Friday, July 01, 2016

My thoughts on Call the Midwife, season 1

Call the Midwife (2012)
Series 1 = 6 episodes

Jenny Lee = Jessica Raine
Trixie Franklin = Helen George
Cynthia Miller = Bryony Hannah
Chummy (Camilla Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Browne) = Miranda Hart
Sister Julienne = Jenny Agutter
Sister Monica Joan = Judy Parfitt
Sister Evangelina = Pam Ferris
Sister Bernadette (aka Shelagh) = Laura Main
Dr. Patrick Turner = Stephen McGann
Timothy Turner = Max Macmillan
PC Peter Noakes = Ben Caplan
Fred Buckle = Cliff Parisi

I love, love, love Call the Midwife. The way some people gush on and on about Downton Abbey is how I feel about this show. I just truly LOVE and ADORE it. The first series opens in 1957.

Episode one introduces us to Jenny Lee a nurse and midwife newly assigned to Nonnatus House, a nursing convent in East London. The first person she meets is Sister Monica Joan, the eldest and most eccentric resident at Nonnatus House. She's no longer an active midwife. But she has plenty of stories to tell. And some of them even make sense. Jenny meets most of the others as well: Trixie, Cynthia, Sister Julienne, Sister Evangelina, Sister Bernadette. Viewers meet Conchita Warren and her family. She is about to have her twenty-fifth child!!! She doesn't speak a word of English, her husband doesn't speak a word of Spanish.

Episode two introduces us to Chummy. Chummy just may be one of my FAVORITE, FAVORITE characters. When she arrives, she has some difficulties to say the least. She "barely" passed her test and still has some studying to do before feeling confident to work (deliver) on her own. She does NOT know how to ride a bicycle, and bicycles are how all the midwives get around the district. It's a must, but, it won't come easy! Also she has to sew her own uniforms since the largest size doesn't fit her. (She's VERY tall.) On one of her learning to ride excursions she literally runs into PC Peter Noakes, and, with a little help from Sister Evangelina (either in this episode or the next?) she finds herself with a boyfriend! Meanwhile, Jenny's case has her involved with a teen prostitute who desperately wants to keep her baby.

Episode three, Jenny's case is a NURSING one. She tends the leg wounds of an elderly soldier named Joe. This is another eye-opener for Jenny who still knows so little about poverty. Meanwhile, Trixie and Cynthia have a very interesting midwife case! I love the husband in this one. His reaction to the 'surprise' is so sweet.

Episode four, this episode may be the most DRAMATIC so far. A newborn baby--that Jenny delivered--is KIDNAPPED. Cynthia's case is equally dramatic in many ways. I think it provides a real clue into her character as well....

Episode five is a good, strong episode. Chummy and Peter's romance continues. He wants her to meet his mother. And she, I believe, sews a special dress for the occasion. But Fred's big scheme to get rich from raising a pig for bacon may just interfere. His pig is pregnant... And the midwives may just have to get involved. I just realized I haven't mentioned Fred yet. He's a HOOT and then some. He always has one scheme or another--whether raising pigs or quail or selling toffee apples--but technically he is the convent's handyman. Peggy is the cleaning woman at the convent. Her brother has cancer...and in seeking to nurse him, Jenny realizes that Peggy and her brother are more than brother and sister.

Episode six focuses on Sister Monica Joan...and her mental health. (She ends up on trial for theft). But Chummy also gets a lot of time in this episode. Her MOTHER comes to visit. And her mother is a CHARACTER and then some. Peter does not meet her mother's approval, and, so her romance is threatened. But Chummy's case may just inspire her to BE REALLY, REALLY, REALLY brave. This episode ends the season really WELL. (Chummy's case is super-super-dramatic. Delivering a set of triplets (when only one was expected!!!) in an apartment with no electricity at the moment.)

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Joy Weese Moll said...

I really enjoy this series, too. The great music is a bonus!

Leany Girolamo said...

It's a wonderful TV series. I've been following it for three years and the feel was still there with the latest season.