Netflix Instant Pick: Bomb Girls is Da Bomb
I gave Bomb Girls a watch on a recommendation and really enjoyed it. It’s about that pivotal time during World War II when women were given the chance to step up and do jobs they didn’t have the opportunity to do before. Sure it was by default, since so many men were away at war, but this shift had to start somewhere. This is where women began to prove themselves in the workplace as just as capable as men if not more so. It’s also a great story for setting alone, similar to Mad Men, except with swing, big band, jazz, nylons, elbow-length gloves, hats, curls and lots of red (since those pesky greens and browns were so in-demand during wartime).
This story focuses on a Canadian munitions factory, where women carefully assemble bombs on the factory floor and drama ensures, some related to the war/factory itself and some not.
It has many strong female characters: Lorna Corbett (Meg Tilly), the hard-as-nails floor manager who also cares, Betty McRae (Ali Liebert), the one in the Rosie-the-riveter pose in the promos who is awesome for many reasons, Kate Andrews (Charlotte Hegele), the church mouse who wants to be a jazz singer, and Gladys Witham (Jodi Balfour), a rich girl who chooses to work the factory floor to do her part. She is a strong voice for women’s capabilities, though I have mixed feelings about her, especially in the beginning. (I certainly like her better in the end.)
These women are definitely imperfect which is realistic, but usually endearing at the same time. There was a plot point in the beginning involving Corbett that I didn’t really buy (there was a void of chemistry for me where it was supposed to exist), but overall Corbett is a likable, well-constructed character that’s easy to get behind.
My absolute favorite character is Vera Burr (Anastasia Phillips). (Spoilers ahead.) She begins as a meek girl who, after a factory accident mangles her face, learns to embody true confidence and beauty despite appearances and assumptions. (Though it does take her half a season to get there during which she’s a bit trying to watch. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s gorgeous and her scar is barely visible after a short time.)
This show runs two seasons and ends with a TV movie. Between the end of season two and the movie, a strange tonal shift occurs that’s impossible not to notice. I actually like the direction it goes, so I didn’t mind it (it was way more interesting than poorly portrayed post traumatic stress in season two), but it’s very uneven. But if you just accept it as fun. It is.
But one thing that hurts the show tremendously for a couple of episodes is Tahmoh Penikett’s British accent. (I think. I’m not even sure what he’s trying to do.) It sounds like it came out of a kindergarten pretend class and makes you very aware that you’re watching a show, which jerks you completely out of the story. He seems to slowly phase it out, which helps a lot, but I have to say the creators made a huge mistake in committing this accent to film and not just saying, “Maybe your character isn’t British.” It’s truly awful. Thankfully, it isn’t endured long.
Overall, I think this show is worth a watch. You could even call it “da bomb.”