Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bomb Girls

“They work in munitions factories, building the arms that keep their overseas husbands, lovers, brothers and sons alive and fighting. For these women, the freedoms they're fighting for… come to include their own. While they're building bombs, women also find themselves flourishing with newfound freedom, discovering strengths they never before imagined. At the same time they're often woefully under-equipped for the new challenges they face. Amid propaganda and sexual harassment, crossing social and cultural boundaries, these remarkable women form a sisterhood never experienced before.”

“BOMB GIRLS delves into the lives of exceptional women — peers, friends and rivals. There's the fiery rich girl Gladys looking to escape her crushing social expectations. There's gentle, honey-voiced Kate who lands in Toronto on a raft of secrets. There's tough-talking Betty who's finally found a place where she belongs. And the gritty matron Lorna, whose heart blossoms through the power of work and unforeseen romance. The women form an unexpected kinship, while contending with the fathers, brothers, coworkers and suitors who are also facing various struggles (and advantages) of staying home. When your overseas lover could be shot dead tomorrow, when the materials you work with could explode in your face today, when you're not sure if the free world will even be standing next month... you play your cards how you want — and you don't play by the old rules.” (From the show's website introduction)

I've finally finished Bomb Girls which has been sitting on the PVR for a while. I must say that I found the series quite disappointing -- even for a canadian production. The lack of sound environment (little background noise, even in a factory!) was particularly annoying. But either it got better or the series simply just grew on me because I found it quite enjoyable in the end.

I guess Canadian producers don't have much experience in period drama (although they produced a few good ones like Wind at my back, but Americans have produced more -- and better ones probably due to bigger budget -- like Deadwood, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire or the recent Pan Am). However the sudden popularity of the genre (particularly with British shows like Downton Abbey) didn't give them much choice and they had to jump in despite their relative inexperience. What probably saved the show is that they didn't aimed at producing a complex and SFX-filled series like the Americans would do, but rather tried to emulate the simpler, more subtle style of the British series (simple, theatrical-like camera shot; good period costumes, evocating sets and, particularly, strong writing).

The series improved a lot in just six episodes and I enjoyed it even if it was nothing extraordinary. As you slowly discover each girl's history (easy since the characterization is skin-deep) you get to like them. So, if you have time (it's available online), I recommand it nevertheless. Hopefully, the second season (with twelve episodes) will be much better.

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