Wednesday, March 19, 2008

1940s House


A huge thank you to whoever suggested I watch this wonderful program. The only other program in the 'House' series I'd previously seen was 1900s House, and though I liked it very much, my main recollection of it is of the mother of the family whining quite a bit about housework. I wasn't sure I wanted to see the 1940s version of this, but I'm so glad I did. I've written previously about wanting to really know about the effects of WW2 on Britain and how the war affected it's people - 1940s House is exactly what I was looking for.

In the 1940s house, the present day family arrives and gets to know their surroundings and how to cope with old ways of doing things. Soon, they are plunged headfirst into war life. I loved listening to the narrator speak about facts and statistics - one that has stuck with me was learning how many pets were put down in the first days of the war due to noise and expected food shortages. I loved watching the historians and experts meet in the Cabinet War Rooms and discuss the effect the war had on families, the expectations of families, and how the family would next be tested. I loved hearing the original BBC broadcasts of the news and the newspapers.

I feel as though I now understand the story behind the story of so many books I have read, and so many that I will read in the future. I have a better understanding of this period of time and of what people really dealt with. I enjoyed the journey of this family as well. They especially struggle with rationing and hunger. It is fascinating to see the women go out and 'do their part' for the war. At times, they were discouraged and seemed to have taken on too much, but time and time again, they rose to the challenge as people really would have done. I enjoyed seeing the footage of the lives 6 months after the project ended. Not to give anything away, but I loved when one of the children said something to the effect of "Granny used to be a cool Granny - now she's gone bonkers." Not only does the program have great entertainment value, I think it would be a useful teaching tool for young people. Some many of us don't understand what went on and why people are the way they are after what they went through. My only complaint is that I wished the program were longer than 3 hours. I could have watched at least a couple more.

9 comments:

Booklogged said...

Tara, thanks for commenting on my blog in response to Homeless Bird. It reminded me of Water, too. Such a sad tradition for widows in India.

I'm adding this video to my Netflix que. I've never heard of the 'House' series. I'll skip the 1900s - heck, I could just video myself if I want to hear gripes about housework. (at least, I don't have to wear a dress all the time)

melanie said...

Oh, I'm so excited. Thanks for highlighting this - I love the House series. I wasn't a big fan of 1900s but I loved the 1860s one :) Yippee.

Tara said...

Booklogged, Hi! My thoughts exactly on housework gripes. I'm watching Manor House now and it's also good.

Melanie, I think the 1860s House is in my netflix list - is that Frontier House?

Bybee said...

oh wow...I'd love to see this! I saw one with pioneers a few years ago. They must've chosen the shallowest woman on the planet. She wept because they wouldn't let her wear make up for the official portrait after they first donned their costumes. Also, a similar fit about toenail polish. But 1940s House sounds great!

Nan - said...

Tara, the greatest program I've ever seen about the second world war was A Family at War. It was on Public Television in the 1970s. This was the time before taping so it was a big effort for Tom and I, but we never missed it. It is on dvd but only in Britain. I ordered them but they wouldn't play on our dvd player, and amazon uk kindly took them back. I'm hoping they will sometime be available over here, or that the dvd machines will allow them. It followed a family all through those war years, through sorrow and joy. The show lasted a year I think. The music, the acting, everything was so real, and so well done.

Tara said...

Bybee, I think I might have seen one episode of that one - there was an older couple and they were really....obsessive? Is that them?

Nan, that sounds amazing. I hate the DVD coding that doesn't allow us to share media between countries. I even tried to hack into an old DVD player we have to see if I could make it region free to watch a Nigella DVD from Australia. No luck.

nutmeg said...

Um.... I think that may have been me that mentioned 1940's House in one of my rare recent posts - anyway, I loved it too and could have watched more and more of it. I was very sad that it ended! And I think in one of my emails to you I may have added a link to the show Nan mentions above - A Family At War.

Just a quick note about region coding on DVD players - alot of the newer ones now are multi-regional but just don't state it openly due to copyright laws etc. I just borrowed an overseas dvd from a friend, put it in my player and it played! I have since found that this is not as amazing as I thought ;-) Other dvd players just need a code entered - if you google your exact player brand and model number there are websites that simply give you a code to "unlock" your player to play any region dvd you like (I have done this with my older dvd player and it works just fine). Opens up a whole new world of dvd watching :-)

Danielle said...

I've watched several of these BBC/PBS shows and really liked them, but I've not been as drawn to this one. I may have to add it to my netflix queue, however, after reading your post!

Gentle Reader said...

I'm putting this on my Netflix queue right now! Thanks :)