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…
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 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?