Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day One Hundred and Forty-five - Call the Midwife: Season 1, Episode 2, "Some bitterness, some joy."

With this second episode of Call the Midwife, I find myself enjoying the series more and more. While everyone else is gaga for Downton Abbey, I find the more down to earth problems of East End, London to be much more relevant and dramatic.

I'm sure it helps that babies are being born every episode, as those are always tearjerker affairs whether miraculous or tragic, but still... great stuff.

This entry into the series has several interesting plots and subplots, but I think I was most attracted by the addition of upper class midwife (and a bit of a "longshanks"), Camilla Fortescue-Cholmeley-Browne, who goes by the nickname of "Chummy."

From what I can gather, reading about the series here and there, she's kind of the darling of the show to most folks and it's very easy to see why here. Her manner is always optimistic and kind, she never lets her worries get her down, and she always puts her patients first... even excusing herself so they don't see her nerves showing before a difficult procedure during the latter half of the episode.

Yes, Chummy is a bit of a peculiarity as her manner is more the typically quaint attitude we've come to expect of the kind, overly friendly royals, but through the course of the episode, like Jenny Lee in the one previous, she wins over pretty much everyone.

Including me.

Sadly, not all is so bright and happy though, as Jenny Lee's storyline for the duration is her relationship with a former child prostitute who is pregnant. Much of the episode follows Jenny Lee's successful attempts to get the girl further and further away from her abusers with the help of an activist preacher who runs a home for troubled girls.

Just when you think everything is alright, though, the hard truths are told and the girl cannot keep her new baby, who is taken to be adopted and never seen by her natural mother again. It's a difficult scene to watch, but an honest token of the time.

I love how the episode contrasts both the good and the bad of the NHS and its policies... helping women who could only previously suffer the tragedy of stillborn children get caesarians (and healthy babies) free of charge while offering the other hand which takes a newborn from an unfit mother.

Honestly, the only issue I have is that the pimps don't get their comeuppance. At the very least, I wanted the firebrand preacher to take his fists to the girl's stalker. Grr, I'm mad even thinking about it.

Call the Midwife is definitely worth the watch, so I heartily recommend adding it to your queue if you haven't done so already. Much better than the upstairs/downstairs twaddle of DA, even if it does seem like it's going to be conveniently episodic and only mildly concerned with it's characters' personal arcs.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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