Call The Midwife

23 Jan

Call the MidwifeAbout six months ago, my dear friend Janet Putnam recommended the BBC series Call The Midwife, explaining that I would love it because it demonstrates really good social work.  I must confess that I was rather hesitant and was not sure I would share her interest in the show, given it is about a bunch of nuns.  My interest was piqued some because it is also about the beginning of National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom. Coincidentally, this past Christmas, my friend Brad sent me the first season of Call the Midwife. It seemed I would have to cave in and watch at least one episode. Wow! My husband and I have officially become addicted to this brilliant series.  The story was taken from midwife Jennifer Worth’s memoirs and is based on her experiences working in London’s East End in the late 1950s. It truly is a documentary of the start of NHS and of splendid social work — walking alongside people, being present on their journey and offering help.  I love that the real progressive voices often come not from the “modern” nurses; instead the Anglican nuns provide  the progressive narrative. The stellar cast work together in such harmony, they compel one to continue watching.  A social justice icon, Vanessa Redgrave, narrates our story, as the mature Nurse Jenny Lee. Pam Ferris, from Rosemary and Thyme, is the feisty, stern, yet lovable Sister Evangelina.  The amazingly talented and funny Miranda Hart stars as the exceedingly endearing Chummy.  Judy Parfitt, many of you will remember from her Oscar worthy performance in Delores Claiborne as Vera Donovan, plays the lovely and absent-minded Sister Monica Joan.

Tea(r) Towel

Tea(r) Towel

This ensemble cast provide not only a narration of birth, they also give us a didactic story of health care, social work, feminism, and social justice. Each episode is like a gift — a remarkable story that is utterly compelling. I must confess that I cry so much I have to have a tear towel at my side. If you have not had a chance to watch this amazing series, I encourage you to watch at least one episode, for I know you will become addicted to this very sweet and sad story of humanity from birth to death.


17 Responses to “Call The Midwife”

  1. prideinmadness January 23, 2015 at 7:31 am #

    I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!!!! I have the memoirs as well!

    There was one episode, I believe the first episode/Christmas episode of the second season that literally had me sobbing. My heart just went out to the girl and I could relate in a way.
    All of the Nuns are amazing and do drive the progressive narrative of accepting people as they are, doing what they need you to do and not judging. Chummy is my favourite but each character brings something amazing to the show. It is amazing to know that there was a group of women who were doing such amazing work in such a poverty stricken area.

    I considered having a midwife before but this show has shown me that midwives can be an invaluable part of the birthing process. Fortunately for me, my province covers the cost of a midwife so I will definitely be having a midwife when I decide to have children.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 23, 2015 at 8:09 am #

      I’m so glad you chimed in here! I knew you would love this show, as you do amazing social work yourself and you know how much I appreciate your blog! Peace, Michael.

  2. Dr. Rex January 23, 2015 at 8:10 am #

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Calling …. the midwife!!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 23, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

      Dr. Rex,
      Thank you for reblogging this! You will love this show if you have not seen it yet. Peace, Michael.

  3. Central Oregon Coast NOW January 23, 2015 at 8:16 am #

    Reblogged this on Central Oregon Coast NOW.

  4. Raewyn's Photos January 23, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    I love this show. I trained as a nurse in 1979 – 1981 and in some ways it was still like that. I trained at the hospital, just as these nurses did. No university degrees. Just hands on learning. We were young, only 17 when we started and had a lot more patient contact. Today everything has changed. Computers take up a lot of time and all the new gadgets mean less time is spent talking to the patients. There was a lot more respect for the nurses back then too. This series is so accurate in the equipment used as well. The books are great too, but sad as well.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 23, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

      Raewyn, thank you for commenting here! Thank you also for sharing part of your narrative. I love getting to hear people’s stories. Are you still in nursing now? Peace, Michael.

  5. elvagreen123 January 23, 2015 at 8:55 pm #

    I watch it, too! And I need tissues, too, sometimes.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 24, 2015 at 8:14 am #

      I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that cries a lot while watching this series. Peace, Michael.

  6. Brenda Davis Harsham January 24, 2015 at 6:00 am #

    Sounds like a great show. Oh, it’s on netflix! Yeah!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 24, 2015 at 8:15 am #

      Brenda, I hope you will enjoy it. Let me know if you do. Peace, Michael.

      • Brenda Davis Harsham January 24, 2015 at 9:52 am #

        I expect I will, based on the other shows you like. May not get around to watching for weeks, but it’s in my queue now. Peace, Brenda

  7. stephenpaulyoder January 24, 2015 at 10:03 am #

    I’m so slow! Never thought of using a towel, lol…I tend to us use up boxes, cases, crates of tissues! So real. So sad, joyful, hopeful, and painful all at the same time. So human. I always feel cleansed by the end…sigh. So glad we get to share that, too, Michael! Will be picture you enjoying it while we do, too! 🙂 xo

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 24, 2015 at 11:09 am #

      Stephen, you are always such a dear love. Yes, I find using a tea towel to be most effective! 🙂 Love and Peace, Michael.

  8. bradfairchild May 28, 2016 at 3:04 pm #

    I’m surprised you actually watched something I sent you.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt May 28, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

      I treasure everything you give me, Brad! How is that book on Eleanor Roosevelt I sent you in 1990? 🙂

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