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To think Call the Midwife is too depressing

(295 Posts)
jewelledsky Sun 24-Feb-13 20:03:18

for a Sunday night and to almost be tempted by Top Gear as a light viewing alternative? Where is Downton Abbey?

spottyhankystripysocks Mon 25-Feb-13 10:42:58


I love it! It is based on how life really was and is an interesting piece of social history.

Xenia Mon 25-Feb-13 10:47:43

I loved the books and passed them on to my daughter who did too and the series is good.

nipersvest Mon 25-Feb-13 10:49:18

love call the midwife. i sobbed during last nights, the father/daughter thing hit a nerve, still love it despite that.

how is downton any less depressing though?, they've had war, spanish flu, daughter die in childbirth, husbands die in car crashes.

CinnabarRed Mon 25-Feb-13 11:00:36

Ah - I didn't get that far before I had to stop watching. sad

LadyApricot Mon 25-Feb-13 11:02:38

I adore it. My grandmother was one of those people in the east end, no money and 8 kids. I always think of her and how hard it must've been.
i love the fashion and the music and the out of date medical advice!
Also my grandfather on my mums side trained to be a missionary in what they call nonnatus house so I imagine him walking down those halls as a young man. God it always makes me cry!
Do not read the follow up book about the workhouse- even more depressing!

CinnabarRed Mon 25-Feb-13 11:03:42

And talking about social history, I read a harrowing account of a breech baby dying during childbirth, written by the doctor trying to save mother and baby. Once the baby's body had been born, its natural instinct was to draw breath - so breech babies drown in their own amniotic fluids. It was horrific. Thank God for scans and midwives.

BertieBotts Mon 25-Feb-13 11:06:33

It was the way it was said... the dad asked Jacob what it was like living in the home, and he said "There's a biscuit factory next door... we get the broken ones."

So simple, so clever, could have been taken in a positive or negative way but either way, utterly heartbreaking.

Some babies have always been born breech and many survived though Cinnabar ? I guess these days many will be CS ?

CinnabarRed Mon 25-Feb-13 11:12:13

The breech babies that don't survive are the ones whose heads can't be birthed. I guess there's a very fine line - some babies with small heads/mothers with wider hips would make it.

TapselteerieO Mon 25-Feb-13 11:12:50

I have cried happy and sad tears watching it, I have never regretted watching any of the episodes. I think it is brilliant quality and the second series is as good as the first, which I wasn't expecting.

comelywenchlywoo Mon 25-Feb-13 11:27:34

I really enjoy it! I don't think it's too depressing at all - compared to the Downton and Dr. Who Christmas specials it was a veritable joy!

I thought I wasn't going to make it through the Spina Bifida episode, but it ended well. I cried last night, but sometimes one likes a good weep! YABU, there are sooo many worse things to watch on a Sunday!

Still18atheart Mon 25-Feb-13 11:36:47

I wouldn't call it depressing. However, there were bits where i had to leave the room as i was feeling squirmish and uncomfortable.

SusanneLinder Mon 25-Feb-13 11:44:09

I was sad last night-still I just think Sister Bernadette should rip off her habit and get it on with Dr Turner grin.There is obviously "chemistry" grin

melika Mon 25-Feb-13 11:53:41

I always forget its on, now i realise its because of top gear. I love Ripper St though and mourn its finishing last night. Hope they bring it back.

Peevish Mon 25-Feb-13 11:57:01

On the broken biscuit issue, I don't think this should be taken as a comment on the exclusion of children with disabilities in the 1950s. I mean, obviously they were excluded/marginalised, but broken biscuits were on sale in corner shops for the general public, they just cost less than unbroken ones. My father (born 1943) remembers them fondly. Any child from a comparatively poor background would have regarded them as a treat.

VirtualAssistant2011 Mon 25-Feb-13 12:05:06

Is there any way to catch up on episodes? I have never watched this but wanted to see what it is like?

LeBFG Mon 25-Feb-13 12:12:09

Never watched the series but did read the book after a MNer recommended it.

Wasn't Heart beat set at about the same time? Perhaps a bit later. Anyway, I always felt it was saccharine puff which idealised the period. I prefer the honesty of CTM. It really was interesting reading about living in tenements although I do remember studying about them in GCSE Geography (many moons ago grin) this book brings it to life. All the details like how the hell did they dry all the nappies and what they did with homeless. So interesting.

I particularly remember getting very angry at the world when reading the book - so much of the misery fell on women's shoulders. So much abuse from men sad - made me feel like turning into a rad fem! Shows how much the rights of women have progressed over quite a short period of time. Wonderful.

tiggersreturn Mon 25-Feb-13 12:25:43

I like it a lot but I like historical dramas and it's easy to identify with. It is occasionally a culturally more acceptable version of OBEM though. I read the books after the first series and the 2nd and 3rd are really upsetting. I turned up to work sobbing after reading Jane's story on the tube. The unedited version of the Masterson saga is also horrific. But that was life. It makes me very thankful for the NHS and welfare system however abused it has become.

Not suitable for children.

If anyone wants to catch up with it, there are probably episodes still on iplayer from this series. I'm not sure if there's a dvd from the first series yet.

BraveLilBear Mon 25-Feb-13 13:15:52

Virtual try the iPlayer, I think they're keeping the whole series up for a while.

OP - I love CTM. It can be depressing but as has been said, so is life! My nan was having her 6 boys around this era so it's nice to be able to 'bond' with her over it, though I agree, the conditions and the way women were treated were shocking compared to now - how many women would accept a forced shave and enema in early labour?

Agree with other posters, books much more harrowing, but beautifully written. I loved reading them, although, yes, 'Shadows' is horrific - sobbed no end reading it. What was worse for me was never knowing that was how people were treated in living memory.

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 25-Feb-13 13:26:57

I like it. I love the books, and agree with whoever said the TV series is more sentimental - but it is mostly very lightly done IMO. It does make me appreciate the NHS and all that we know now about medicine. I like that it is commenting obliquely on what is going on now, and not just saying 'it was grim back in the day'.

The actress who is Sister Bernardette steals the show, for me.

KitCat26 Mon 25-Feb-13 13:45:49

I enjoy the tv series, but if DH is awake, Top Gear wins.

The books made me sob though, especially the work house one, some of that was just so horrific. Especially when you realise how recent that all is, my great gran, born 1906, grew up in an orphanage (illegitimate) and had a really tough time of it. My parents were born in the 50s. And my mum remembers being shaved and having an enema when she gave birth to me in the 80s!

miemohrs Mon 25-Feb-13 13:47:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 25-Feb-13 13:48:30

The first is 'Call the Midwife', the second is 'Shadows of the Workhouse' and the third is 'Farewell to the East End'. The author is Jennifer Worth.

OneoftheseBoxes Mon 25-Feb-13 14:01:45

I've just started reading the book and agree that the book is much more harrowing than the TV series is. Somehow on TV its lighter, and the difficult bits and sad stories are lightened by other incidents. I'm enjoying the TV series though (although I do end up crying quite a lot - but I'm blaming the pregnancy hormones).

daisydee43 Mon 25-Feb-13 14:08:21

Yes I agree, have series linked the new episodes and tbh I don't know if I will bother watching them, one born every minute is much better

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