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Call the Midwife Review – Pure Christmas Comfort and Joy | Television

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TThe good news about the leech, explains Dr Turner, “this is a large specimen, so you won’t need more than that.” Thank God. I thought he was about to put the whole pot of leeches – medical grade, collected from Barts that morning – on poor Lucille’s bruised and swollen eye, and that the Call the Midwife Christmas special (BBC One) was about to take a horrible turn. I can handle a little blood – you have to do that with this show – but there is a difference between childbirth questions (“I just lost the biggest mucus plug you’ve ever seen!” Announces Ms Howells, soon mother of -five) and writhing bloodsuckers, about to be strapped near an eyeball.

The Black Eye is a nocturnal hen sore – a dangerous combination of the stairs of the Nonnatus house and Sister Hilda’s rum punch. Sister Hilda recovers with aspirin; for Lucille, they are leeches, a treatment “from the 3rd century BC. said Sister Monica Joan, with joy. “I feel sick just watching them,” explains intern Nancy, while Lucille shudders in horror. After barely an hour, the leech is stuffed; At this point in Christmas Day, we might all know what it feels like.

Lucille is again beautiful and her marriage on Boxing Day with Cyril is saved. But there are pregnancy issues elsewhere, and I’m not just talking about the slit in Fred Buckle’s Santa pants. Nonnatus House midwives expect an influx of women – 20 more affected patients from St Cuthbert’s Hospital. “What do you think was going on in March? Nancy asks, with a smirk. There are not enough midwives then and now.

Worse, the heroine has arrived in Poplar, and one of the pregnant women who reluctantly attend the antenatal clinic is clearly an addict – she is, according to Sister Julienne, “skinny and very pale,” the television short for drug addiction. When Dr. Turner is called in for a stabbing in a gang, the woman, Anita Page, is there. Anita throws herself into the laundry room, where her gangster husband – so little domesticated in 1966 that he asks his mother how to make cheese on toast – will never find her.

Call the Midwife is approaching his 10th birthday and only the most ignorant still don’t know that beyond his heartwarming Sunday night TV feeling, he has sweeping politics and skillfully chronicling social change. Now that it comes to drugs, there is the specter of babies born with addiction. “It’s a new challenge in this country, and it’s going to become a bane,” says Mother Mildred (Miriam Margolyes) – because she’s back! – through a crying newborn baby. “We have seen babies suffer like this all the time in Hong Kong.”

At the news that Nurse Shelagh and Dr Turner’s adopted daughter May “was one of those children,” Shelagh is horrified – you can tell by the way her eyebrows reflect the shape of her glasses. They will have to administer opiates to the newborn girl to relieve her pain. “I know the dosage and I know the method,” says Mildred seriously. “No nurse who has done this job forgets, nor can she forget this cry.” (A note on Margolyes: I revere her to the extreme, but I wonder if her newfound notoriety has ruined her for a role like this – whenever she’s onscreen, especially when she’s contemplating quietly praying, I half-expect her to fart.)

It’s Christmas Day and the babies keep coming. Mrs. Howells needs forceps; Mrs. Karphopalas is bleeding. Meanwhile, in a home birth, Sister Frances is attending to her first breech birth. She looks terrified. “Are you afraid, sister? Asks Mrs. Chu, working on her finest sheets (“It was a wedding present, I kept them for the big event”). Sister Frances shakes her head. Do nuns have the right to lie?

One of my favorite things about Call the Midwife is that religion is carried so lightly and nuns never let it override their humanity. The well-being of mothers and babies comes first, as with dedicated lay midwives. I will never get tired of these wise, capable, kind women and this show, even though its emotional manipulation – as well as its soundtrack – is quite relentless. He doesn’t pull the sensitive strings so much as he pulls them vigorously, as if he were ringing the bell. By the time Lucille arrives at church to find out she has bridesmaids and page boys after all – five children she had given birth to when she arrived in Poplar – I was lost. Comfort and joy in its purest form.

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