Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bomb Girls

Image from WebTVWire
If you're in Mad Men and Downtown Abbey withdrawal and disappointed about the cancellation of Pan Am, then Go Retro has a tip on a hot, new retro themed show for you: Bomb Girls, airing on the Reelz channel. Bomb Girls follows the lives of a group of "Rosie the Riveters"--women working in a munitions factory during WWII while the boys are fighting overseas. The series originally aired in Canada in January, and has now made its way to the States on Reelz.

And let me tell you, you have to be watching this show. Reelz has only shown the first two episodes and I'm already hooked. This is much better than Pan Am or most series that was set in a previous decade that network TV attempted: it has the guts and great storylines as well as acting, and doesn't shy away from showing the uglier side of the 1940s era. In the first two episodes alone, a girl gets part of her scalp ripped off when a hook along the assembly line gets caught in her hair, another has back alley sex with a soldier she just met the night before he leaves for overseas, and a bad test bomb puts the girls under unfair scrutiny by their archaic and sexist factory manager, who thinks nothing of barging into the women's locker room while they're in their underwear.

The most famous name in the cast is Meg Tilly, who plays the ladies' floor matron, Lorna Corbett. She's dealing with a depressing home life; a disabled husband (a victim of the first world war) who also suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Her two sons are also fighting overseas.

Then there's Gladys, a girl from a wealthy family (whom the other girls initially despise because of her privileged background) who joins the factory so she can make a difference in the war effort. She tries in vain to convince her coworkers to speak up for better working conditions in the factory, and she's also dealing with overbearing WASP parents who want nothing more then for her to settle down with her rich fiance and start making grandchildren, not bombs. Kate is living under a new name after escaping her abusive, bible thumping father and Betty is her BFF and trainer of the factory girls...there may or may not be a lesbian undertone developing to Kate and Betty's friendship.


Photo from the Reelz Bomb Girls site
Along the way the ladies are dealing with sexual harassment, unsafe working conditions, and unhappy family situations. But of course, they always make time to let loose to jitterbug with soldiers to live bands at the swing dances...how I long for this type of recreation! 

Of course, every series must have a dreamy male lead and in Bomb Girls, it's Marco Moretti (played by Anthony Cupo), one of the guys at the factory who wanted to join the service but was denied due to his Italian-born heritage. Some of the other workers suspect him of being a communist who sympathizes with Mussolini; his father is in an internment camp. 


Image from Reelz Bomb Girls site
It's obvious that the creators behind the show did their research into the WWII era and what was expected of women working in a bomb factory. The show's official website has some wonderful photos of real-life bomb girls and interactive features; the show's page on the Reelz site has behind-the-scenes video clips. A clip on Reelz explains the untold dangers that went on in weapons factories during WWII; this series aims to give some long overdue publicity to the women who took up the war cause on the homefront and is a tribute to them. 

Bomb Girls airs on Tuesday nights on Reelz at 9 PM EST and repeats on Friday nights; check out the site for more info and if you catch the show, let me know what you think!

Here's the trailer for the show:


Bomb Girls   | Movie Trailer | Review

1 comment:

Johnny Seagull said...

I'll watch for this to arrive in the UK. We have had a Canadian PI series, but not a lot else. Not too sure about the accuracy of the series if a suspected Communist is asympathiser of Mussolini. Communits like Fascist? A typo perhaps? And in that period the Soviets, eventualy, were allies.

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