Betty Duffy

(Amateur)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I am Weeping...

Weeping, I tell you. I have just watched the first three episodes of Call the Midwife on PBS. It is phenomenal. Better than Downton Abby, if you like stories about miracles, about the heartbreak and wonder if bringing new life into the world.

Call the Midwife takes place in the fifties, in impoverished East London, where a group of Anglican Sisters and trained nurses deliver babies and assist the elderly who are dying in sometimes terrible conditions. In one episode, a Spanish wife who speaks no English delivers her 24th child with her English husband who speaks no Spanish, and yes, it's a love story, not a tragedy.

A young prostitute, fleeing a forced abortion, seeks refuge with the sisters, and is placed in a home for unwed mothers and their babies so that she can begin a new life. Every episode is a testimony to the transformative power of love--sounds like a cliche, I know. But it provides wonderful insight into a lost world where sterilization and abortion are not the "go to" answers for the messiness of life.

There's so much more to say...just watch.




Watch Episode 1 on PBS. See more from Call the Midwife.

14 comments:

Colette said...

Read the books! More stories and it's much more vivid, if you can believe it.

Peter and Nancy said...

Thanks for the recommendation -- it sounds wonderful! And thanks for letting me know it's based on books, Colette. How did I not know about this??
Nancy

Colette said...

They're nostalgic in an almost perfect way. I wish I could explain it better.

TheReluctantWidow said...

Oh yay! I need something to watch these days that's interesting though I did just discover the show "Kingdom" on Netflix. It stars Stephen Fry. I love how the Brits can make even a drama funny with their quirky and human characters.

Misha Leigh. said...

I'm wondering if I can watch them with my 11 yr old daughter. You're the second person to mention this show today. Thank you!

BettyDuffy said...

Misha Leigh,
There is a warning about mature content before the show. There are depictions of women in labor (and they never have anesthetic so there's some considerable discomfort there). And in some cases babies are conceived out of wedlock, in adultery, or in degrading circumstances. Conception is not shown, but it's always a part of the back-story. Episode II has several scenes inside a brothel before the teen-mother leaves it. All of that said--it's not sexually graphic or even physically graphic during the labor scenes.

I'd say, if your daughter has a mature understanding of sexuality, and you're willing to discuss with her some troubling things, there would be much benefit in watching the show with a blossoming young woman. There are a lot of good lessons about motherhood, relationships, the duty of caring for the less fortunate, and the sanctity of life.

If you're trying to protect your pre-teen, at this point from any understanding of sexuality that might occur outside of marriage--you should avoid.

Colette--thanks for mentioning the book--I'm going to have to get it.

Christy from fountains of home said...

I love this show too! I've spent most of every episode weeping too! Its just hard to not cry when theres childbirth involved for some reason...

Charming Disarray said...

I really hope this is online...I've been dying to see it since I read the book.

BettyDuffy said...

It is online. I tried to embed it here, but if that doesn't work, just go to "watch PBS online"--the first three episodes should be there. But they may not be for long.

Ashley said...

I'll definitely have to try and watch this. I remember seeing the ad online, but I had forgotten about it.

mrsdarwin said...

Aaah... I want to see this, and yet I am not prepared to get sucked into a series right now. Aaah.

BettyDuffy said...

Fortunately (or unfortunately), it's short.

Emily J. said...

I'm feeling out of touch, too, for not knowing anything about this. You're supposed to keep me posted about the world, sister. Oh wait, I guess you are...

BettyDuffy said...

Can you access PBS online in Guam?