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YMMV / Call the Midwife

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  • Abandon Shipping: In the wake of hints in late series 3 that Patsy Mount was gay (or at least bisexual), the pairing Patsy/Trixie became quite popular due to the two's growing friendship. Shippers abandoned the pairing en masse come series 4, however, which featured the introduction of Patsy's established girlfriend Delia, who hadn't previously been seen or mentioned in the series. Heartwarmingly, Delia was immediately embraced by the fanbase, and Patsy/Delia is now quite likely the most popular couple in the fandom next to Turnadette.
  • Awesome Music:
    • "O Come, O Come, Emanuel" from the 2012 Christmas special. The solo is sung by Laura Main (Sister Bernadette), a trained soprano, and by Sister Bernadette herself in-universe.
    • For "Children in Need" in 2013, Stephen McGann (Dr Turner) and Laura Main recorded a version of "When I Fall In Love (It Will Be Forever)". The BBC released it as a music video, and then the two performed it live. The reaction of the fandom was predictable, to say the least.
  • Crack Pairing: Out of the bowels of Tumblr sprang the Dr Turner/Sister Julienne pairing. Definite crack, especially given that Dr Turner is so desperately in love with Sister Bernadette he can hardly see straight (it's very mutual) and has been since they first shared a scene, and yet some find it strangely enthralling. The "logic" seems to be, "She is like an older Sister Bernadette, and he's in love with Sister Bernadette. Also, Jenny Agutter is hot."
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  • Creator Worship: Not only has Heidi Thomas won rave reviews from critics, she has been passionately embraced by the programme's fanbase, most especially on Tumblr, where she is considered to be just short of God. (And there are those who would dispute the "just short of" modifier.)
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: It is considered merely strange that the family in the first episode has 24 kids (with the 25th on the way), not to mention that the husband apparently married the wife and brought her to England when she was 14. Sister Julienne even says that she might even have been younger than that, and in Real Life Jennifer Worth reckoned that Conchita was eleven or twelve when she left Spain.
    • Everyone, including doctors, nurses, and pregnant women, smokes. It's even a bonding moment for Sister Bernadette and Dr Turner after a hard delivery!
    • The resolution to Mary's story: her daughter is taken from her without her consent and put up for adoption, given that Mary is only 15, homeless, and both uneducated and untrained. This is portrayed by the priest as being the best possible outcome to her situation, but it still triggers a Heroic BSoD in Mary.
    • When the Redmond baby was abducted, no one apparently thought it was unusual that the mother left the baby outside and alone in her pram on the sidewalk of a busy street, while she herself stayed inside to do the laundry.
      • In 1950s Britain it wasn't uncommon for people to leave their babies in prams outside their houses while they did something inside. It wasn't necessarily something everyone did, but it was considered safe to do so by the people who did. It was taken as obvious that sleeping outdoors was good for children, and many houses had no yard or garden- it was also normal for children from poor areas to play in the street almost as soon as they could walk (there were very few cars and so many children played there it was assumed the older ones were watching.)
      • It was still not unusual in the late sixties for baby to be left to sleep, in a pram not dissimilar to the ones we see in CTM, on the front path looking out into the street. This was partly for the fresh air, partly because it decreased the likelihood of the baby waking up bumping up the steps and partly, it was said, because they'd have something to look at when they woke.
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    • The Golly dolls that Sister Monica Joan knits are now almost universally recognised in Britain as an extremely regressive and stereotypical image of black people. Trixie refers to them as "Gollies" rather than "Golliwogs" since this was probably at the point when "wog" on its own started being used as a slur against Black people.
    • Sister Bernadette and Sister Julienne's respective conflicts between their religious calling and their romantic feelings might not have had the same outcome in modern times. The Church of England started ordaining women as vicars in 1994, so it's possible that they might have chosen that option if it had been available to them at the time.
    • In Season 4 Episode 3, the kindhearted Sergeant Noakes testifies against a man in court for homosexual behavior. Later Fred asks the same man to leave a community organization.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Chummy Browne.
    • Sister Bernadette.
    • The romantic subplot between Sister Bernadette and Dr Turner is an example of a storyline becoming an Ensemble Dark Horse; the pair's romance got, on average, five minutes an episode beginning with their first shared scene in 1x06, but has become tremendously beloved, not least because every second of that screentime went toward building an utterly believable relationship.
    • Unexpectedly, Jane Sutton (Dorothy Atkinson), the Shrinking Violet medical orderly who joins Nonnatus after Chummy goes to Africa. When she didn't appear in the 2013 Christmas special, much of the fandom started saying, "Where's Jane? We want Jane back!"note 
  • Fair for Its Day: There are a handful of scenes on the show that depict practices or values that would not be acceptable nowadays, such as the chemical castration of male homosexuals, abortion being a criminal act, the use of shaving and enemas during childbirth (neither of which are used nowadays), the forced removal of children from unwed mothers or teenagers (eg Mary in the second episode) and infants being left outdoors. The show does however, attempt to show the midwives in a way that makes it clear that these values are not necessarily the most fantastic ones.
  • Fanservice Pack: For the entire non-nun cast in Season 6 as they change uniforms... some of them literally. Particularly for Helen George (Trixie) who had appeared on Strictly Come Dancing during filming; Trixie ends up with multiple scenes in tight clothing, in her undies or showing off her stockinged leg. In character, she's attending a Keep Fit class with the result that she's dropped two inches of her waist and gone up a cup size. The Daily Mail predictably described this as 'sexing up' the show.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • 2x03 becomes a little rough to watch knowing that Bryony Hannah (Cynthia Miller) is a mother herself.
    • Delia telling Patsy they'll have to "dance together in their heads" in 4x07 becomes this following the events of 4x08. Doubles as "Funny Aneurysm" Moment.
    • In 4X04, Tom tries to explain to a frustrated Trixie why he is devoted to his work as a man of God and is willing to be relocated by the Bishop with little notice. His anecdote about a grieving widower asking him to explain God's plan and why life was worth living following the death of his young wife is hard to watch after the events of 07X07.
  • Les Yay: It took all of one scene for fans to start shipping Valerie Dyer and Lucille Anderson. Their closeness and warmth with each other — and particularly Valerie's ongoing protectiveness of and obvious care for Lucille — verges on romantic, including a notable shot of them Holding Hands after a particularly tragic case.
  • Narm Charm: Call the Midwife definitely contains a few elements that could be considered a bit... Narm-y. There's that treacly voiceover for starters, not to mention the endless references to 'doing it for love'. Hallmark moments occur at least once an episode. Such a bucketload of sentimentality really ought to be off-putting and yet somehow it just... isn't. (And even if you're terribly cynical and think that it might be, CTM always has the ultimate trump card of loads and loads of brand new real life babies. Watch it and weep.)
  • Nightmare Fuel: Pretty much anything involving the workhouses that used to be in the East End. They're never seen, but the effects on those who lived and worked in them are clearly visible. "The workhouse howl" stands out as a Nightmare Fuel.
    • Also, any time deliveries go wrong.
    • When Shelagh and Dr. Turner adopt their daughter, the social worker comments that the placement was last minute because the teenage birthmother's parents changed their mind about letting her bring the baby home after the baby was born.
    • Dr Turner prescribes thalidomide to a patient, since the side effects weren't known at the time, and she says she'll recommend it to all her friends. So the baby might be born with severe or even fatal birth defects ("Of the approximately 2,000 babies born with defects [in the UK], around half died within a few months"), or the mother's friends' babies if they end up taking it. Also, a few episodes earlier, we saw Dr Turner get really distraught after making a (reasonably fixable) medical mistake. If several babies are born with birth defects because of something he prescribed, he'd feel really guilty. And imagine all the hundreds of real-world doctors who were in that situation. The impact of thalidomide ends up being one of the ongoing plot points of series five and extends into the sixth as well.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: The pairing of Sister Bernadette and Dr Turner has officially been christened "Turnadette". Also, "Shulienne" seems to have been adopted for the Shelagh/Julienne mother-daughter relationship, if is anything to go by.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Averted with Chummy's temporary replacement: Jane is an interesting character in her own right. Invoked in-universe when Chummy comes back; Jane worries that she was only there to "fill a gap", but the other girls reassure her that she's a part of Nonnatus now. (Whereupon she's instantly Demoted to Extra for the rest of the series and then absent from the Christmas Special without explanation, much to the irritation of the fandom.note  Given the sheer amount of story packed into every episode — and the fact that they probably couldn't get Dot Atkinson back — her reduced screentime is understandable, but no less displeasing to her fans.)
    • Subverted with Barbara Gilbert, Jenny Lee's outward Suspiciously Similar Substitute; she's actually much better liked among the fandom than Jenny ever was, thanks to her plucky, cheerful attitude, general adorkableness, and complete lack of Jenny's complicated love life and middle-class moralizing.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: On Tumblr, there are a few fans who ship Nurse Barbara Gilbert with Trixie's former fiance, Rev. Tom Hereward, with the explanation that their personalities are better suited. Also, Barbara is a vicar's daughter, which might make her more understanding of the life of a curate than Trixie seemed to be. There have even been a few fanfictions featuring this ship. This shipping is despite the fact that in canon, Tom and Barbara have shared very few scenes together and have had no conversations of any substance. Until the 2015 Christmas special, during which the two shared some adorably flirty moments and Tom couldn't seem to take his eyes off Barbara whenever they were in the same room. By the 2017 special, they were married. Does the fandom know their head writer, or what?
  • Tear Jerker: You are going to cry while watching this. Probably more than once — an episode. That is all.
    • Sister Evangelina's death and everyone's reactions, especially Sister Monica Joan's.
    • Then the death of Barbara shortly after she and Tom returned, made even more painful by the Hope Spot where it appears that she is recovering before she reveal that her hands are worse and she's losing sensation in them.
  • Writer Cop Out: The 2015 Christmas Special builds and builds to what looks like a emotional and poignant death for Sister Monica Joan. Then right at the end...she just gets better. Out of nowhere. And everything goes back to the way it was. It's so unexpected that it honestly seems like the writers planned to kill her off but changed their minds right at the last moment. Perhaps because Sister Monica Joan is such a beloved character and staple of the series — or because Pam Ferris (Sister Evangelina) had by then decided to leave the show and retire from acting, resulting in Evangelina's death at the end of the subsequent series.

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