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Land Girls, Series One (2009)


Land Girls

This wasn’t a series that appealed to me because of any British star power (I don’t know any of the names or faces save for one), but rather the catnip was its setting. I finally got the series on-line this past year for Christmas, and found it sometimes flawed but always endearing.

There isn’t one person who is untouched by the war England is embroiled in. While the men are fighting bravely for the preservation of their beloved country, the women are doing their bit to help by joining the Women’s Land Army. Two new arrivals are sent to one farm to join the ranks of “land girls,” who work the terrain, growing the vegetables to sell at the marketplace and provide food for an otherwise besieged nation. Joyce Fisher (Becci Gemmell) and Nancy (Summer Strallen) meet on the train but are complete opposites. Joyce is a self-reliant, married woman who frets over her husband’s training exercises and Nancy is a city-bred pretty face who frets more about her make-up than being a part of an important cause.

When their train goes unmet at the station, the two begin the long walk to the farm where they meet Farmer Finch and their supervisor Esther (Susan Cookson). Joining them as roommates are a pair of sisters, Annie (Christine Bottomley) who has just said good-bye to a husband whose marriage proposal she accepted far too quickly and is now caught up in a loveless marriage, and the seventeen-year-old Bea (Jo Woodcock) who is a flirtatious, spit-fire of a girl the farmer’s son, Billy (Liam Boyle) is sweet on.

Up at the manor house, the aristocratic Lady Hoxley (Sophie Ward) is not about to allow for rules to be broken – she rules with an iron fist and not just the girls but also her weak-kneed husband, Lawrence (Nathaniel Parker). With his marriage on the rocks, it isn’t long before Nancy sets her sights on Lord Hoxley and he on her, and the pair begin sneaking around… and despite the odds stacked against a war-torn world and in their own lives, they fall in love with potential consequences neither could have fathomed.

TV SERIES REVIEW | Land Girls, Series Two (2011)

Land Girls
 
From the first time reading about this series I wasn’t sold on its concept. Of late, I’ve had to “adjust” to period pieces that are about war torn societies because that is the direction BBC is heading. Despite first impressions that I’d detest this era, I’ve actually found many a jewel among the time period. Land Girls might be sweet as sugar during most of its five-episode run but there is the threat of a traitor, a man bent on revenge and unhappy marriages in the mix and it does trip up in a couple of disappointing ways.

Production staff, directors and even the cast pulled together a beautiful production. I did read that there are factual errors when it comes to the costuming for the time period but since I am not an expert in that regard, I cared little for the probable blunder (especially since it looked gorgeous to me). Everything about the series was simply put, charming – and I’ve grown to love this series as much as anything else that I enjoy from the "other side of the pond." All of the characters are likable which is always on the plus side of things, but yet there is something about them that is “restrained.” We are always questioning their motives and what is driving them. That can be something on the downward slope of distracting story-telling. In a house full of females, there is going to be angst and back-stabbing and that is the case in the award-winning series.

Land Girls
 
Well-known and extremely popular in the United Kingdom as a kind of daytime soap opera, it isn’t hard to see why Land Girls does so well in that venue – it is sort of a “soapy” feel-good drama. Not everyone has the pleasure of a happy-ever-after. Some characters get that pretty picture of an end, others are left heartbroken and for yet another character, writers leave us with the whisper of a promise that maybe – just maybe, she will get a second chance to right wrongs. What’s more, all of the characters realize the error of their ways, even if some of them made the mistakes full well knowing it was wrong at the time and are now left with a the broken pieces of a guilty conscious.

With a second season already on DVD, I am looking forward to checking it out and will be on the look-out for series three to make it to the states. It might not be usual British fare where everything is as pretty as an afternoon English tea, instead it’s a bit messier, but when it counts, it's a lovely way to spend the afternoon.
 
Content equates to a fitting PG13 or a just passable PG. There is an out-of-wedlock pregnancy [a naïve girl was seduced] and two extra-marital affairs [two scenes show the lovers lying in each other’s arms]. A few minor sexual innuendos are present. Several characters drink at the pub and one man dies after a gunshot wound.
 
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Rissi
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2 comments:

  1. I LOVE THIS SHOW! I can't wait until Season 3 makes it to the US, hopefully sometime this summer!

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  2. This was one I went "back and forth" on whether or not I wanted to see, Ruth. In the end, I went with it and thought it was a charming picture of life during this era - not that war is thought of as "charming," mind you.

    Looking forward to seeing S2 - and I am like you, S3 should make it to the states this summer. YAY! =)

    PS: have you ever seen the WWII series Wish Me Luck, Ruth? It looks interesting but once again, I've not seen it. =)

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