Land Girls, Season
Reviewer: Rissi C.
Scoring an afternoon timeslot across the pond, this charmer of a series is, surprisingly, one of Britain’s most popular among the female audience, even earning some awards and nominations in the process. Now it is back for a third series of five hour-long episodes.
The raging war has just hit close to home. Hoxley manor is mourning the loss of one of their own in Rose Bailey. A land girl working on the Finch farm, she was one of the victims of a bombing at a makeshift hospital. There to get treatment after she broke her arm, none of the girls take it well -- in particular the young, red-headed Iris Dawson (Lou Broudbent) who was billeted the same day as she was.
Though she doesn’t appreciate her loss of privacy, Lady Hoxley (Sophie Ward) allows her home to be turned into a hospital and into this chaos walks Dr. Richard Channing (Dominic Mafham), a former beau of the proper Lady Hoxley. Coinciding with Dr. Channing’s arrival is that of Mr. Tucker (Paul Ritter), Dennis Tucker’s brother. Needing work, Frank hires on at the Finch farm now run solely by the land girls and Farmer Finch (Mark Benton) following his own son being called up. Frank’s presence stirs up trouble with a neighboring farmer who has made getting revenge on Frank’s missing brother his priority.
More conflict is born when Farmer Storey’s son takes a shine to Iris and Frank assumes the role of her protector. Taking on the role of mother figure to the girls, Esther Reeves (Susan Cookson) has been the woman in charge of keeping house while working along-side the land girl’s herself. Her own secrets now has made her behavior a mystery to her “makeshift family” and her son, Martin (Mykola Allen) is growing into quite a young man and is acting out beyond Esther’s control – even taking a liking to the innocent Iris. Meanwhile, Joyce (Becci Gemmell) is faced with heartache and the impetuous Connie (Seline Hizli) who is engaged to the local vicar, Henry (Gwilym Lee) is faced with her own past when trouble comes to her doorstep.
Though it may not have much substance, Land Girls has enough charm to keep its viewership happily entranced by its spell. Everything is quite lovely to look at including the costumes though trivial tidbits say they are far from authentic, the sets and situations the characters are put in has to be similar to the 1940’s and as such feels very real for anyone wanting a taste of this time frame in rural England. All of the characters are easily likable, and Connie continued to be a source of humorous antics as we watch her fall more in love with “Vic” though one normally strong character becomes less of an upstanding pillar of ethics, and is knocked down a bit in our estimation because of choices she makes.
The plotting is so much stronger on this show the further it’s allowed to develop. Each series has progressively grown in the best sense and it makes me sad there isn’t a fourth set on the horizon. In the beginning, this show was thought of as clichéd and a sweet-natured WWII era piece of fluff and even with some of those clichéd story-lines, it still does fit that mold but Land Girls has come a long way. The themes are darker and the mysteries more catching. If you haven’t spent an evening with the Land Girl’s who kept the home fires burning, check out this delightful series.
Implications that Connie wants a sexual relationship with her fiancé (he refuses); gossip reveals Connie was intimate with former flames and a married woman engaged in a one night stand, resulting in pregnancy (she has an abortion and falls ill as a result). A couple is seen in bed together, clothed.
There may be a profanity or two.
Two characters are beaten up, one dies; a man dies from being shot in the back. There are a few camera shots of wounded men in the hospital with a variety of injuries, some act out because of wounds that have made them mentally unwell.