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If Call the Midwife was set in World War Two and was about the Women’s Institute instead of midwives, and was nowhere near as good as it is, it would be Home Fires. Oh dear.
In a nutshell
Look, we get that Sunday dramas follow a certain formula. There will be fresh-faced lads and English roses. Meddling matriarchs and puffed up patriarchs. Bittersweet joys, light romances, and the occasional tragedy to have you reaching for the tissues. Sunday evening is for cosily generic escapism, not Breaking Bad. But does Home Fires really need to be SUCH a Sunday drama?
It is the very ideal, the very quintessence, of Sunday drama. A distillation of all the tried-and-tested bits and bobs that make shows like Call the Midwife and Mr Selfridge so successful. And Home Fires is itself successful, going by the viewing figures. But it’s somehow the most unimaginative and lacklustre of the lot, from its drearily punning title, to the rural setting and stock aristocratic villains and plucky young lasses gamely doing their bit for the war effort. Not that the war itself feels like the war. Even in this series two opener, with the Battle of Britain coming up and one of the characters becoming pally with a Czech soldier, you never really get a sense of things being at stake. Because we’re in Sunday drama land, and everything is fine.
What's the verdict?
Undaring, uninnovative, unexciting. Home Fires has little to offer except the calming balm of predictable period tosh. But if that’s all you’re after come the end of the weekend, it’ll do.