Call the Midwife

I’ve been raving about BBC and PBS’s Call the Midwife to anyone within listening distance the past few weeks. As a historical drama, it’s spot on. The texture of the show and its attention to detail is astounding. The way Lynn Redgrave’s voice over blends a narrative of love, hope, and triumph in the face of the real tragedies of everyday life is profound. The series functions as memoir (unsurprising given that it’s based on Jennifer Worth’s series of memoirs about her time as a district midwife), and thus occupies a space of nostalgia, but without turning away from too many of the realities of 1950s London. It’s one of a slate of recent BBC shows looking back at the post war generation: White Heat and the elegant thriller The Hour both focus on the 1950s and 60s. In some ways, these shows are a response to the popularity of AMC’s Mad Men, but all three shows are looking back as a means of looking forward. Below is a wonderful snippet of an interview with Jennifer Worth. Her joy in the work she did is palpable.

 

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