Parents' Guide to

Call the Midwife

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Sublime British medical drama with explicit birth scenes.

TV BBC America Drama 2012
Call the Midwife Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 11+

A look in to women's lives

I'm not sure why Netflix changed the rating to TV-MA. There is some mild language, and smoking. However, many of the issues are real life issues women have, and still do deal with. I put 11 and up, but truly, if you watch this show with your child and explain the things they don't understand, a younger child could watch this. It's a wonderful fictional historical drama that will educate, and leave you cheering, crying and pondering.
age 11+

We love this show

My daughter and I love this show so much that we have watched the seasons several times. It is graphic and there are mature topics. For us it has been a way to discuss things that face women then and now. It opens up conversations about many topics that might not come up in everyday life and many that are often uncomfortable. With us there is lots of stopping the show and me asking her what she thinks and having a conversation. It shows the cycle of life very beautifully. It also shows the complexity of life.....the good and the bad.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (19 ):

Lovers of Downton Abbey's sumptuous Britishness and Mad Men's vintage style will be in absolute ecstasies just soaking in the visuals of Call the Midwife. Trim 1950's cotton dresses! Fancy old chairs! Nun's habits and nurse hats! But very soon, the fripperies cease to be a distraction from the main point, which is women and the struggles they go through to bring children into the world. It's odd that while there are so many cinematic representations of the battles men fight, there are so few about this most timeless and universal battle that only women undergo: labor and birth.

And so, like Jenny Lee affirms in Call the Midwife's first episode, the viewer very shortly begins to see the cursing, sweating, smoking East End moms onscreen as heroines, getting on with life despite pregnancy, sickness, and death. They cheat on their husbands, they ignore syphilis sores, they smack their kids, or let them pee on the floor of the convent waiting room. Or they feed their fragile preemie babies in the night, drop by drop, and cry with their adult daughters as they shriek in birth agony. The nurses and sisters of Nonnatus House watch over it all and lend a hand where they can. "Midwifery is the very stuff of life," says Vanessa Redgrave as the voice of the older Jenny Lee, "Every child is conceived in love or lust and born in pain followed by joy or by tragedy and anguish. Every birth is attended by a midwife. She is in the thick of it. She sees it all." And on Call the Midwife, so do we.

TV Details

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