shamed for working outside the home, abortion, neglected children, stillbirths, thalidomide babies, racism, cancer, TB and with all of this, in every single episode, you will find some happiness. Some reason to smile.
These nuns and midwives work and live together, not always in perfect harmony, but always in a way that supports their patients throughout every aspect of their lives. And it is so well acted and costumed that it takes you straight to the East End with every episode you watch.
From the history lessons, the quiet rise of feminism and women’s rights to work, to the life and death struggles and the advances in modern life due to medical advances, this, in my opinion, it is the best show on television.
I highly recommend it!
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