Last month, when I finally signed up for Netflix (don’t judge me for being so late to the party), my sister and I were delighted to re-discover the short but sweet (and hilarious) series, The Delivery Man.
Starring the comic genius Darren Boyd (have you ever watched the British TV show Spy? SO GOOD) as Matthew, an ex-cop turned midwife, the six-part series is centered around the maternity ward of a hospital. If you’re thinking this is just a knock off of Call the Midwife, you’re mistaken. For one thing, it’s absolutely hilarious. And for another, it takes itself a little less seriously, choosing to show more light-hearted moments instead of focusing on, y’know, the actual births and deliveries of babies.
The rest of the cast is made up of strong women who give beautiful comedic performances: Lisa (Aisling Bea), who Matthew has a crush on, even though she’s dating a volatile butcher; young and flighty Tash (Jennie Jacques); no-nonsense Pat (Llewella Gideon) who wouldn’t be afraid to cut you if you got in between her and a piece of cake; and the senior midwife/boss, Caitlin (Fay Ripley). There’s also Mr. Edwards (Alex Macqueen), the posh senior consultant obstetrician who delights in mocking the midwives, and Matthew’s cop friend Ian (Paddy McGuinness) who, after being suspended, ends up working as hospital security.
Each episode focuses on a different experience in the birthing center, from a teen mom too scared to tell her parents who the father is, to a man whose wife and mistress are both in labour at the same time, to a C-list celebrity worried about her not-yet announced pregnancy. Along the way, Matthew, recently qualified, struggles to get his bearings as both a new midwife and as the only male midwife in the hospital. His colleagues help him out – to a certain extent – but they’re not above teasing him, or, in the Caitlin’s case, inappropriately flirting with him. The writing is clever and witty – if you’re into dry British humour like I am – and there’s nothing too unbelievable. Except, perhaps, for how not gross the newborn babies look (I’m just saying, a lot of them are TOO CLEAN to be a just-birthed infant).
Because the series is so short, it’s hard to talk about without spoiling all the best parts, so you might as well just commit yourself to six hours of it: three hours for the first watch and then another three hours when you re-watch it because you missed half of it from laughing so hard (also because sometimes their accents can be hard to understand).