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Call the Midwife (US airing)

Call the Midwife BBC PBS women womens issues drama

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#1 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:42 AM

I missed season 1 of this BBC show when it originally aired on PBS. The ads caught my eye, but by the time I saw them (recorded) I had missed the show.  But last week I saw that PBS has just started airing season 2, and season 1 is available to view at their website until April 17, so I decided to try it out.

I have now seen all of season 1 and the beginning of season 2, and I am addicted!  :D

It takes place in east london in the late 1950s, and is based on the memoirs of a real nurse.  I follows the lives of several nurses and nuns who work as midwives in a poor and working class neighborhood, as they share in the struggles, joys, and tragedies of the families they help.  As such, the show is a glimpse into british working class life in the late 50s, almost completely from women's perspectives.

And there is political relevance today, especially for the US.  The National Health Service is frequently mentioned, as it was new at the time, and they discuss the things it made possible that were not possible just a few years before.  

The nuns are amazing.  They are open minded, non-critical, non-judgmental, and they unconditionally care for everyone they can help.  They approve of whatever people must do to survive, or that can make their lives just a little bit better.  As midwives among a baby boom and poverty, one even observes that the arduous birthrate will continue "until they invent a miracle elixir to make it all stop".  In other words, they are not  opposed to birth control! :)

It is such a refreshing change from the hypocritical extremes of religion that seem to dominate our news, and a reminder that there is so much more variety than the extremist nonsense that makes it to the news.


But the heart of the show is the characters, the women and their friendships, their joys and sorrows.  I have officially fallen in love with all of the main characters!  :D  But I think my favorites are Chummy, Peter the Police Constable, and Sister Monica Joan.  Sister Monica Joan is so funny, no-one knows whether she is senile or just eccentric, so she knows she can get away with anything!  :howling:


I highly recommend this show.   It is funny, sad, moving, touching, and powerful.  It has it's share of tragedies, and is sometimes grim, but ultimately the human spirit (and british sensibilities) survive through it all.

If you are in the US, the PBS website is streaming season 1 until April 17, plus what has aired so far of season 2.  Give it a try.  :)

Here is the streaming link at PBS.  Alternately, you might find the season 1 DVD in a library.  

SFG

Edited to add DVD links, if anyone wishes to purchase them.  
The DVDs are for sale in America, Canada, and England.  :)

Edited by Sci-Fi Girl, 11 April 2013 - 10:09 PM.

"A song is like a picture of a bird in flight; the bird was moving before the picture was taken, and no doubt continued after."   - Pete Seeger

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#2 Nonny

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:11 AM

Thanks!  I meant to learn how to stream so I could watch Call the Midwife on the tv instead of the laptop, but somehow haven't yet.  I'll get on it.  I checked the library, will ask them to acquire S1 next time I'm there.  I love Miranda Hart, and I mean to read her book.  Another thing I have to raise to Priority One.    :)
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#3 RJDiogenes

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 06:58 PM

I never heard of this show.  I might take a look at it.  I was the manager of a Midwifery service for about fourteen years.  :lol:
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#4 sierraleone

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 03:29 PM

I'd like to try this. I wonder what my viewing options are in Canada.
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#5 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 10:03 PM

^ I've no idea, does the PBS streaming link in my first post work for you?  And I assume PBS is not broadcast in Canada?  (That sounds like it should be obvious, but what do I know, LOL! :hehe:  )

Otherwise, do you have stations that normally provide BBC programming?  Or netflix, or DVDs in a library?

(Come to think of it, I should put some DVD links in the OP in case anyone is interested.  It's not free, but it's an option.)

SFG
"A song is like a picture of a bird in flight; the bird was moving before the picture was taken, and no doubt continued after."   - Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger's life was a picture of an idea in flight, and the idea will continue long after.  As long as there are people with goodness and courage in their hearts, the idea will continue forever.

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Check out my music threads:

Beautiful Music: Folk, Acoustic, Traditional, and World

A Celebration of Song Lyrics, New and Old: Just the poetry  (to include those with different musical tastes than me)

When Sci Fi Actors Sing

#6 Themis

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:18 PM

I love this show, but it's nostalgic for me.  My father had an engineering job in England in 1957-8 when I was all of 11.  I wasn't aware of the poverty in east London, but the clothing, hairstyles, cultural references and pop music are my memories of living in England in those years.  Plus everything Sci-Fi Girl said.  Top quality show.  It is about midwives, so lots of discussion and simulation of delivering babies... don't let it put you off.  And the nurses are involved in other medical and social issues.
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#7 sierraleone

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 05:47 PM

View PostSci-Fi Girl, on 11 April 2013 - 10:03 PM, said:

^ I've no idea, does the PBS streaming link in my first post work for you?

Nope

Quote

And I assume PBS is not broadcast in Canada?  (That sounds like it should be obvious, but what do I know, LOL! :hehe:  )

Otherwise, do you have stations that normally provide BBC programming?  Or netflix, or DVDs in a library?

(Come to think of it, I should put some DVD links in the OP in case anyone is interested.  It's not free, but it's an option.)

SFG

I don't think so, but I don't know everything either ;) We probably have stations that air PBS material/programming.

We certainly have stations that provide BBC programming. I haven't yet subscribed to netflix, haven't ever gotten around to it. Certainly have a library, I haven't been there in quite a while, so that may be an option too.
Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#8 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 01:29 PM

Good for Jenny for standing up to that surgeon!  And it looks like Sister Bernadette is in for some soul searching.


I recently saw Logan's Run, so it's interesting seeing Jenny Agutter here as Sister Julienne.  :)


Remember, only 2 days left to watch season 1 at pbs.org!

SFG
"A song is like a picture of a bird in flight; the bird was moving before the picture was taken, and no doubt continued after."   - Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger's life was a picture of an idea in flight, and the idea will continue long after.  As long as there are people with goodness and courage in their hearts, the idea will continue forever.

Posted Image   Posted Image


Check out my music threads:

Beautiful Music: Folk, Acoustic, Traditional, and World

A Celebration of Song Lyrics, New and Old: Just the poetry  (to include those with different musical tastes than me)

When Sci Fi Actors Sing

#9 Themis

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 10:40 PM

Tonight's ep was strong stuff.  It's 1958, the pill was in the future, abortion was illegal and a poor woman expecting her 8th - or was it 9th - child was determined to end the pregnancy.  Of course there were other forms of birth control that shouldn't have been all that expensive... those weren't mentioned.  As I watched, I kept thinking "this is what Republican lawmakers want to return us to."   It's a British series so the ep wasn't aimed at US politics - but it could have been.
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#10 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 12:50 AM

I'm catching up on season 3 this week.  Episode 4 had me absolutely bawling tonight.  I don't even know how long it's been since a television show affected me that much, but they tied so many different emotions up together, and combined them ... just ... oh goodness.  I don't have any more words.





"You just keep living ... until you are alive again."





SFG

Edited by Sci-Fi Girl, 15 June 2014 - 01:25 AM.

"A song is like a picture of a bird in flight; the bird was moving before the picture was taken, and no doubt continued after."   - Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger's life was a picture of an idea in flight, and the idea will continue long after.  As long as there are people with goodness and courage in their hearts, the idea will continue forever.

Posted Image   Posted Image


Check out my music threads:

Beautiful Music: Folk, Acoustic, Traditional, and World

A Celebration of Song Lyrics, New and Old: Just the poetry  (to include those with different musical tastes than me)

When Sci Fi Actors Sing

#11 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 03:21 AM

To elaborate.  

This was not a punch to the gut, or anything like that.  I am used to shock factor character tragedies, and to scenes that blatantly say "let's lay on the emotions now and make the viewer sad". This was nothing like that.

This was a gradual buildup, all the while breaking down every mental and emotional barrier between this story and reality.  There is so much fundamental human truth in this series that it is simply not fiction to me (it wouldn't be even if the characters were fictional, which they're not).  

And in this groundwork of absolute human truths, they rolled so many emotions together at once, good and bad, that you could have knocked me over with a feather.

SFG

Edited by Sci-Fi Girl, 15 June 2014 - 03:34 AM.

"A song is like a picture of a bird in flight; the bird was moving before the picture was taken, and no doubt continued after."   - Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger's life was a picture of an idea in flight, and the idea will continue long after.  As long as there are people with goodness and courage in their hearts, the idea will continue forever.

Posted Image   Posted Image


Check out my music threads:

Beautiful Music: Folk, Acoustic, Traditional, and World

A Celebration of Song Lyrics, New and Old: Just the poetry  (to include those with different musical tastes than me)

When Sci Fi Actors Sing

#12 Themis

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 10:50 AM

What was the basic story line of this episode that affected you so much?
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#13 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 12:39 AM

Ok, but these are some major spoilers for the episode (ep 3.4), so I'm putting it in spoiler tags. I'll still try not to mention which character is most affected though.

I should say that half of my tears were happy tears, combined with sad, and everything else at the same time.  :humble:

Spoiler

Sorry I don't know how to summarize it briefly.  ;)

SFG

Edited by Sci-Fi Girl, 16 June 2014 - 12:48 AM.

"A song is like a picture of a bird in flight; the bird was moving before the picture was taken, and no doubt continued after."   - Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger's life was a picture of an idea in flight, and the idea will continue long after.  As long as there are people with goodness and courage in their hearts, the idea will continue forever.

Posted Image   Posted Image


Check out my music threads:

Beautiful Music: Folk, Acoustic, Traditional, and World

A Celebration of Song Lyrics, New and Old: Just the poetry  (to include those with different musical tastes than me)

When Sci Fi Actors Sing

#14 Chakoteya

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 03:12 PM

Glad you are enjoying it.
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#15 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 04:17 PM

^ Every minute of it!  :love:

And, that's awesome!  :cool:

SFG
"A song is like a picture of a bird in flight; the bird was moving before the picture was taken, and no doubt continued after."   - Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger's life was a picture of an idea in flight, and the idea will continue long after.  As long as there are people with goodness and courage in their hearts, the idea will continue forever.

Posted Image   Posted Image


Check out my music threads:

Beautiful Music: Folk, Acoustic, Traditional, and World

A Celebration of Song Lyrics, New and Old: Just the poetry  (to include those with different musical tastes than me)

When Sci Fi Actors Sing

#16 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 01:25 PM

I don't know the airing schedule in England, but PBS is showing the 2014 Christmas special tonight.  :cool:

Merry Christmas! :D :santa:

SFG
"A song is like a picture of a bird in flight; the bird was moving before the picture was taken, and no doubt continued after."   - Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger's life was a picture of an idea in flight, and the idea will continue long after.  As long as there are people with goodness and courage in their hearts, the idea will continue forever.

Posted Image   Posted Image


Check out my music threads:

Beautiful Music: Folk, Acoustic, Traditional, and World

A Celebration of Song Lyrics, New and Old: Just the poetry  (to include those with different musical tastes than me)

When Sci Fi Actors Sing

#17 M.E.

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 11:33 AM

I just finished watching the first episode.

25 children! :freakoutnonny:

#18 Themis

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 11:44 AM

Thanks for the reminder - for some reason my DVR hadn't picked up the fact that it was on.  Another quality show.
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#19 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 28 December 2014 - 11:29 PM

View PostM.E., on 26 December 2014 - 11:33 AM, said:

I just finished watching the first episode.

25 children! :freakoutnonny:

Oh I'm so glad you're watching it!  :) I think you are going to love it!  :love:

SFG :D

Edited by Sci-Fi Girl, 28 December 2014 - 11:30 PM.

"A song is like a picture of a bird in flight; the bird was moving before the picture was taken, and no doubt continued after."   - Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger's life was a picture of an idea in flight, and the idea will continue long after.  As long as there are people with goodness and courage in their hearts, the idea will continue forever.

Posted Image   Posted Image


Check out my music threads:

Beautiful Music: Folk, Acoustic, Traditional, and World

A Celebration of Song Lyrics, New and Old: Just the poetry  (to include those with different musical tastes than me)

When Sci Fi Actors Sing

#20 M.E.

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Posted 29 December 2014 - 10:06 AM

I just finished the binge, :D

What an emotional show!  I don't know how many tissues I went through but, I had to empty the little trash can beside my desk twice, :lol:''

I thought the Christmas Special wrapped the series up nicely but, at the end they announced that there will be a fourth season. YAY. :D



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