Bomb Girls Season 1 DVD ReviewBomb Girls Season 1 DVD Review

Bomb Girls Season 1 DVD Review

World War 2 is a time period that’s been extensively covered in the realm of TV and film entertainment, it’s a wonder there’s still more left to tell. That being said, Canadian made TV serial Bomb Girls offers yet another tale of interest from the early 1940’s. American/Canadian dramas usually have a tendency  to over-dramatise a subject, especially when the topic matter calls for a lighter touch. That being considered, female social advancement, a growing fear of emasculation, and awkward gender based anxieties don’t seem the easiest mediums to translate in the form of mainstream episodic drama.

Bomb Girls follows the interwoven lives of several young ladies who take up jobs at the munitions factory as bomb manufacturers, after conscription causes severely short-staffing.

Gladys (Jodi Balfour) is a girl of privilege who rejects the silver spoon, after discovering just how hard other girls have it. Kate Andrews (Charlotte Hegele) is the beautiful, yet repressed daughter of an abusive preacher, who finds herself rejecting the unexpected advances of her friend Betty (Ali Liebert). The girls come to realise they have a lot more in common than they thought, as they band together against the hard struggles of a man’s world.

The opulent and evolving world of war-waging ’40s America is preserved to the detail in Bomb Girls. From each swing-dancing party, each errant lofty curl of hair, to every perfectly trimmed dress screams of authenticity. The sets and production design are convincingly real, and every character certainly seems to be from the era mentioned. While the aesthetics are spot on, the same can’t be said for the show’s script. It tries far too hard to bludgeon the audience with context of the ’40s, in painstakingly obvious fashion. On the first disc alone I counted twelve mentions of Hitler, yet they seemed phobic to mention the Nazis as a whole. It’s a little unnecessary considering how well the show presents itself as a period piece, without the need for spoon-feeding viewers.

The pace of the show is quite slow to start, but after a while Bomb Girls shapes up to be quite a blast. As the characters develop, the hardships they encounter make you want to emphasise with each and every one of them. To clarify, Bomb Girls isn’t what you initially might think it is. It’s not just a soulless mass-produced episodic drama like Downton Abbey. It has a genuine personality formed from the dangerously real context of these girls making these wartime explosives, fused expertly with their unique and intertwining character arcs.

Bomb Girls didn’t immediately grip me like a lot of TV shows seem to do, but I don’t believe I’m really its target audience. That being said, I did like the show. It has some solid fundamentals, some fantastic production design, sets and costuming, and a decent plot. If you’re keen on the era, fancy some finally well formed drama focusing on the plight of the woman, or simply need to fill the gaping hole Breaking Bad left in your life, perhaps look into buying Season 1 of Bomb Girls, on DVD now.

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