By Jan Christian
At times like these, when the going gets tough, the tough run to Netflix. Now there are more shows streaming that I can possibly assimilate, but I have found two gems that keep my mind active and are educational as well.
- Outlander – This awesome show is in its 5th season and I will cry when I finish. I tried Season 1 a few months ago because it is so highly rated and also because it is a time-travel story. Before I knew it I was knee deep in Scottish/English 1770’s history. There are also many references to herbal healing, a bit of Scottish lore and surprisingly, some pretty sexy scenes. ( the series started on the STARZ channel) You may want to ask the wee-ones to leave the room! The chemistry between the 2 main characters, Claire and Jaime, is magical and their accents even better. Aye! In Season 1, Claire ends up touching a Stonehenge type stone in Scotland in the 1940’s, while on a honeymoon trip with her husband, and finds herself transported to 1750’s Scotland. Yikes! Expect war scenes, some gore, but mostly well-developed characters and fiends, with cliff-hangers scattered like popcorn. Lucky for Claire she is a brilliant nurse/healer, that gets her accepted early on, but also in trouble due to attitudes of the times. Don’t let me forget to mention the costumes and the settings. Shot in England, Scotland and S. Africa, you will feel transported as well. This series is better than many movies I have seen and I suggest you give it a go. It’s simply brilliant
- Call the Midwife – Based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth , this BBC production has hooked me , which is highly unusual for series I normally watch. I don’t have children, know nothing about babies and giving birth, and hate watching women on screen scream as they deliver. The hook is the series is set in a poor area of London in the late 1950’s and I was curious what was going on as I was born at that time. My goodness, attitudes about childbirth, women and life in general appear so archaic. The flip side, is the manners, civility and grace that also were a part of daily life. Midwifery has so many positives to helping women that it seems sad most deliveries now occur without them. The midwifes reside in a community center managed by the Catholic church and a group of compassionate nuns….and what a group they are. Sister Monica-Joan is lovely as the slightly senile, but “keeper of unexpected wisdom” character. There is plenty of great story-telling, humor and struggles of service between the young women that devote their lives to babies and educating new mothers. This show reminds us of what community used to be. The voice of Vanessa Redgrave also provides a quiet prologue and wrap-up after each episode, as each episode has a moral to be shared. Overall a jolly good hour that will whisk you far from the virus drama, Bravo!