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146 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speaking as a man...
...I wasn't sure I would like this series. And I nearly didn't get past the first episode; all that blood and guts, not expected for a programme broadcast before the nine o'clock watershed. But it is a sign of the maturity of the very best TV drama (and that almost always means the BBC) that reality doesn't get left behind in the desire to 'entertain'. Luckily, a friend...
Published on 8 Feb 2012 by Steve

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars There is a mix up in the episodes
Somewhere around the 4th episode there is a mix up. Episode 8 is really episode 7. Since episode 8 is the finale of the season it is a real shame not to see the season climax. Hopefully this will be corrected soon.
Published 17 days ago by A B D S


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146 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speaking as a man..., 8 Feb 2012
By 
Steve (Leeds) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
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...I wasn't sure I would like this series. And I nearly didn't get past the first episode; all that blood and guts, not expected for a programme broadcast before the nine o'clock watershed. But it is a sign of the maturity of the very best TV drama (and that almost always means the BBC) that reality doesn't get left behind in the desire to 'entertain'. Luckily, a friend encouraged me to keep with the series, and it has been rewarding in a number of ways.

The key to good drama is story, cast and direction. This has the lot. The (real) tale of NHS midwives in late '50s East End London. A step into the past. The positives - that sense of community, of progress and hope, of friendships; the negatives - the overcrowding, the poverty, the filth. And I like the way we are constantly reminded of how far things had progressed with the advent of the National Health Service some years earlier (whilst some of us look on aghast as it is now being taken apart).

The casting is a dream. Jenny Agutter, surely one of the most versatile (and under-rated?) of actresses. Jessica Raine, almost child -like. And it was a stroke of genius to have Miranda Hart playing the lovely Chummy, bringing some light to balance the darker moments.

This may sound ridiculous, but there is a comparison here with Dad's Army: a collection of interesting and likeable people doing good.

But it is also quite moving, a rare thing indeed.

No wonder this has been such a surprise hit.
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87 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Wonderful Glorious, 30 Jan 2012
By 
Sharon (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This must be one of the best researched and actuated TV dramas for the last decade. Apart from the perhaps unavoidable cleanliness of the sets and clothing (cleanest washing - ready ironed it seems hanging on those street-strung washing lines) it shouts mid 20th century: the accents and real portrayals of social mores haven't been 'bought up to date' at the expense of truth (as has the rather delightful if predictable Downtown Abbey). Can't fault 'Midwives' otherwise and I'm one of those nitpickers that goes 'hamsters being known about in the Downtown Abbey's 1910s servant's hall??? - pah!'

Call the Midwife is an excellent, excellent series, that reminds us old-timers just what dire health issues the NHS set out correcting, and hopefully, what a jewel it still is, before it gets dismantled piecemeal as a step towards the majority of us reverting to those living conditions.

Pleased to read a second series is commissioned. This is not a watch-once programme, but a treasure! Well written, well produced, well directed and well acted, with ultimate 50s girl Miranda Hart a touch of casting genius. To see Roy Hudd tonight gives it the last touch of wonderful.
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77 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First impressions , it's fantastic !, 16 Jan 2012
By 
mummy spoon (South Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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I will update this review as the series continues but felt I needed to say something after the first episode last night.
I haven't read the books so can't compare them but I have just ordered them so we will see, the programme itself though was fantastic, just my kind of thing, I love period drama's and though this is set much later than what I usually go for, I loved it.
I found the subject of midwifery and family life in the east end in the 1950's very interesting and along with a great cast, the detail of knowledge made this riveting viewing .
After just one of the six episodes I have pre-ordered the Dvd , something I would never normally do , hopefully the first class drama continues.
*UPDATE* Episode 2 had a slightly different feel to the first but new character Chummy Browne (Miranda Hart) was a great addition and there were some good storylines, particularly the prostitution/adoption one which was heartbreaking.
Episode 3 wasn't as good as the first two but there was alot more development of individual characters and the two main storylines were quite emotional.
I can't wait until next sunday, I just wish there were more than six episodes.
Episode 4 and 5 were the best yet as the series hits it's stride and all the characters have had their introductions, it's a shame there's only one more to go, the good news is, there is to be a second series.
The series finished with a great episode which tied up some loose ends but left room for the next series. This really was a fantastic programme, just up my street .
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really wonderful storytelling, 29 May 2012
I sat down to watch this with my wife with the usual look of petulance I'd employ for say 27 dresses or some other such drivel. I'm absolutely sick to death of dumbed down chick lit/chickflick, vampire/werewolf/supernatural, crime thriller, find yourself nonsense.

This kind of rubbish doesn't even try to present us with well-rounded, strong female characters in lead roles, just generic cutesy, man-dependant shallow airheads, frequently more concerned with their handbags than showing any independance or even an opinion. Either that or strong women in the workplace being portrayed as ball-busters or lesbians (or ball bursting lesbians).

Fortunately and surprisingly, Call the midwife in it's 50s pre-feminist movement, manages to give us some women of substance, grit, humour, spirit and character to admire who put their 21st Century movie and chick-lit counterparts to shame.

In this wonderful show we have proper character growth, heart-warming and heart-wrenching real-life stories. Use of symmetry, contrast and drama is expertly executed. We have beautifully self-contained stories linked to a larger theme. We have characters with many facets to them so we can dislike, love and feel for each and every one (chummy is by far my favourite).

The Writer(s)have done an amazing job of bringing these stories to the screen and exhibiting the courage, skill, determination and basic great humanity of the people whose stories they tell.

More please.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 21 April 2012
What can I say, well I bought it for the wife, I ended up watching it and thought it was excellent.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grittier than Series 1, 3 May 2013
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This review is from: Call the Midwife - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
With the Spina Biffida, abortion and medical malpractice issues, this series is much more hard hitting than Series 1; if anything, it is even better viewing than Series 1, but I do wonder about a Series 3, if Jennifer Worth's original memoirs are used up. Would rather it went out on a massive high.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab!, 16 Feb 2012
By 
Chloe (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
I'm 14 and loved the series! The characters are excellent, (particularly Chummy :-)), as are the books! Some have critisced the novels, but I'm on book 2! Very well done, can't wait for more!
Bravo!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Call the midwives and daughters and watch this!, 7 May 2013
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This review is from: Call the Midwife - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
The second series is at least as good as the first one. It's heartwarming and sad at the same time. Call the Midwife proves that one doesn't need gilded picture frames and big estates to make very good television.Tickety-boo and tippity-top.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Midwives life and work in the fifties, 6 May 2013
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This review is from: Call the Midwife - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
I love this show, although slightly different to the books. The stories are heart felt and make you consider how lucky we are today. Set in the fifties in Poplar Liverpool this series describes how life was for many families of the poor working class. The midwives transports you into a period of overcrowding, unsuitable cramped housing, and little money with no or very little government support. The midwives have to work extremely hard in serving the overcrowded population of Poplar and high birth rate due to lack of contraception. Although times are hard it may may make you think and ask are we that much better off now. Yes we have improvement in medical treatments and practices, but we are so busy that some of us have forgotten the real meaning of family and sharing. The music is great, costumes even greater and actors brilliant.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great follow-up to series 1, 25 Mar 2013
By 
Papillon - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Call the Midwife - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
Happily, I enjoyed series 2 as much as the first series! My mother worked as a district midwife in 1950's East London and it certainly brought to life all the stories I grew up with.

It's a wonderful show, striking a great balance between the hardships of life in 1950's East End London and the triumphs of the human spirit. It truly puts things into perspective when confronted with the struggle of surviving day to day in the tenements and slums that form the backbone of the show.

Another BBC gem!
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Call the Midwife - Series 2 [DVD]
Call the Midwife - Series 2 [DVD] by China Moo-Young (DVD - 2013)
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