Call the Midwife: Season 1
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A moving, intimate, funny and, above all, true-to-life look at the colorful stories of midwifery and families in East London in the Fifties, based on the best-selling memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth. When Jenny Lee first arrives in Poplar, she knows nothing about hardship, poverty or indeed, life itself. Attached to an order of nursing nuns at Nonnatus House, Jenny is part of a team of midwives who visit expectant mothers, providing the poorest women with the best possible care. Here, the streets teem with children and with just one eight-bed maternity ward to serve the whole district; most deliveries take place at home. Following Jenny as she travels through the streets to meet her patients - like Conchita, who is on her 25th pregnancy and Mary, a prostitute and pregnant at just 15 - Call the Midwife offers a fascinating insight into a community on the brink of huge social change.]]>
Jenny is hardy judgmental, but the depth of poverty permeating London's East End provides a wake-up call (suffice to say, gynecological care has come a long way since the 1950s). To be effective, though, she must learn to put her preconceptions aside about teenage prostitutes, unwed mothers, squalid living conditions, and inappropriate relationships. Her upper-class colleague, Camilla "Chummy" Cholomondley-Browne (Miranda Hart, quite affecting), seems like she'd be even deeper out of her depth, but looks can be deceiving--even if Chummy finds it harder to handle the bikes the nurses use to cycle between appointments. Written by Cranford's Heidi Thomas and narrated by Vanessa Redgrave, the show has proven to be as much of a favorite among PBS viewers as ITV's Downton Abbey, to which it's garnered a few comparisons, possibly due to the period setting, even if there's a greater emphasis on women's issues. If anything, the postwar milieu brings the films of Terence Davies and Mike Leigh to mind, particularly Leigh's Vera Drake, in which Imelda Staunton provided off-the-books care to desperate mothers. Though Worth was involved with the spectacularly successful first season, she passed away two weeks before filming began. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Top Customer Reviews
The first episode was wonderful and the second even better. The talents of Jenny Agutter, the hilarious Miranda Hart, Pam Ferris and the newcomer with the face of an angel Jessica Raine are utilized to the utmost. It is quite unbelievable at times how far we have come in 55 years when you see the poverty, and yet it never seems to be a downer.
I can absolutely recommend purchasing the DVDs as this is one series you will watch again and again. The Beeb has commissioned a second season including a Christmas special (I love the Brits for this!) so hang onto your hats for more amazing stories next year!
Both the DVD and Blu-ray release will contain the six episodes of Season One with a total running time just shy of six hours. The extras included are cast and crew interviews.
"Call The Midwife" is episodic by nature. Within each episode, the nurses will contend with various patients (both within the eight bed clinic and the community itself). The conditions are abhorrent and the poverty is apparent, but the young women are dedicated to their profession.Read more ›
Set in the late 1950's in the lower middle class & impoverished areas of London's East End, this drama will bring out every possible human emotion.
Backed up by lush Perry Como ballads and joyous melodies, this series will make you merry, break your heart, & enliven your every sense!
Drama, science, romance, crime, technology - it has it all!
I put this just barely ABOVE Downton Abby.
One CAVEAT: Might not be a good choice for women who have not borne their children, yet.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've watched through episode 5 and have been reading the book, too, and love both. The fact that this is a true story is fascinating to me. Jenny Lee was an amazing woman. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Ann D. Farmer
I watch this on public TV. I think I watched the first episode free with Amazon Prime because I missed it on TV.Published 7 days ago by Charles J Cowie
Each episode is a tonic for my soul. One particular scene in episode 3 (Winnie and Ted and their baby) is to me the most beautiful scene that I have ever seen on any screen any... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Eric Jakobsson
Another Masterpiece. Do not miss the memoirs of a real English midwife.Published 10 days ago by Louisiana Love