Mar 25, 2013

After yesterday's Debbie Downer of a post

Things are looking much brighter here at fauxluxe.  The weather is still not as perfect as I would like it to be, for my type of Spring -- just a bit too chilly for my taste -- but there has been plenty of sun, and everything is starting to bloom.  (The Swedish word for flowers is blommor -- lovely.) Plus, the Wife brought home some lovely flowers yesterday, and I lit some candles (the Swedish word for a candle's flickering light is glimma -- lovely), and we had a scrumptious meal, and watched a lot of really good television.

The Wife was going through a Girls jones, and season two of Veep does not start for three more weeks, so we watched all of season one of Veep in one shot.  Then it was time to make dinner. And, I handled the grill (!) whilst the Wife made the salad and all the vegetables.  We had salad, steak, asparagus, carrots, and potatoes.  (It is a joy to be simple!)

But what to watch for the evening? This is 40 was (sort of) discussed, a trailer was watched, but Renee could tell from my silence that it was probably not really an option.  I looked for In the Company of Men, but realized that that should best be saved for another time, and then quite miraculously we landed upon something else.  It was a reach, really.  We knew nearly absolutely nothing about it.  Something from England, not very old, was it a comedy? a drama? And, how had I missed this? How had I also missed this, which the Wife discovered? (I know how.  We do not sell newspapers at my store any more, except on Saturday and Sunday.  I do not work Sundays.  It is a travesty not being able to get my Friday NYT and SFChron.)

Preparing dinner was started, and I let the Netflix stream roll, so as to determine whether it was something we would enjoy.  (Desperately hoping we would like it so that This is 40 would not become our fallback choice.)  By the time we sat down for dinner, and the Wife had a really good hard look at the program, all fears were put to rest.

Call the Midwife is a delightfully lovely little new BBC series that both of us adored.  It is a period drama set in the East End of London round the late Fifties based on Jennifer Worth's memoirs. This series is about as chick flick as you can get.

Our hero, Jenny Lee, is a midwife and nurse who works at a clinic run by nuns in one of the worst neighborhoods in London.  Each episode contains two or three stories of her and her fellow nurses, nuns, doctors, and East Enders as they live their lives in still bombed out post-Blitz London.

Jessica Raine plays Jenny, and she is a door bell playing the lead.  Pam Ferris, Helen George, Judy Parfitt, Laura Main, and Cliff Parisi are all very good in their roles, as well.  And, Michael Redgrave's daughter, Vanessa narrates the series, as Mature Jenny.  (I suspect the only thing keeping Vanessa Redgrave from being Dame Redgrave are her leftist political leanings.)

But, the real star of the series, the real revelation, and one of the Wife and I's most recent favorite television characters is Miranda Hart as Chummy.

Chummy is a "long dog with a short name", an absolute klutz, a total "when I was in band camp" kind of nerd (her band camp was growing up in India.) Clever if awkward, sophisticated if socially inept, Chummy is a perfect comedic creation, realized by Ms Hart, though based on a very real life person.  The Wife and I love all her scenes.  Her running in to trash cans on her bicycle, her courtship with PC Noakes, her taste for The Glenlivet, her exquisite posh accent, and everything else about her.  (Plus, Renee laughed, but I learned what TTFN meant.  I am gobsmacked that an Anglophile as devout as I never knew any thing about that.) She is the best part of this very fine series.

Other things to like about the series:  That the doctor always always always shows up too late, "Sorry, I had two cases of laryngitis to deal with." ... that miracles abound ... Parfitt's crazy wise Lear Fool-like nun ... Sister Evangelina setting up Chummy and Noakes' date ... Ted, the greatest husband and new father in the history of television ... Parisi's character, Fred ... the period detail, the sets (which are quite plainly beautifully constructed creations) ... a fair amount of the supremely dry wit ... and the fact that this is most certainly a Woman's Series, all about women, mostly about women, and created and written and directed by a majority of women.

We will finish series one tonight, and are eagerly looking forward to season two, even if we are not able to watch it yet.

It is great stuff, and comes v highly recommended by me.

Mwah, ...

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