Monday, September 16, 2013

Day Two Hundred and Fifty-nine - Call the Midwife: Season 1, Episode 5, "Love Is."

It's been yet another month since I watched any Call the Midwife, so I felt it was about time... especially since it seems that Season 2 just hit the Instant Stream and I'm going to have to catch up on those so my mother and I can trade notes.

A bit of a difficult one to watch, this one was, as Jenny Lee is once again confronted with a situation almost too hard to bear... this time with a middle-aged brother and sister whose relationship is too close for comfort.

Peggy, the cleaning lady at the Nonnatus House, grew up in the workhouses of near-myth... horrible, Dickensian conditions that separated her from her brother. When they finally found each other again in adulthood, the two were much changed and only able to find solace in one another. This fact at first repels Jenny Lee, but over time and witnessing both the declining health of the cancer-ridden Frank and the true warmth that both Frank and Peggy have for each other, at least comes to a certain acceptance.

The main plot, at the very least, serves as a nice contrast to Jenny Lee's own love woes as she's actively courted by Jimmy despite receiving a phone call from her mysterious past suitor who left her heartbroken. It's a bit difficult to be sympathetic to Jenny Lee's personal problems as she seems far to selfish and self-righteous when it comes to her love life, a bit of a tragic figure of her own making. Still, her personal drama is entertaining, if not depressing.

The not quite skinny-dipping party is a little fun as they're all trespassing in their slips and underwear and boxers, risque (and somewhat criminal) for PBS, but an interesting look at the dating rituals of the age... especially in comparison to nowadays. It's only a bit of a downer when Jenny Lee has an asthma fit after spurning Jimmy yet again.

As always, there's more fun to be found in Chummy's courtship with PC Noakes as she spends pretty much the entire episode fretting over meeting the constable's mother. While it does feel like it's dragging on a bit, it's still cute to see her blossom over the course of the season. Of course, having been inadvertently spoiled already as to their fate, I'm a bit underwhelmed and just want it to get over with, it's still good times in comparison to Jenny Lee.

I think the only subplot that really annoyed me was Fred's sow and her birthing. If I want livestock drama, I'll watch Silver Spoon, thank you very much. Sadly, it's not on Netflix or I would.

Call the Midwife is still the quality series it started off as, even if this particular episode isn't one of the strongest. It always challenges preconceptions and manages to surprise, both in its tragedies and its delights.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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