Bomb Girls. It's fun. It's serious. It has a lot of red lipstick. It has the return of Meg Tilly. Also a hot Italian man. A lesbian. Hairnets. Jazz. I could go on, but to be honest, I was hooked from the title and I'm not looking back.
Bomb Girls, now in its second season, is a 1940's drama of female bomb factory workers who fight for the cause as if they were soldiers in battle. At least that's what shift matron Lorna Corbett says. She watches over the women like a sweet catholic mother wound as tight as swaddled baby, only as Meg Tilly can do. Lorna struggles with life's happiness, sons at war and guilt, all the while taking a whole factory of girls under her wing. I did wonder where she finds the time to get involved in the girls' private lives and deal with job-related house calls along with cooking for her crippled war veteran husband, but I guess this fits her character. I've always loved Meg Tilly so it's a treat to watch her, and in a role that suits Meg's generally wholesome lifestyle.
-------REVIEW WITH SPOLIERS BELOW * SKIP TO WHERE TO WATCH----Admittedly, when I saw the first episode, I knew there was something unique about this show. Sort of un-sparkly, but in a good, humanistic way. I couldn't put my finger on it until someone said "soooorry", it hit me. It's Canadian! So this is what good costumes look like, non-hollywood leads (not counting Meg Tilly who hasn't been seen on the screen for almost 20 years), and sets that are styled realistically instead of over the top? Without the LA sparkle, it makes Bomb Girls a more genuine show to me. Many of the working girl dresses are muted as many 1940's dresses were. Even the rich girls outfit, well-placed in her father's mansion, look new yet authentic, instead of in-your-face showy. This is not to say she doesn't pull out the fox fur or big hat, it just makes it more humanistic instead of tricking the audience by showing caricatures of an era, rather than the era itself.
If you've never seen it before, here's an intro to the main characters which should get you booted up to watch the series:
- Meg Tilly as Lorna Corbett, Shift Matron at Victory Munitions
- Jodi Balfour as Gladys Witham, priveliged daughter of a rich grocery store chain
- Charlotte Hegele as Kate (a.k.a Marion) Andrews, Preacher's daughter escaping his abuse
- Ali Liebert as Betty McRae, working girl who lives in the same boarding house as Kate
- Antonio Cupo as Marco Moretti, Italian-Canadian working at Victory Munitions
- Sebastian Pigott as James Dunn, fiancé of Gladys
- Anastasia Phillips as Vera, working girl at Victory Munitions
- Peter Outerbridge as Bob Corbett, Lorna's crippled veteran husband
For the ladies who like ladies out there, we have Betty McRae. I'm sure has already been tumblred to high heaven with girl on girl animated gifs. Good for Ali Liebert who plays her character in such a way it's almost as if she's the girl in school you knew was gay and fine with it, so much so that you never thought of it as anything abnormal. She's got the friendly sneer, the swagger and the tomboy qualities that may be a bit stereotypical, but it's endearing. We know she's struggling with her sexuality which seems only to scratch the surface, so I wonder if we will get to see more of her challenges in preferring women over men. She's definitely a likable character so lets hope the writers take it further. She also seems to be the literal poster girl for the show, as you see her flexing her muscles in a "Rosie the Riveter" pose in many promo shots.As for a leading man, there's pretty tasty eye candy, as Antonio a.k.a. Marco delivers another complicated character in series. Men who weren't in uniform were frowned upon, considering there were over 1 million people enlisted in Canada's armed forces for World War 2, which was 1/10th the population. Initially he's the stereotypical Italian character; cocky, forward with the ladies and jokey. While I know the writers had to set up the series for some intrigue, it disappointed me. Later Marco shows more depth, which is great, but then what happened to his happy-go-lucky attitude? He'd been working the factory for a while so the turn of events don't seem to justify a complete shift in nature. His buddy Archie, played by Billy MacLellan, seems to follow through with his crass ways even when put in the hospital. Archie wouldn't have looked as good in a cupid outfit as Marco, but that's me being biased.Overall there are a few inexperienced players and although she has the face and the voice for her character, Charlotte Hegele as Kate doesn't cut it for me. I want her to improve but as her character grows, I see her overacting in a new and annoying way. She's frightened and demure as an abused child at first, then demands to see a man who wants a "favor" in an exchange for some legal papers. When she meets up with her father again and starts street preaching, she's full-force "down with sin and the devil" like she hadn't ever run away. There's no struggle for her character at those moments except for what's in the script, and it's a very shallow reading. Somebody make this woman act better! She's clearly talented and beautiful but can't deliver the angst this character deserves.
Overall, lots of great acting, sets, storyline, and lots of potential for this series. I will enjoy the ride however soap opera-y it gets and will probably re-watch this because it's lively and inspiring. There's a great foundation to take this through so many more complexities. I'm hoping it will continue and mature as historical as possible, following the ladies when the soldiers come home and their jobs are taken away. It sounds depressing but I think it's a natural progression of the feminist fight and shows how our grandmothers paved the way for the 60's women's movement.
: http://www.globaltv.com/bombgirls/video/full+episodes/the+quickening/video.ht...+episodes (in Canada only)
- Dish Network channel 299
- Direct TV channel 238
- Verizon 233
Or put in your zip code on this page: http://www.reelz.com/bombgirls/
UK: ITV3 Saturdays at 10pm
DVD?: It was released on DVD in Canada last October (2012), but it appears to be sold out! I saw only 2 ebay listings of an "official Dutch release" of $40+ but I can't imagine that's trustworthy. Hopefully they will make it easier to find and watch besides torrents and unofficial streaming.
Bomb Girls in Social Media
Twitter: @BombGirls hash #bombgirls
Meg Tilly (Lorna): @meggamonstah
Ali Leibert (Betty): @AliLiebert, https://www.facebook.com/AliLiebertPage
Jodi Balfour (Gladys): @JodiAnneBalfour
Charlotte Hegele (Kate): @charlottehegele
Antonio Cupo (Marco): @antoniocupo, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Antonio-Cupo