Four Reasons I Love A Place to Call Home

A Place to Call Home
During the winter hiatus of my regular programs I have had some time to watch new shows. One such show is in many ways atypical for me; Acorn TV’s A Place to Call Home. You see, when given the choice between Hallmark Channel and Syfy, or Lifetime and Spike, well, the answer is clear! I yearn for action adventure and fantasy/sci-fi. They are my equivalent of comfort food.

Clearly there is no way I would categorize myself as a romantic at this point in my life. Of course, there are no absolutes, and this does not mean I am devoid of feelings. I cried when they killed Spock in The Wrath of Khan. Heck, I still cry every time I see that scene despite knowing that he gets better! But, I do not normally seek out programs that have no action component to them.

However, while my main focus is action adventure programs, I will acknowledge that some of them do contain elements of romance; Castle, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and Once Upon a Time come to mind, but there are of course others. This is a delicate line to walk, though, as I prefer my action adventure shows to focus on the action, and not let the romance distract from it. Thankfully, the majority of shows I watch find a balance that satisfies me!

Thus it actually surprised me a little just how quickly I was drawn into A Place to Call Home! By the time I watched the second episode of the first season, I knew I needed to see more and find out what happens to these characters!

Set in 1950s Australia, A Place to Call Home tells the tale of a wealthy family, the Blighs, considered locally to be the closest thing to royalty in Inverness, the small town located near the family estate. There are many reasons to watch this program, so let me highlight what interests me about this show.

Timeless Tales
 

George and Sarah - A Place to Call Home

There are some themes that are so compelling to the human mind as to produce endless variations that never stop entertaining. Specifically forbidden love, family obligations, estrangement, characters with mysterious pasts, and the conflict of desires can be found in stories down through the ages.

It is no different in a Place to Call Home. Putting a wealthy family at its center means that there will be class conflicts and personal desires which clash with family obligations. While the wealthy have a seemingly easier life due to the ready availability of money, in many ways their lives can be much more restrictive due to expectations for behavior and actions. Add in mysterious backgrounds for the characters and you are all set for clashes between family members – something this show has in good supply!

The Setting, Costumes and Props
 

George, Sarah, Regina - A Place to Call Home

While I do not have a bucket list, if I did, a trip to Australia would certainly be on it! Between this show and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, I find myself simply agog over the beautiful vistas and scenery.

There also is meticulous attention given to costumes and props from the era. The cars used are amazing! The dresses and suits complement each character, with care being taken to portray the difference in classes through their attire.

Historical Perspective
 

Sarah and Jack - A Place to Call Home

There are gaps in my knowledge of World history because my main focus when I was in school was on math and science. Therefore, when I come across a period piece such as A Place to Call Home, I tend to learn new things about historical events. Now of course I am not so naive as to believe that a TV program will be historically accurate, unless of course it is specifically touted as historical, but certain events associated with World War II and the impact on Australia mentioned in the program have led me to explore the history in that region of the globe.

Many times it seems that most programs that deal with World War II focus on the European action and events. Yes, Pearl Harbor and the War in the Pacific is also represented, but in my mind to a lesser extent. While it makes sense that besides the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, other Allied strongholds would also be bombed, I had not realized the extent to which Australia suffered. Some of the action in A Place to Call Home is driven by that suffering.

The Characters
 

Cast - A Place to Call Home

The Bligh family consists of the stern matriarch, Elizabeth, doing her best to resist the changes of modern society; her widower son, George and his two children, James and Anna, and James’ new wife Olivia; and her daughter, Carolyn, who is the black sheep of the family and lives in the city.

Within the orbit of the Blighs are their servants, one of whom, Carla, is married to Amo, a local farmer and vintner. Her son, Gino, is at the center of one of the forbidden love affairs. They are Italian immigrants and religion, ethnicity, and social class are important factors in the drama.

The local doctor, Jack, is beholden to Elizabeth because she financed his education; a fact that brings expectations sometimes hard to abide. Elizabeth does not control him, which annoys her greatly. When he hires a nurse, Sarah, who inadvertently becomes privy to a family secret Elizabeth would rather keep buried, Elizabeth sets out on a path to rid her world of Sarah.

Amy, another servant, is the sister of Eve, a widow who becomes pregnant out of wedlock by an abusive, insecure bully. Eve also has a young son, Colin. Eve’s brother Harry also has a history with a member of the Bligh family that leads to complications.

 

The first two seasons of A Place to Call Home are available on DVD and streaming on Acorn TV, https://acorn.tv. The third season debuted in the fall 2015, and is also now available on DVD and for streaming. Something to keep in mind when watching this program – there are two different endings to season two, because the program was canceled but then picked up by another network.

Have you watched A Place to Call Home? Did you enjoy it? What aspects of it attracted you to it? Sound off in the comment section below because I live hearing what you all have to say!