To be wondering when The Village will lighten up a bit?

(114 Posts)
Squarepebbles Sun 07-Apr-13 21:55:10


TaggieCampbellBlack Sun 07-Apr-13 21:57:10

It really is a bit shit.

The only good thing was the dog and that git killed last week.

Squarepebbles Sun 07-Apr-13 21:57:11

Think I may watch Foyles War instead next week.

Squarepebbles Sun 07-Apr-13 21:58:40

How any decades of misery do you think we have to go through? confused

TaggieCampbellBlack Sun 07-Apr-13 21:59:32

Isn't it something like 100 years.


Squarepebbles Sun 07-Apr-13 22:03:08

I mean I know it's a "drama" but do we really need that much misery on a Sunday night?

Surely they can't top this weeks?

Kbear Sun 07-Apr-13 22:11:48

bring back the midwives, I feel quite depressed after that... lol

Snoopingforsoup Sun 07-Apr-13 22:12:38

I've tried and switched it over two weeks in a row!
It's bloody miserable!

SamuelWestsMistress Sun 07-Apr-13 22:15:21

I'm sure it's on for 42 episodes! I love John Simm. He's such a brilliant actor.

Squarepebbles Sun 07-Apr-13 22:15:52

That little boy reminds me of one of my boys(he's left handed too). sad

Squarepebbles Sun 07-Apr-13 22:17:04

Well lets face it can't be much more misery left to cover,surely not 43 episodes worth.

Kbear Sun 07-Apr-13 22:19:25

I think the acting is good (what do I know..?) - Bert and his mum and dad especially - her from dinnerladies..... she's fab.

ThePathanKhansAmnesiac Sun 07-Apr-13 22:20:31

Samuel, I love John Simms, remember The Lakes?
I love The Villiage, brilliant!

CelticPixie Sun 07-Apr-13 22:20:32

It's fucking crap. I was expecting another Downton but its depressing dirge.

VenusStarr Sun 07-Apr-13 22:31:57

I really want to like it, but I didn't have a clue what was going on tonight sad

TheCrackFox Sun 07-Apr-13 22:36:53

It is shite.

Normally I love John Simm but I think he is over acting in this.

ChairmanWow Sun 07-Apr-13 22:56:18

I agree crackfox. Far too much Acting from Mr Simm. Maxine Peake is as brilliant as ever. I love her.

Jesus some light relief would be welcome though. After the near-hanging we were convinced she'd be losing the baby. At least that didn't happen. Maybe with new life will come hope, Simm's character will be less of a twat, he'll do a bit less of that there acting and it'll all come good.

That or their son will be trampled to death by the cow in a freak accident, Simm will hang himself and the cow from a tree and the baby will have the pox.

PhyllisDoris Sun 07-Apr-13 23:08:02

It's a bit hard going isn't it. Not much talking, so finding it difficult to follow what's going on most of the time. John Simm doesn't really make life easy for himself. I'll give it one more week I think.

jenrendo Sun 07-Apr-13 23:15:41

Ha mum and I were just saying the same thing. We are hoping the baby brings new hope etc and are giving it one more week too smile bring back Larkrise to Candleford on a Sunday evening. At least it was lighthearted!

DeskPlanner Mon 08-Apr-13 08:19:10

I recorded it last week, then deleated it without watching, after reading how miserable it was. I can't be bothered being depressed on a Sunday evening.

I agree about wanting to like it. I tuned in hopefully looking forward to a new Sunday night drama. Was glad I'd just sent the DC's to bed before the near hanging scene - that was awful to watch. I think the main little family are all great though - really well cast and acted. Nice to see them happy at the end of episode after the birth of new babs.
Still think it'll be good to watch things unfold over a century - that's a bit of a new idea. And a good focus as we head towards the centenary of WW1.
Will definitely give it some more chances but would like it if it was light enough for my pre-teens to watch with me if they're still up.
Is it all in the can already or could our feedback change things I wonder ?

Squarepebbles Mon 08-Apr-13 08:59:17

Yes let's hope the new babe makes it past the opening music next week.

I was supposed to be filling in application forms last night,kind of think they may have been more cheery.

Will give it one more week ! <wags finger at BBC>

GemmaTeller Mon 08-Apr-13 09:02:41

I love a good drama - but gave up with this one after half an hour [hmmm]

I don't need bringing down, sorry.

FlatCapAndAWhippet Mon 08-Apr-13 09:04:53

I want to like it too, brilliant actors. I just about got through last week, endured ten mins this week and turned over, flippin hard work and so depressing.

PenelopePortrait Mon 08-Apr-13 09:07:25

I really want to like it but am struggling. It's too much like hard work trying to follow what's going on. There isn't anyone that is particularly likeable, so frankly don't really care what happens to them.

It seems a bit over-acted, very intense, lots of serious staring looks.
I've done my bit, that's me out I'm afraid.

Corygal Mon 08-Apr-13 09:09:15

Why do they keep pushing abuse - extreme misogyny, cruelty to children - as the norm just cos it was the good old days?

Historically inaccurate to say the least, and I am increasingly uneasy about representations of violence that suggest it was a usual behaviour - violence to women and children, natch. Funny that. If we're being reminded, we're being reminded a lot, and I can't help but wonder why.

I'm fed up of violence being softened up and presented in the rosy glow of a Hovis Handknit.

ExcuseTypos Mon 08-Apr-13 09:10:22

Isn't it miserable?

Last night that poor boy slit a granny's wrists
Found his dad hanging himself
Delivered his mums baby

What the heck will happen next week?hmm

I really want to like it, it's beautifully shot, the acting is great, but there's something not right. I cant put my finger on it but I think it's the way it's edited.

Squarepebbles Mon 08-Apr-13 09:16:14

Excuse don't forget got beaten and hand his hand crushed by his teacher.sad

The granny bit,what was that all about.I was in the middle of a MN break.blush

Perhaps it's got too much of an Eastenders style mentality Typos ?
Just lots of stressy bad stuff happening all the time supposedly to keep us watching ?
< harsh but true ? >

ppeatfruit Mon 08-Apr-13 09:49:32

I'm glad I read this thread I was vaguely wondering if I should watch it. Now I definitely know I won't grin thanks everyone. It sounds effing awful!

DeskPlanner Mon 08-Apr-13 10:04:17

Blimey, sounds even worse than I read last week. So glad I didn't bother.

Owllady Mon 08-Apr-13 10:10:23

It was miserable, it's supposed to represent what actually happened
people were poor and hungry and uneducated
alcoholism wasn't understood, abuse happened (and it wasn't represented as normal surely? she was hiding her face and people were shocked)
life was not okay

that said, i did find it a bit depressing last night blush

Owllady Mon 08-Apr-13 10:13:28

and unfortunately teachers did beat children, for some of not that long ago either. I am 35 and I remember a boy getting punched by our form tutor several times in the stomach when were about 14/15?? I have been caned and rulered myself

trice Mon 08-Apr-13 10:16:40

It is such a cliché. Like a month python sketch taking itself seriously. I can't wait until they all get the spanish flu.

Like posh misery lit.

Owllady Mon 08-Apr-13 10:18:20

who is the bloke with the burnt face? I really have no idea who he is

ppeatfruit Mon 08-Apr-13 10:18:30

The thing is owlady I watch telly for a bit of escapism; there's enough misery in RL on the news etc. without getting proper depressed late on Sunday night.

Owllady Mon 08-Apr-13 10:20:02

I do understand ppeatfruit. It's why i watch Emmerdale

Squarepebbles Mon 08-Apr-13 10:22:53

Dp was wondering that Owl.

At that point dp did actually splutter into his tea.

Soooo the blood letting re the old lady,I know I should have been paying more attention but what was that all about?

Oh and why was the dad chewing a broom?

Only way I could get through last night's episode was to MN alongside.

Owllady Mon 08-Apr-13 10:25:23

the blood was to make sure she wouldn't be buried alive i think
I think the tone of the series may have affected me though because I said 'omg he's going to cut her head off' at that point I noticed my husband looking at me like hmmhmmhmm

Squarepebbles Mon 08-Apr-13 10:28:39


And the broom chewing?

Owllady Mon 08-Apr-13 10:32:05

that was the get the excess alcohol out of the bristles <snigger>

Can I ask, did those wash houses exist? where they all bathed together? was it at the side of a workhouse or was it just for bathing in? It just seems a bit unusual

My family were very poor and the men used to wash at the pit if I remember my Grans story telling correctly and the women would just wash.

ppeatfruit Mon 08-Apr-13 10:35:22

Owllady that's why i watch Emmerdale Joke right? I can't STAND Emm. grin

CelticPixie Mon 08-Apr-13 10:36:00

Why the hell did that girl dig up her dead dog? What was that all about?

FunnyLittleFrog Mon 08-Apr-13 10:40:57

Apparently the village where it is filmed (Peak District?) are getting ready for loads of tourism on the back of the show. Not quite sure that is going to happen...

Owllady Mon 08-Apr-13 10:42:25

lol no, I love Emmerdale blush and it's such a factual depiction of people living in rural Yorkshire wink

The girl and dog, have no idea

Owllady Mon 08-Apr-13 10:42:47

the peak district IS beautiful though

Squarepebbles Mon 08-Apr-13 10:44:49

Thought I recognised it.

Not sure they'll have loads of visitors to misery central though!

LayMizzRarb Mon 08-Apr-13 10:45:14

Watched the first episode, made it through about 20 minutes last night. Won't be wasting my time on it again. What a waste of license payers money.

zamantha Mon 08-Apr-13 10:50:04

Did really no-one like it?

Yes, life seems grim but isn't it refreshing to have something earthy and realistic such as the popular Scandi-dramas?

Are we the age to look at harsh reality? Perhaps, we needed a bit more light for us to take it - a departure for the BBC though and I hope it turns into something watchable and unique rather than nostalgic/ romantic period drama's we are used to.

Owllady Mon 08-Apr-13 10:50:50

I liked it!

Squarepebbles Mon 08-Apr-13 10:55:27

zamantha thing is though it was getting farcical re the misery and huge traumas in one episode.

Pandemoniaa Mon 08-Apr-13 10:56:38

I've still got mixed feelings. Right now it's all very brown and muddy with rather too many "significant" but unexpressed feelings lurking around under the brown and muddy surface. I also have a nasty suspicion that ends may not be tied up satisfactorily. The burnt Lord of the Manor, for example.

I'm prepared to give it a few more weeks. But if it carries on in this vein then yes, the Spanish Flu may be a blessing.

ppeatfruit Mon 08-Apr-13 10:59:28

I did enjoy Call The Midwife though. That was a refreshing change for the Beeb to have a programme without a trailer depicting violence and sex as a selling point.

Though of course it had both without any glamour.grin

PenelopePortrait Mon 08-Apr-13 11:03:34

trice Posh misery lit. Spot on.

It's like trying to plough through a classic novel but not understanding a word.

Only one thing kept me watching until the end sat night - John Simm. However, it's not enough so I won't be watching next week.

I'll be very surprised if this makes the next series let alone the 42 episodes planned. Such a shame because it could be really good and watchable.

Cathycat Mon 08-Apr-13 11:10:09

I read an article about it being written from an old man's retelling of his life, while he was in the final years of his life. His son wrote down the memories. I think it is very harsh but fascinating. I like the acting and the scenery is wonderful. I am not that old but I remember going weekly to have a bath at our public baths because the house where I was staying at the time only had a tin bath and this was much easier. So the scenes with the bathing really do ring a bell! I really like it.

ShowOfHands Mon 08-Apr-13 11:12:09

I'm enjoying it but not because it has anything I'd usually look for in Sunday night entertainment.

My family going back as far as I can trace (1600s) lived in a Derbyshire village though it was a mining village, not a farming village. Both my great grandma (born in the 1890s) and my grandma (still with us, nearly 90) describe life growing up and my dad tells me of things his great grandparents described and it's scarily accurate.

My grandma's dad was an abusive alcoholic, his dad was an abusive alcoholic. My great, great grandma was in and out of the workhouse with her children because her nasty scrote of a husband was in and out of prison due to his debts. He finally upped and left her with 6 children, she took a job in t'big 'ouse to make ends meet and fell in love with the son of the owners. He was disowned and they lived together as man and wife though obviously never marrying (he took her name actually). There are photos of them and their shoes are bits of leather, full of holes, crudely stitched and bound. My great, great grandma was always described as 'poor but proud'. My great grandma's husband was killed in the pit and they weasled out of paying her a pension, leaving her with a severely disabled child and penniless. The community rallied round and for 35 years she paid not a penny to a shopkeeper or tradesman. There are countless tales of suicides, poverty, probable murder, affairs and bleak, nasty, endless drudgery.

They all remember (including my dad) being caned and beaten at school. My dad had the school pet drowned in front of him to teach him a lesson and was beaten and humiliated by a school teacher on a few occasions. In the 1960s, the local children's home took in a black, recently orphaned child from down south and the local families petitioned, going as far as making banners and marching through town, because they didn't want any 'coloured folks' in their village. My Dad said he was about 10 and thoroughly ashamed.

Life was bleak, unimaginably so. My grandma watched it last week and said, give it a few years in screen time and they should have broken, scarred, mentally damaged young men sitting in the village street wailing and begging because they survived the war but have nothing to live for and have returned to a community which hasn't moved on for hundreds of years and isn't equipped to deal with them. She says it's spot on so far.

MissTFied Mon 08-Apr-13 11:12:28

I love it! I like it that the writing is so sparse and it makes the viewer think. It's not easy going, you have to invest your time in it. The writer wanted it to be like American long-running shows like The Wire.

Owllady Mon 08-Apr-13 11:25:09

that's a really interesting post showofhands, thank you

Squarepebbles Mon 08-Apr-13 11:26:13

That is interesting Show.

TiredMule Mon 08-Apr-13 11:35:55

I love it too! Watched both episodes on iplayer last night and would happily have watched more!

Squarepebbles Mon 08-Apr-13 11:43:55

I'm expecting a shed load of light hearted frivolity when living conditions get better as payback then.

What decade would that be 50s/ 60s?

mayaswell Mon 08-Apr-13 12:17:20

I've got a feeling the War might feature quite strongly, so no I don't think it's going to get any sunnier. My family were farmers in the North and life was pretty unrelentingly grim.
Personally I like it, the only bit I found a bit difficult was the sudden appearance of a fat Jersey cow bought with a tin of sixpences, did he just pop down the cow shop?

VenusStarr Mon 08-Apr-13 12:18:00

That's an interesting story showofhands

One thing irritates me, young Bert has deep brown eyes, old Bert has light blue. Poor continuity.

I do agree the acting is good, I just felt a bit lost last night and couldn't really follow the story, felt like we'd missed a week.

Squarepebbles Mon 08-Apr-13 12:21:39

And Bert took the piece of paper out if the satchel with his right hand.

zamantha Mon 08-Apr-13 12:33:07

Browns and beige - yes, filming is murky - as are the Scandi-drama's ( so fashionable at moment) blue/grey /black.

I do like nostalgia/romantic period dramas as we have been fed for so many years - BBC's trademark - but I think it is very brave to go for earthy reality as up- thread we are told and I think we could develop an appetite for such work. Do we need a bit of light relief to get us used to it or has Moffat been uncompromising and asked us to change what we expect from period dramas?

I did find it gritty and felt a bit shocked/depressed by it but thought it was beautifully shot and had an emotional integrity.

ChairmanWow Mon 08-Apr-13 13:02:35

One thing irritates me, young Bert has deep brown eyes, old Bert has light blue. Poor continuity. . Yes, me too. A pair of contacts would have sorted that out.

Interesting to read some of the accounts above. Maybe it is a fairly accurate depiction of the time, but I have to admit that though I usually love a bit of posh misery lit this was too relentless for even me. I'll be recording and watching alone next week as DH won't watch another. It's on its last chance for me - anything happens to that baby and I'm out. We've got a newborn in the house and I'm far too hormonal and sentimental for baby death on t'telly.

Ionasky Mon 08-Apr-13 13:04:25

Agree with ShowofHands - another vote for liking it - yes it's not at all upbeat but downton etc. is more soap than properly observed period drama. A brief trawl through most people's family histories shows how accurate this is (certainly mine and dh's). My gran likes to opine about how much 'softer' we all are today.

Owllady Mon 08-Apr-13 14:44:08

mayaswell, I wonder whether the farm will get bought under compulsory purchase to make way for mining, as a lot were in that area?

Miffytastic Mon 08-Apr-13 16:01:26

I watched the first half of episdode one before losing interest due to the misery and also I get really annoyed by the ye-olde-days-filtering - a bit like the ones that are used in Lord of the Rings IYKWIM - why do they have to do it?

Oblomov Mon 08-Apr-13 17:03:20

Am also finding it very miserable. And it has many parts left. It is a 6 part'er. So can't see it getting any more jolly, can you?

NuhichNuhaymuh Mon 08-Apr-13 17:14:31

I like it too, but a lot of people like to watch nice stuff, something to make them feel warm inside style, and The Village isn't warm and nice so there's going to be a lot of people that don't like it.

Oblomov Mon 08-Apr-13 21:13:33

Dh has just said:" I keep waiting for something to happen, but so far it actually hasn't."
Which is a fair point. Bugger all has actually happened yet. The writers are really dragging it out into a six part episodes, aren't they?

Allfurcoatandnoknickers Mon 08-Apr-13 21:35:24

Just watched the second village episode. It was filmed in and around Edale. It really is very bleak and beautiful and unspoilt.
I find it very gripping drama, and as showofhands says, life was pretty tough then.

Onlyconnect Mon 08-Apr-13 21:39:07

I don't mind the misery, I just don't think it's very good. It doesnt engage me fully. Don't know why, I normally love drama. One thing that puzzled me was why the John Simm character was given the beer at the big house.

Rosebelle Mon 08-Apr-13 22:03:45

It's not that accurate!!!!!!

The teacher woman (who IS she!?! The one who stalks around the Big House, the Baths and the Farm and the School and the Pub....)

..where was I. Ah yes. Last night she charged into the local pub to remonstrate with the landlord for selling alcohol to the John Simms. There is no way that firstly a) a lady would have gone in there, b) the landlord would have been so instantly rude to her and c) ALL the men in there carried on drinking, nobody removed their caps, there was no gasps that a higher-ranking female had stepped inside. It would have made at least some if not most, very uncomfortable even if they were tough working class nuts.

Also. The unlikelyhood that Joe would have shagged Caro last week like that. He would have also been fearful of the class divide, even if she wasn't.

Also. Maxine Peake has a job in the heart of the women's community (bath house landlady) but she would not send for a MW or the doctor when the baby arrived. She would not have been lacking in women friends to help and no matter how evil John Simms would not have argued with that as childbirth was women's work back then.

Obviously John Simm and the Big House Middletons are family, John is the black sheep of the family, I think he must be a son/brother who has been cast out due to his alcoholic problems.

But overall, why so little dialogue?! Is it trying to be trendy? Less "Catherine Cookson"? It is just irritating, the number of meaningful glances going on and wooden silences when quite obviously, words would be spoken.

All those saying that that's how things were in those days, I don't doubt that's true, having heard my own grandmother's stories, however there was also a lot of fun, community spirit, people helping (esp in a small community). none of which has been illustrated so far.

Solopower1 Mon 08-Apr-13 22:04:12

Showofhands I thought it was very authentic too - and saw the set at Hayfield before the series started. The intriguing thing about it was how well it fitted in - you could really imagine yourself plonked down outside the grocer's shop or the pub a hundred years ago.

I love things like this that get the atmosphere right - but there were some clangers. Like Maxine Peake standing outside at the gate in the pouring rain and completely dry! Not even a stray wet hair when she went into the house.

Life was very hard then. Maybe not quite as hard though.

Solopower1 Mon 08-Apr-13 22:08:02

X posted, Rosebelle. Yes, the woman in the pub bit - not sure about that. But the Temperance movement was strong and some of the suffragettes were very militant in the cities at the time.

Solopower1 Mon 08-Apr-13 22:08:25

And they were middle class mostly.

PseudoBadger Mon 08-Apr-13 22:16:25

I like it smile

Rosebelle Mon 08-Apr-13 22:17:44

Showofhands hats off to your great great grandmother if she actually managed to make it out of the workhouse even once let alone more than once with all her children. That would almost be unheard of and it might be that even if her H was a scrote he must have had means and the desire to secure her release, because you were property of the workhouse once you were in there. She would not have been permitted to walk in and out of there like a hostel, there would have to be a person on the outside to help them. Perhaps there is more to her H than you know. Very interesting.

Rosebelle Mon 08-Apr-13 22:20:33

Solopower1 good point, but I'm not convinced how strong the suffragette movement was in a village like that at the time grin. I didn't get the impression she was campaigning in a suffragette kind of fashion for temperance in general, she wasn't saying the landlord was immoral for selling alcohol in general, she was making a plea specifically to stop selling alcohol to John Simms (and his suffering wife).

Solopower1 Mon 08-Apr-13 22:22:05

And I get the idea people didn't talk about feelings so much then - wasting words. I like the way it's not Catherine Cookson (though I like that too).

A lot of cross-class shagging went on ..

Rosebelle Mon 08-Apr-13 22:23:41

In the whole of two episodes the only bit I really really liked was when the boys/men were all tramping off to war through the village, and one asked his sweetheart to marry him as he walked past. Her reaction was lovely and I wish we had seen a bit more of their relationship or something similar - flegling romances cut short by war. instead of dead dogs on beds, boys masturbating on hilltops (I mean really, what boy would do that, there?!) and sucking dirty scrubbing brushes hmm

Solopower1 Mon 08-Apr-13 22:25:48

I though she was on a mission - the vicar's daughter perhaps (but I didn't see the first episode or all of this one).

No I don't think there were many suffragettes in villages like this one. I just meant there were strong militant campaigning woman around at the time.

Solopower1 Mon 08-Apr-13 22:28:32

Boys masturbate on hills all the time! (Didn't see that bit.) And in those days where else would they get the privacy? I bet people did a lot of outdoor shagging too. smile

Toasttoppers Mon 08-Apr-13 22:31:13

Showof thanks for sharing, you would probably enjoy reading William Woodruffs biographies, your Grandma would as well. Set in Lancashire though.

Rosebelle Mon 08-Apr-13 22:31:38

She is a busybody (not sure who) who has been away (not sure where) and has come back to the village (not sure why) and knows John Simms quite well enough to boss him around a bit (not sure how).

Hope that clear that up for you grin

PseudoBadger Mon 08-Apr-13 22:32:35

That's very accurate Rosebelle grin

Rosebelle Mon 08-Apr-13 22:35:06

Solo Where else would they get the privacy... um.... oh this is hard... I just don't know. Let's see. In his bed perhaps, in his own bedroom in the massive old farmhouse he lives in? Behind a bush? In the hayloft? Absolutely anywhere else than literally standing up with wind blowing around on the top of a hill right next to his farmhouse in full view of his family?

I can tell you didn't see last week's episode grin

Solopower1 Mon 08-Apr-13 22:44:22

OK OK I get the picture! grin

Sounds a bit weird though. Still it is based on someone's memoirs, isn't it? There's nowt so queer as folk. Etc.

Solopower1 Mon 08-Apr-13 22:45:21

Were his family watching? eeew.

Euphemia Mon 08-Apr-13 23:31:16

I love John Simm and Maxine Peake so much I'd watch them in anything. smile

I like my dramas grim as well.

zamantha Tue 09-Apr-13 09:02:16

teacher/suffragette woman - did I hear she was related to vicar? Good looking man at posh house likes her and knows her as he said "Do I have no chance" has admired her for a while then. She must be local/long time in village so related to someone.

Missed first episode - does iplayer show 2 weeks ago for Drama like this? Think prob. not.

Fiderer Tue 09-Apr-13 09:13:29

She said her dad (vicar) had moved there and she decided to as well.

Read the review in the Guardian and am wondering if I can stand watching ep2. Still at least I've been warned grin

There's a reference to arsenic poisoning in ep1 - I don't remember/didn't notice it. Anyone else?

Squarepebbles Tue 09-Apr-13 10:06:08

grin at the Guardian review.

I wonder if we all had any input into that Guardian review ? - I'd like to think we could have done smile

Cwtchbach Tue 09-Apr-13 12:31:46

I don't think Maxine Peak is the landlady of the bath house though? As that busy body girl tried to get her a job with the boot guy. I neither like it nor loathe it yet. I don't like that Caro character though so if she appears on the screen too much I might switch off next week, is she sane or not? I have no idea?

racmun Tue 09-Apr-13 12:42:25

I think it's really good and an accurate portrayal of what life was like for most normal people - hard work, hunger, cold and misery.
Things really were that desperate for many families.

So many tv dramas show the affluent side of life in days gone by like Downton, Mr Selfridge, Upstairs Downstairs which wouldn't have been the norm for most families and its nice to see a different side for once.

Rosebelle Tue 09-Apr-13 15:46:03

Cwtchbach, it showed her wandering around administering in the bath house last week. She was definitely in charge, not there to have a bath. Or so I thought.

racmun even with hard work, hunger, cold etc - it's a very one sided portrayal of life. Even in poor, hard times, people still courted and (just about) managed to celebrate, saved up for special occasions, had "best dresses", had their children christened, had wedding celebrations, makeshift parties and outings, people who would have been very poor by today's standards went on Bank Holiday outings to the seaside once a year. Cider with Rosie children are poor but there was plenty of self-made fun and mischief. Winifred Foley (b. 1914, same as The Village) - her childhood as part of a large, poor mining family as described in A Child in the Forest was tough but they still had spots of lightheartedness and fun. People then were still, y'know, people just like us smile.

zamantha Tue 09-Apr-13 17:08:03

you have convinced me rosebelle bit I wonder if writer is trying to dispel oldy -worldy romnatic myth that it was better in the olden days.hmm

Defintately nned a bit of light heartedness for viwers to bite according to this thread.
Guardian review? someone give it me in short please.

ShowOfHands Tue 09-Apr-13 17:10:37

Rosebelle, my g g grandma was actually only in the workhouse once (with 3 of her children). Other children in varying groups dependent on whether they were employed/ill/away at the time were in there for different periods of time on four separate occasions. Their release was secured by their uncle (my g g grandma's bil) who was a tailor and of good social standing. All of this was a mystery to me (I could only find odd census listings where the family seemed to be split up or scattered on two separate occasions) until I traced the grandchildren and g grandchildren of my g g grandma's brother who had all of the details about the workhouse. The workhouse was over the county border and filled in a LOT of gaps, as did meeting several relatives I knew nothing about who had family postcards, letters, workhouse documents (copies) and many, many tales which all fitted in with everything I'd found out so far.

I like it. It's much better than the ridiculous and quite unrealistic Call The Midwife (saying that as someone who was born in poplar, my parents were too as well as numerous aunts, uncles cousins etc around the time it's set).

Jellykitten1 Tue 09-Apr-13 17:53:42

ShowOfHands what an incredible piece of family history, to have found out what happened in such detail is fascinating. Thank goodness for the uncle securing their release. Real fortunes of life stuff.

TigOldBitties also fascinating that you and family were from Poplar. From what you say it appears your family don't agree too much with the portrayal of the area/times? is there anything that particularly stands out as being either very likely or very unlikely as it has been shown on screen? It's always interesting to hear of real-life experiences of times gone by.

whendoigetaliein Tue 09-Apr-13 18:18:13

I enjoyed 2nd episode more than first week. I hate that school teacher - he needs to be buried with the dead dog wink - or maybe he needs to drink a bucket of beer and water wot has been used to clean floorboards - he might lighten up a little hmm

I now have a theory - somebody earlier up said that they think Middleton (John Simm) is related to the people up at the "big house". I was thinking about his confession to the methodist woman about the incident with his sister in law many years earlier - (Sister in law was pregnant and died in a ditch or a hedge or river).

I now wonder whether the sister in law didnt die immediately and whether baby survived and Caro was the baby (Caro must be similar age to Joe - the son who went off to war - and who Caro had intimate relations with in a field) (do you like that terminology grin).

Caro is now pregnant - so that could mean she is pregnant with her half-brothers child - do you think I am right? Probably not but it has kept me occupied for the last 5 minutes grin

JellyKitten, the primary thing that all my relatives comment on (I remember when a group of us watched it which may have been the Christmas special) is how it doesn't look like Poplar. Half of the, wouldn't believe it to be set in Poplar, because even when I grew up in the seventies there were constant reminders of the blitz. In the fifties there would have been loads of bombed out ruins all over the place. I don't know if you know the area but poplar is right on the Thames, the Germans used the river as a guid so Poplar was one of the worst hit areas. Plus the place was bloody filty. Most people not 'the unlucky few' as shown by the programme lived in horrible little set ups. Typically you would hear the rats under the floorboards constantly and lots of horrendous infestations. Also as I said, its on the docks so there was a massive amount of muck that came from that.

Secondly at that time, nearly all women in the area were sent to the East End Maternity Hospital up Stepney. My mum was born there in 1950, and my brother was one of the last babies to be born there. Across my entire family, which is very large, all babies for that time period were born there and thinking of all the friends and neighbours in the area, it was only quick/very sudden labours or the rare case who weren't. My great aunt was living in Dagenham for the entire 1950s and even she was sent to the East End Maternity along with all her neighbours. As its a memoir I think they may have over simplified the area because the only way we could see that the midwives would have so many patients would be for them to go further afield than poplar.

I think the aspect that most annoyed my family is how cheery it is. As if it was some sort of golden age. That area at that time, it was grim, not as grim as pre-war but pretty bad. It was rough and poor and dirty and most people were looking to escape. I think I'd have to talk to my mum and gran to find out what they objected to most as its a while since we watched it but I imagine its very much the alright guv'na, Rosie Lee, Chipper cockney attitude combined with the rose tinted view of the place.

zamantha Tue 09-Apr-13 20:05:00

Just watched 1st episode on iplayer ad loved it - Village that is.

Think the brown hues give a feel of the past.

Think the young infatuations are interesting - like the storytelling from old man - used to be Bert the boy. He said had to be "honest" SO STRIFE IS WHAT HE THINKS IS TRUE TO LIFE - whoops caplocks went on but puts across my point smile

VenusStarr Wed 10-Apr-13 07:51:09

Interesting theory whendoigetaliein I shall have to continue watching to see if you're right! smile


Interesting theory, but didnt the ministers daughter introduce George Allingham to Mrs Middleton? I dont think the two families are linked.

I think that whatever is "wrong" with Caro is linked to the facial disfigurement of the Master of the house. A traumatic fire? Perhaps they blame John for that too.

Also, no one would have helped the Middletons because the whole village blames him for the sisters suicide. They have been somewhat cast out.

zamantha Wed 10-Apr-13 09:06:12

Facial disfigurement and how all staff have to keep their back to this gentleman is interesting. I thought he had lost his face in an earlier war - seemed very forlorn when great war was mentioned- zoomed in on a stony face.

I wonder if Caro is just idle and eccentric- sort of allowed in upper classes.

Jellykitten1 Wed 10-Apr-13 18:13:56

TigOldBitties thanks for the info. I read the Call the Midwife trilogy and they read far more like your relatives' memories of the area. Jennifer Worth describes in detail the poverty, how people lived in bombed-out ruins that had been condemned, the big prostution problem in the area and the general decay and grind (unlike the TV series which makes the people look all clean and respectable there were a lot of desperate un-pretty characters in her books, some of the stories make for some terrible reading. So I would say the books reflect quite accurately your relatives' memories in lots of respects (as opposed to the TV series).

JW books do however give the impression that nearly all births in Poplar were home births handled by the MWs and nuns, and hospital births were rare unless there was an identified problem ahead of birth, whereas quite obviously from what you say, a lot of ordinary births were at hospital not home.

Thanks again for the personal insight.

ppeatfruit Thu 11-Apr-13 13:31:12

Possibly the 1st babies were born in hospital I was in 1951 (not in Poplar though!) but younger Dsis and DB were born at home.

NuhichNuhaymuh Fri 12-Apr-13 23:32:17

good theory whatdidiget, but John said that the sister died and the baby too

Darkesteyes Fri 12-Apr-13 23:35:51

Saw in my Twitter feed earlier today that John Simm is going to be on Jonathan Ross tomorrow night.

FunnyLittleFrog Sat 13-Apr-13 12:27:45

Very much looking forward to the next episode.

Really wasn't sure at first. It is grim in a very Thomas Hardy / DH Lawrence sense.

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