Sophia – We noticed this show pop up on Acorn TV, so decided that we’d give it a try. What we realized right out the gate is that we are woefully ignorant of the involvement of Australia and New Zealand in the World Wars! We even paused the show half-way through the first episode so that we could do a bit of research and have a better historical context for what was going on. (Yes, we are nerds, and fully at peace with it).
This is an excellent show. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s a period drama/historical fan. The story drags you into the emotional upheaval that these women experienced. They all had a “stars-in-their-eyes” approach to nursing until they were presented with the stark, horrific reality of what warfare was during the Great War. One of the themes that I can absolutely get behind and cannot recommend enough is that of friendship. These women clung to their relationships with each other as they nursed their countrymen. Through heartbreak, loneliness, emotional scarring, disrespect from the army, struggling with PTSD and the loss of their innocent view of the world, they had each other. More than that, they made their friendships a top priority. It’s beautiful to watch.
Both army brass and soldiers alike had a low opinion of the nurses during the war. They were “just nurses” and weren’t built to “deal with the reality of war,” and these women absolutely proved them wrong – some were even awarded with military honors only given out to the most heroic of soldiers. We cheered for that part!
Note: The main characters were real women who nursed during World War I, so these stories are dominantly verbatim re-tellings of the actual events of their lives. Because of this, there are sometimes slightly awkward transitions and plot developments. This dominantly presents itself in the last episode with an old flame turning up for one of the characters. He kinda comes out of nowhere. In real life, things don’t always work smoothly – I keep sending Bucky Barnes love letters and I just keep getting restraining orders in return . No declaration of love in the midst of a light rainfall or anything! It’s almost like I should just stop trying!!!
Arabella – Arabella started a new job in the past couple of weeks, which has been taking up all of her time! She’ll be back for our next review!
Obscenities– Nothing. Like, nothing at all, and then, 30 minutes from the end of the last episode, there’s one F word. It’s like, “What?!” If you want to avoid it, it’s when the camp get’s bombed for the first time. Yikes.
Sex – Two of the characters get earthy in the first episode – and you WAY see it coming. No idea how much they show because of our aforementioned skipping.
Note: there is a truly beautiful scene between a husband and wife in the last episode. He’s just come from the front and she undresses and bathes him. They don’t show anything inappropriate at all, and it’s an extremely touching display of her love and care for him, and of his trust in her.
Audience – This movie is about war, and they spare no expense in the gruesome reality of what that looked like for nurses. The injuries look real, and are sometimes startling. There is also very realistic depictions of the emotional trauma that soldiers and nurses alike had to endure. The viewer should probably have the emotional maturity to cope with these things.