Occasionally, as I write this blog desperately trying to find a different programme to talk about, I find myself relying on my mother’s viewing habits as opposed to my own. This week is one such week, as I present to you Home Fires.

Both me and my mother missed the first series, but with Sunday night’s empty, especially owing to my mother’s aversion to anything deep like The Night Manager, it was the only resort. Because of missing the first series, there seems to be a lot of details to the character’s stories missing. Why was that woman locked up at the start of the first episode of series 2? Is one of the characters a lesbian pretending to be straight now her love has died? What exactly led to the affair between the doctor’s daughter and the RAF man? I know I could look this all up, but I’m in a weird hinterland with this show, where I’m invested enough to be frustrated by the gaps, yet not enough to actually use any energy trying to answer these questions.

In truth, it perhaps doesn’t matter. There are enough new storylines and not-so-subtle gap fillers to ensure that a new viewer would not be lost and bewildered. In this respect, it has an air of Downton Abbey about it. Likewise, it has as oddly forward-thinking view of issues. For example, the closeted lesbian is shown some understanding, even if it is misdirected towards the ‘find a nice boy’ school of thought.

But it is different in so many ways. The wartime setting makes it naturally darker, with mortality and invasion a constant topic of conversation. It is also distinctly feminist, which is always a good thing. War isn’t about heroes, it’s about the daily battles on the domestic front, with women nursing damaged men, some feeling trapped by it, and others exploring their sexuality, whilst getting punished for it.

Overall, this is a decent enough show. I would never have hunted it out on purpose – the trailers make it look more frothy and moralistic than it actually is – but it is well written and ably performed. I just hope something decent comes on the schedules next week, otherwise it is ‘What I think of Grimm part 94’. And none of you poor sods deserve that.

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