Monday 4 May 2015

Anzac Girls

From the team who brought you 'Neighbours'....  Remember last year's 'The Crimson Field', about a group of nurses in France and Belgium in WWI?  This is the Aussie version, with the game young ladies in the Dardanelles, patching up the Commonwealth casualties.  Or not, as the case may be, since they constantly tell each other their daily death score and how long they've been awake.  It must be a bit like the current NHS.

What the English version veered towards, the Antipodean drama barrels straight into.  We're presented with the no-nonsense Matron, her more amenable Deputy, the Flighty One, the Religious One (a hick Kiwi, by the by), the Outspoken Tomboy and the One with a Secret.  Except it isn't kept secret very long and the whole situation has been neatly resolved by the end of the episode.  (Nurse Elsie is secretly married to a soldier, which is strictly against the rules, but he happens to be the son of a recent Aussie Prime Minister, so that's OK).

Apparently this is all loosely based on real correspondence and memoirs of nurses in the field, but we can only assume a large dose of 21st Century soap was added .  There's a bit of fake blood histrionics, but they have a lot of time to visit the Pyramids in the risque company of fighting men, and wear brazenly modern pyjamas and silk kimonos.

If the men's experiences are dramatized in films like 'Gallipoli', and the women's in television like this, it seems Australian women have as unfair and unequal a deal as they did a century ago.

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