Have you seen Call the Midwife? This British TV show going into its fourth season in 2015 has stolen our hearts and captured our attention for the following reasons:
1. The entire main cast is composed of women of all ages and sizes.
2. The main characters are not super-rich–most TV shows focus on the lives and stories of the upper class (Gossip Girl, Mad Men, Scandal, etc)
3. The series is based on the memoirs of a woman–Jennifer Worth.
4. The show passes the Bechdel Test and Mako Mori test in every episode
5. The vast majority of episodes are written and directed by women.
Call the Midwife has been a runaway hit for a reason–it has swept through and won over and over again in various TV awards, drew more viewers than Downtown Abbey, and generally applauded for being a damn good show (warning-link contains spoilers.)
Above: Nurse Franklin (Helen George) is happy to be at work and wear pants instead of her usual nurse’s uniform.
It’s interesting to hear their commentary on everything from girdles to wearings pants a work to couture nursing uniforms–yes, the clothes are a frequent topic of conversation on the show.
Above: Nurse Jenny Lee (Jessica Raine) is feeling uncomfortable wearing trousers for a night out on the town. Trixie and Jane (Dorothy Atkinson) assure her its very stylish.
It’s also interesting to see all the vintage maternity styles, and what pregnant women are wearing is often explored in how their style is changing (or in some cases, trying not to change) as they go through their pregnancies.
The core cast is quite diverse in terms of bodies, so the fashions of the era are nicely represented. In one of the very first episodes, Chummy (Miranda Hart) shows her fellow nurses how she has had to learn to sew to make clothes that fit her properly since they’re not widely available on the market (Chummy is relatively tall). Later on, Trixie fears she will come under fire for her new platinum pixie cut, inspired by Jean Seberg. Plus, each show focuses on a different story of one of their patients, bringing in all sorts of styles and body types.
All the looks are so colourful–a far cry from what you would see people wearing walking about today (at least here in Vancouver, which is a very neutral-heavy city).
Above: A patient is sad to be told she can’t wear her normal stockings, she’s got to switch to support stockings for the duration of her pregnancy.