Call the Midwife

WATCHING | Call the Midwife & Better Call Saul

I realised this week that I haven’t done a TV-related post since January, mostly because that’s how long it took us to get up to speed with Pretty Little Liars. (We’re all caught up now, and having to watch each new episode as it’s released, just like people had to do in The Olden Days, before Netflix…) I have been watching a couple of other shows lately, though, including…

Call the Midwife

CALL THE MIDWIFE

I’d been aware of Call the Midwife for a while, but had deliberately avoided watching it, because I’d somehow gotten the idea that it was one of those reality shows, depicting ACTUAL childbirth. Actual childbirth is almost as terrifying as crustaceans are to me (I was once sent out of the room during a high school sex education class, because I couldn’t stop shrieking at the birth video they insisted on showing us…), so I figured this one was best avoided. And that, my friends, is why you should read the description of TV shows, rather than simply judging them by their titles. Like I do.

(And, honestly, you’d think the fact that everyone in the publicity shots is wearing clothes from the 1950s would’ve clued me in that it probably wasn’t reality TV, huh? Nope, not me! I probably just assumed they were all really into retro, or something…)

Anyway, as I’m sure you’ve worked out, Call the Midwife is NOT reality TV, but is, in fact, a drama set in the East End of London in the late 50s/early 60s, which follows the lives of the midwives and nuns who worked there at the time. I realise that doesn’t exactly sound like a recipe for excitement, but it’s based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, who actually was a midwife in the East End at that time, and it’s as much about the history and culture of the era as it is about the East End, or childbirth (although there is a fair bit of childbirth too, obviously. Thankfully it’s not gruesome, though…), and it’s both moving and fascinating in equal measures.

I was sucked in right from the first episode (and not just because of the amazing clothes the midwives wear on their days off): so much so that I binged-watched the first two seasons while running on the treadmill (Er, not all at that the same time, needless to say. I’m not THAT good a runner…), then had to pay to watch the 3rd on Amazon. That meant my daily workouts became both expensive AND emotional, because almost every episode had me sobbing by the end of it, so there I’d be, running along and crying my eyes out, while paying about £2.50 per episode for the privilege. It was more fun than it sounds, honestly. I’m now up to season 4 (Which, again, means I’m watching LIVE TV: oh, the humanity!), which isn’t quite as emotional, but still good TV. I actually think the season finale is this weekend, though, which leaves me with…

better call saul

BETTER CALL SAUL

Better Call Saul is the prequel to Breaking Bad, and I was actually kinda scared to watch it, for that very reason. Breaking Bad was one of my favourite TV shows of all time, you see, and I was worried that Better Call Saul just wouldn’t live up to it. It was a bit like when I was a teenager, and my life revolved around music (Er, I’ve just realised I’ve made it sound like I was part of the Von Trapp family or something: I just mean I was one of those moody teenagers who spends all of her time in her bedroom, listening to melancholy rock songs), I’d sometimes dread the release of a anew album by my favourite bands, because what if it sucked? What if I hated it, and it ruined EVERYTHING for me? That’s how I felt about Better Call Saul.

I needn’t have worried, though: we’re only about four episodes in, but so far I’m really enjoying it. I’ve heard a few people criticise it for being too slow, but that was part of the appeal of Breaking Bad for me, and I think it works here, too. I guess time will tell with this one, but so far, so good!

What have you been watching lately? 

COMMENTS
  • I didn’t realise Better Call Saul was the prequel. I’ve never watched Breaking Bad. That’s a lie, I’ve watched the first two episodes and then forgot to watch it. I keep meaning to but now I feel there are too many series to catch up. Can you watch Better Call Saul without watching Breaking Bad? Or even watch it first?

    I liked watching the Call the Midwife Christmas specials but I’ve never seen the series. It’s on my to watch list (which is forever growing, I’m destined to not have a life outside of the living room!).

    March 5, 2015
  • Ooooh, I too had been avoiding Better Call Saul for fear that it might be a bit naff! Will definitely check it out now that I’ve read a couple of good reviews…

    March 5, 2015
  • Suze

    REPLY

    I really need to get my tardy self signed up to Netflix as I’m desperate to see Better Call Saul and keep hearing how good it is. Saul & Mike were my favourite BB characters so I’m really interested to see their back story and watch their characters develop. I’m sitting here drinking my coffee from a “Better Call Saul” mug and have a Saul Goodman branded pen at my desk too, such is my affection for that lovable little scamp 🙂

    March 5, 2015
  • My boyfriend has been watching Better Call Saul a lot lately. I’m still not too sure if I should watch it yet. Maybe.

    I’ve mostly been watching Orange is the New Black lately, but I finally finished the second season so I’m caught up until this summer!

    -Marisa | http://marisahendrickson.com/

    March 5, 2015
  • I tried to love Breaking Bad, really I did… and I can totally see why others adore it, but it was just too grim for me. I thought Walt was too despicable and it totally stopped me enjoying the whole thing, particularly the worse he got! And Call the Midwife I know about but haven’t watched because I can’t stand Miranda Hart. She just summarises all that I find irritating in people! I really wish I could tolerate her though because otherwise I’d totally want to watch this series!!

    March 5, 2015
    • Suze

      REPLY

      Haha! I know what you mean about Miranda. I’ve not seen Call The Midwife either (doesn’t appeal in the slightest, even though I do like a good period drama) and even the fact that her character is rather annoyingly called “Chummy” puts me right off!

      How far into Breaking Bad did you watch? I didn’t start really enjoying it until towards the end of the 3rd season and then I was hooked right through to the finale. I didn’t warm towards Walter either though, in fact I never liked him, even at the beginning, and couldn’t empathise with his character at all. Despite not liking him I still appreciated his spectacular ‘journey’ and loved the show overall. I guess I don’t mind a bit of grim! 🙂

      March 5, 2015
  • Rachel

    REPLY

    I’ve only just got into Call the Midwife after having put it off because…babies being born…no thank you. But after running through a number of shows I needed a new one and reluctantly watched episode one and then eagerly absorbed the rest! IT’s horrible though when you have to wait for each episode each week…live tv!

    March 5, 2015
  • Better Call Saul is fab! Feels just like I’m watching Breaking Bad again 🙂

    Kirsty | http://www.kirsty.ws

    March 5, 2015
  • I thought the same thing about Call the Midwife – in fact, it was my actual midwife who put me straight, said she absolutely loves it, sobs through most episodes and has convinced me I should probably get around to watching it…

    March 5, 2015
  • CtMw is just wonderful, I’ve been watching it since it first started and cry most weeks – I tend to watch it on my own for that very reason! Jessica Lange (the main character in the first few series) is in Fortitude now which is both brilliant and entirely confusing 😀

    March 5, 2015
  • Call the Midwife is one of my favourites. I don’t like Miranda Hart either, she just irritates me in almost everything she does. However, she does well in this series, and I can suspend belief long enough to believe in her character, Chummy, with a plummy voice. Try it.

    March 5, 2015
  • Catherine

    REPLY

    The L Word. Just watched the last season, now bereft!

    March 5, 2015
  • Eeeeee! I LOVE Call the Midwife – although I did all of my bingeing and crying via Netflix, so I am going to have to wait a bit before Season 4. Such a great show.

    March 5, 2015
  • I loooove Call the Midwife! Although I’m like you and can’t stand anything related to childbirth so it wasn’t really on my radar until a few months ago when I watched them all in about a month… I must have went on about it a bit because my friend bought me the first book for Christmas haha! Also I like your treadmill/watching idea, my TV binges mostly involve food and sitting on my butt for too long…

    March 5, 2015
  • Love them both! Call The Midwife is my alone time show, but Better Call Saul my husband and I both love. We actually never watched Breaking Bad, but somehow got hooked on Saul. We also LOVE Endeavour which is the prequel to Inspector Morse.

    March 5, 2015
  • HAHA. That is EXACTLY the same reason I’ve avoided Call the Midwife – people ask me alllllllllll the time if I watch it, and I’m like no why would I want to watch a reality show about child birth. No thanks. I still haven’t watched it though – the mention of good clothes does make it sound appealing, and I used to live in the East End so I would probably enjoy it.

    I think Better Call Saul is equally as brilliant as Breaking Bad :’)

    March 7, 2015
  • Alvina

    REPLY

    Ahah, I don’t watch Marple and Bletchley Circle only for plots, but also for style actually. I’m the youngest grandma you’ve all ever met!

    March 7, 2015
  • I’ve cried for every episode of Call the Midwife that I have watched (my alone time show as well). I’m just barely into season two but I do like it. I eventually had to see what Breaking Bad was all about – mostly because I grew up in Albuquerque where it was filmed – but I have yet to see Better Call Saul.

    March 8, 2015
  • I’m another one of those who avoided Call The Midwife because I’m not into labor. Even pregnancy. I can deal with it, it’s just not my interest. But I loved the costuming and I was shut up inside and needed something to really distract me. I got totally sucked into it. I’m in the US so have to wait until the end of the month for season 4 unless I want to pay for it!

    March 9, 2015
  • I love Better Call Saul, by comparison to Breaking Bad, I don’t think it’s slow at all. It’s definitely much funnier, but I guess some of that might come from the knowledge you already have about the characters from watching BB. I can’t wait to see where they go with it though!

    March 9, 2015
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