Television and Movies

The Emotional Roller Coaster of “Call the Midwife”

SPOILER ALERT! If you have not seen–and plan to see–last night’s episode of “Call the Midwife” (S1, E4), read no further. If you have seen it, read on and sympathize.

***

Yesterday began wonderfully and looked to have an even greater ending. After celebrating Easter Sunday at church and eating a big lunch with the family, I was looking forward to a leisurely evening filled with British television. Within the past month, Sunday has become the British television night. “Call the Midwife” comes on at 7, followed by “Turn” at 8, and then “The Bletchley Circle” at 9. My favorite of these shows is “Call the Midwife.”

“Call the Midwife” never fails to put a smile on my face, but there’s a downside to it. It’s too good. It makes me so happy that I become discontent with my life while watching it. I start to think…If only I could be Jenny Lee, riding around east side London on a bicycle. I even convince myself that I could be content with midwifery, which–if you know me at all–is completely…not me. Why not? Well, I get dizzy at the sight of blood, and science is not my best subject. Is that enough reason? I’m afraid Nonnatus House just couldn’t take me.

I’m seriously wanting to buy the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, which the show is based off of. Last night, while my sister and I were looking up the books online, we found out that the author’s full name is Jennifer Lee Worth, just like the main character of the show, Jenny Lee. So that meant Jenny would marry someone with the last name “Worth,” right? But Alec’s (the boyfriend’s) last name wasn’t “Worth.”

“Maybe they just changed his last name for the show, to make it less predictable.” That’s what we told ourselves.

Because, really, Jenny and Alec were meant for each other. When they were dancing on last night’s episode and comparing themselves with Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, the butterflies in my heart went crazy! It’s amazing how the love of two fictional characters could make me so happy and smiley. I had the end of the episode all worked out. Jenny was finally going to admit her love, and she and Alec were going to live happily ever after.

Yes, I’m a romantic. I’d rather have predictability than unhappy characters. Even for stories based on real life. Titanic? It sank in real life. Does it really have to sink again in the movie? Pocahontas? Just have John Smith stay. I mean, that movie’s already historically inaccurate. I’m sure no one would mind if they added a happy ending.

But, apparently, not everyone thinks like me.

 ***

Jump ahead half an hour: I’m stomping out of the living room with red eyes and a wet face, yelling, “I HATE THEM!”

Woah…what just happened? How could I go from being extremely happy to extremely angry/sad within the span of 30 minutes? I’ll tell you: After that romantic dance I just mentioned, Alec: 1) went to work; 2) fell a long way to the ground and landed on some rocks; 3) broke his leg and foot; and 4) had is foot amputated.

While all this was happening, my sister and I were freaking out. An amputated foot? Well, no more dancing for him and Jenny. We were just glad he wasn’t paralyzed, like we thought he was going to be. Compared to that, a missing foot was just fine.

That’s how the episode should have ended. He gets in a accident, and Jenny realizes how much she loves him.

But no. Of course not. That’s just too simple and happy, isn’t it? Instead…

Jenny gets a call. Something’s gone wrong with  Alec’s broken bone. But it’s too late. He’s gone before she even gets there.

And that’s when I lost it.

Crying in front of people is not my thing. My entire life, I’ve tried to control my tears in front of people. Hold them in, so no one will make fun. Because my family is mean. Someone must make fun when another family member cries. But, with my own apartment, I’ve lost practice. There’s no one here with me while I’m watching sad movies. Now, if I watch anything either slightly happier or sadder than my life, the tears are rolling.

So obviously, I was not prepared for last night. Luckily, though, my sister wasn’t either. But I couldn’t tell how much she was crying because I was digging my face into a pillow.

Moral of the story: Don’t trust British television.

I should have learned my lesson with “Merlin.”

But I didn’t. And I won’t now. Because “Call the Midwife” is awesome.

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2 thoughts on “The Emotional Roller Coaster of “Call the Midwife””

    1. Well, maybe so…but I’ve still been watching the new episodes, and they’re pretty good. I’m excited to read the books to see how close the show is to real life. I wonder if Alec even existed…I guess I’ll find out.

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