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S08.E05: Episode 5

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Poplar welcomes a brand new cervical cancer-screening clinic to the Institute and Dr Turner (Stephen McGann), Shelagh (Laura Main) and Trixie (Helen George) are pleased to be part of the exciting new venture. One of their first patients is a young woman who is due to be married, but has never had a period. She has to be referred to St Cuthbert's where she receives a diagnosis of a rare condition known then as Testicular Feminisation Syndrome. Trixie does her utmost to be supportive but the truth of the condition has larger repercussions than anyone could ever have imagined. The prospect of a new romance for Lucille (Leonie Elliott) brightens the mood at Nonnatus House and the husband of an expectant mother suffers with some inexplicable pains, similar to his wife's pregnancy symptoms. Sister Frances (Ella Bruccoleri) faces her very real fear of public speaking when she is tasked with running her first Mothercraft session.

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I felt so sorry for that poor girl being stared at by a bunch of doctors who didn't seem to understand that she was a person with actual feelings and not just as specimen. I'm glad that's mostly changed now. 

I know Lucille's romance plot is meant to add a bit of lightness but as someone who is happily single it always annoys me when people try to matchmake or push you towards someone just because they think they know better than you what you need. 

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1 hour ago, snowwhyte said:

I felt so sorry for that poor girl being stared at by a bunch of doctors who didn't seem to understand that she was a person with actual feelings and not just as specimen. I'm glad that's mostly changed now. 

That scene was so chilling!  That poor girl.  Stuff like that has  gotten way, way, way better but can still happen a bit.  My mom can't speak because of recurrent oral cancer/treatment/side effects.   So when she's at the doctor's office I translate for her.   No problem.  But people very easily just start talking to me.  I'm like, she's the patient!   She can understand you even if you can't understand her.  This gave me very much those vibes but worse.   

Yeah, I genuinely liked the guy and any lightness in this show is a good thing (it can get so dark) but I also felt uncomfortable with people pushing her especially when she specifically said no.  That said I'm no more comfortable than Sgt Walrus who keeps persuing Nurse Crane who keeps just looking bewildered at him.  I think I'm supposed to be rooting for that and they clearly want me to know he's a good guy, but I'm just not feeling it.

I did like that when Lucille told Phylis that Cyril had asked her out, Lucille said, "good for him" because he was the one who noticed an extraordinary woman and plucked up the courage to ask and well done him.... but so many times they response would be "good for you" as if you are so incredibly lucky some man deigned to notice you.

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I remember reading about a lady suffering from TFM - she was diagnosed as a teenager during the 90's I think. And while she wasn't treated like a freak her experience wasn't much better. She was given the a dry diagnosis and then sent her merry ways - feeling completely bewildered and confused. No referral to counselling - nothing. She was left to her own devices.

This was another episode where the show was trying to have its cake and eat it. They showed how the medical establishment - outside the bubble that is Poplar - lacked in humanity and the mother's ferocious attack on Sister Monica Joan was a reminder how much stigma  was (and to a degree still is) attached to such cases. But then the sugar-coating began. While I don't think the fiancé's acceptance was completely unrealistic it certainly felt rushed and a bit anachronistic.

I was hoping Sister Frances would show some unexpected mechanical skills and so gain a bit of recognition and self-confidence. Alas, it was not to be. I felt uncomfortable watching that romance for various reasons. But we'll see how it plays out.

ETA: The highlight of the episode was Dr. Turner's face when the first pap smear patient told him that she had had worse 'up there'.

Edited by MissLucas
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3 hours ago, MissLucas said:

While I don't think the fiancé's acceptance was completely unrealistic it certainly felt rushed and a bit anachronistic.

This!   He didn't freak out even a little bit?   He didn't need time to come around to the idea?  Just bing, bang, boom... yeah, I love you it is fine?  And it isn't like they've been married 25 years.  The thing is even back then people coped so that there is a guy out there who would stay?  Sure.  But who is ready to go all in 12 seconds after finding out the woman he's with is genetically male?  She will be unable to have children?  And phsyical intamacy for them while doable might take more work and creativity?   Yeah, that's not a 12 second conversation.

3 hours ago, MissLucas said:

I was hoping Sister Frances would show some unexpected mechanical skills and so gain a bit of recognition and self-confidence.

Yo, I was so waiting for her to go to town on that car and I was all in for it.  Instead no just a fear of speaking in public which she gets over relatively easily.   The whole picturing people naked thing is always the advice people give.  And I've never had that great of an imagination.  I mean picturing one person naked, sure.  Maybe.  But a whole room?  And I think that would make me more uncomfortable to suddenly be in a room full of nudists in my clothes.   Awkward.  Just me.

Fortunately, I'm not terribly nervous about speaking in front of people so I've never had to put this to a test.

3 hours ago, MissLucas said:

I felt uncomfortable watching that romance for various reasons. But we'll see how it plays out.

Hey, here is a black guy in poplar with a vaguely carrebean accent.  He should totally date the vaguely carrabian black nurse.  Bing, bang, boom, settled!   

When Monica Joan was telling her he was a lay preacher I was like uh, hu, and what does he preach?  Because as a woman of faith Lucille doesn't necessarily need to be dating somebody that wouldn't fit in with her congregation... but it will probably turn out okay... because you know all black preaching is the same?   

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3 minutes ago, bybrandy said:

Hey, here is a black guy in poplar with a vaguely carrebean accent.  He should totally date the vaguely carrabian black nurse.  Bing, bang, boom, settled!   

When Monica Joan was telling her he was a lay preacher I was like uh, hu, and what does he preach?  Because as a woman of faith Lucille doesn't necessarily need to be dating somebody that wouldn't fit in with her congregation... but it will probably turn out okay... because you know all black preaching is the same?   

LOL about the first quote! And thanks for putting my feelings about the whole scenario in such succinct words. I know interracial dating was not exactly encouraged back then but the ease with which everybody decided that this guy was Mr Right for Lucille due to matching levels of melanin had the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

And yeah, the whole preacher thing was also weird.

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I do think that the matchmakers has good intentions. They thought it would be nice for Lucille to have a life beyond work and church but it definitely seemed like everyone saw this young, Afro-Caribbean guy and immediately thought he was a match for Lucille even before they got to know anything about him. It might not have been so bad if Lucille has seemed happy and interested about the situation but everyone seemed to be ignoring her feelings and obvious reluctance. 

Edited by snowwhyte
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Oh, I think Sister Monica Joan was quite sweet and it was probably really how people would have reacted to the scenario. But I wish somehow it had been handled with more nuance. Lucille's romantic aspirations or lack thereof was never even an issue before this episode IIRC and so it all felt a bit heavy-handed.

I feel less reluctant about Nurse Crane's romance since it has developed more organically. I'm still not sure I'm going to root for Sgt. Woolf since her previous love-interest looked like a better match (well apart from being married). But she's a mature and experienced woman who's normally not mincing her words so I take the fact that she has not firmly explained to him that he's fighting a lost battle as a sign of some interest - that she might not be truly aware of yet, hence the bewilderment.

Edited by MissLucas
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The attempts to pair Lucille & Cyril were both heavy-handed & kinda gross.  I get why, but it doesn't make it better.  IDK why people couldn't just leave Lucille to figure out her own love life.  But Nonnatus House has always been full of Nosy Nellies when it comes to relationships, so I'm not that surprised.

I don't feel Phyllis & the sarge have much, if any, romantic chemistry, but at least they had a build.

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Poor Lois. I was cringing for her during that scene where she was being treated like a science experiment. Thankfully things have gotten better now. I was happy things worked out for her in the end. Hope they do a follow up and maybe show the couple adopting a baby.

I have a friend who was born without a uterus. She ended up adopting four children. 

I’m ok with the romance between Lucille and Cyril, if it happens that is. Not feeling Phyllis and Sarge, she doesn’t seem to be that into him. 

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I wonder how long Lois and her fiance' have known each other.  If he's been carrying a torch since puberty or before, it would be easier for him to shrug off the "I'm only a woman on the outside" bombshell.  Not as easy as a few words on the street, sure, but if he's adored her for long enough...  A little backstory would have helped.  (I blame PBS unless otherwise told.)

Oh, and, my sister had a condition (not TFS) that left her without a cervix or uterus, so that storyline struck home.  Especially since she loved and wanted children.

The matchmaking of Lucille and Cyril seemed a bit rushed.  That first date could have waited until next week.  But she looks adorable in yellow!

I kind of want more from Sisters Frances and Hilda.  They seem like sweet women, and every time they are on the screen is a delight.

And the new father with sympathy pains was touching, in an odd way.  If there wasn't the backstory of a lost baby, it still would have been sweet.

Edited by JustDucky · Reason: Just a bit of personal story, nothing big.
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IMO, Lois was basically sexually assaulted when that doctor put her on display for the med students then stuck his fingers up her. That was horrifying.

Couldn’t she just have told her fiancé that she couldn’t have children due to anatomical anomalies instead of getting into being genetically male? And, yeah, the fiancé’s instant acceptance was sweet but not realistic.

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11 minutes ago, LittleIggy said:

IMO, Lois was basically sexually assaulted when that doctor put her on display for the med students then stuck his fingers up her. That was horrifying.

Couldn’t she just have told her fiancé that she couldn’t have children due to anatomical anomalies instead of getting into being genetically male? And, yeah, the fiancé’s instant acceptance was sweet but not realistic.

I think the implication was also that intercourse could be problematic because her vagina was, as Dr. Turner put it, abnormally short. So there was more she’d have to put on the table than whether she could conceive, especially with little sexual knowledge yet. 

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59 minutes ago, LittleIggy said:

IMO, Lois was basically sexually assaulted when that doctor put her on display for the med students then stuck his fingers up her. That was horrifying.

I was once in a teaching hospital, & I remember the doctor coming in with a bunch of students & it was embarrassing. I can't even imagine how horrible that must have been for Lois, you're right, it was a sexual assault. 

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1 hour ago, LittleIggy said:

Couldn’t she just have told her fiancé that she couldn’t have children due to anatomical anomalies instead of getting into being genetically male? And, yeah, the fiancé’s instant acceptance was sweet but not realistic.

Because starting marriage with such an enormous lie and attendant repercussions is probably not the best idea.

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3 hours ago, Brookside said:

Because starting marriage with such an enormous lie and attendant repercussions is probably not the best idea.

Although it felt uncomfortable to think, I thought the same thing at first. Just say I don't have a womb seemed enough but whether sex was possible was vague. It was a lie though.

I usually love this show and it's writing but I feel it dropped the ball on this one. No fiance would take something so strange and probably never discussed so wonderfully. Even if he knew her from childhood and loved her, it would be a shock and something to want to learn more about. Did they get married or were we to think they just stayed friends?  I've seen this more dramatic on TV shows/movies, the child is born both male/female with external genitalia and parents have to pick. Of course later,partly for the drama, the child seems to be drawn to wanting to be the other sex.  I did find this online and it shows so many variables of the syndrome:

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16324-disorders-of-sex-differentiation

I agree, that hospital doctor represented many like him and that was like an assault. It stayed with me long after. The silence of Shelagh and Lucille made it seem like it was common as she told them her experience.

I also feel the Phyllis/cop story line is falling flat. They can't make Phyllis suddenly so afraid of dating etc when she had a fine time with the gentleman from her class. She wasn't that awkward or uncomfortable. She doesn't feel anything for him at this time. Just because they are both single doesn't mean they have to couple up or that he is the only eligible bachelor around Poplar. If Phyllis wanted too, she could meet other men.

Lucille also has a familiar arc, she meets someone, is distant, they push her to go out, and it seems next week something happens to make her pull back. IDK maybe it's too much with matching people up at once. I think if they added Trixie to the mix, it would have put me over the edge. ; )

This is my favorite show and I love it, but I just feel the writers were sloppy on this one and I hope they continue to write the great scripts they are known for. The pap smear education was great and that woman's retort to Dr Taylor made me laugh outloud.

Edited by debraran
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On 2/11/2019 at 10:00 AM, MissLucas said:

While I don't think the fiancé's acceptance was completely unrealistic it certainly felt rushed and a bit anachronistic.

I felt like it was a situation where neither really understood how the issue would truly effect them outside of not being able to conceive children, and the show was focused on wrapping things up, rather than facing the more complicated questions. 

Edited by txhorns79
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The show doesn't always need to tell three or four stories at once.  Once Lois's problem was out there,  I was so concerned about her that it made the other stories seem like frivolous interruptions.

I was afraid Lois's fiancé would get all messed up in self doubt of the sort, "Why was I attracted to a girl who's really a guy?"  I thought Dr. Turner should have talked to both of they about what sex would be like for them, with special precautions not to hurt her.  Then that horrific hospital exam for a young virgin!  I needed a whole show for this one and I doubt if it will even get a follow up.

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Of course Lucille has to be paired with the first Black male also from the Caribbean too. I rolled my eyes and expressed my disbelief that they were laying it on thick about the two of them having to be together. especially, when they mentioned he preaches part time too since she is a woman of faith too. I'm like why couldn't this guy just been from Poplar, or at least England? I don't think a bunch of commonalties between two people make a interesting couple on television. But I will hold out on judgment before we see more of them on screen. 

Speaking of forcing people together ... 

Phyllis and the Sgt. bores me to tears. I want to say to the officer "She is not that into you." 

I did laugh when the lady told Dr. Turner she had worse things up there. I'm assuming she had her sort of men throughout the years. lol 

I love Dr. Turner, but it seemed after he told Lois what was her ordeal. He quickly raced out of the room without any words of encouragement etc.. I know it is a tough situation to go through but, it seem out of character for him to be so unfeeling. And all of those men checking out her vagina felt so scary, embarrassing, like sexual harassment tends to be for the victim. 

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7 hours ago, LittleIggy said:

IMO, Lois was basically sexually assaulted when that doctor put her on display for the med students then stuck his fingers up her. That was horrifying.

It was horrible and, sadly, exactly the kind of thing that happened in a teaching hospital.  And, and frankly still does although not to that extent. These days the patient would be asked and there would be a woman present and hopefully more explanation about the procedure.

1 hour ago, JudyObscure said:

I thought Dr. Turner should have talked to both of they about what sex would be like for them, with special precautions not to hurt her. 

Doubly important since both of them said that they had no idea what to do and that would be under normal circumstances.  But this was the 60's when that kind of information was not routinely or openly discussed.  We can'l look on it from the norms of today.

49 minutes ago, Forever8 said:

Phyllis and the Sgt. bores me to tears

Let that one die.  It's not that Phyllis doesn't want to date, she doesn't want to date the Walrus.

50 minutes ago, Forever8 said:

I rolled my eyes and expressed my disbelief that they were laying it on thick about the two of them having to be together. especially, when they mentioned he preaches part time too since she is a woman of faith too.

How cliche can they get with this story line?  

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I did find the fiance being so accepting a bit unrealistic, however we don't know what she told him exactly and he did love her a great deal. That poor woman though! That exam was just awful. I would never let myself be subject to that! Its one thing if you have something simple enough but that??? 

Sister Julianne was wonderful when she was speaking to the woman's mother. Brought tears to my eyes. She always has the right thing to say. 

Who thinks Trixie might want to become a doctor? 

Edited by libgirl2
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When I went in to have my first child in the late seventies a Dr came in with a crowd of young drs “in training “ to observe the internal examination.  I said no way. He said this is a teaching hospitals and I told him I never agreed to it.  They went away and I felt overall I was treated coldly by all from then on. I know  drs have to learn somehow but the patient should have to consent. I had a history that would have made it very difficult for me. Of course they knew nothing of it which is why consent is so important 

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10 hours ago, LittleIggy said:

IMO, Lois was basically sexually assaulted when that doctor put her on display for the med students then stuck his fingers up her. That was horrifying.

Couldn’t she just have told her fiancé that she couldn’t have children due to anatomical anomalies instead of getting into being genetically male? And, yeah, the fiancé’s instant acceptance was sweet but not realistic.

That was kind of surprising to me, too.  It really wasn't relevant that she was a male genetically.  Testicular feminization is also know as Androgen insensitivity syndrome.  What happens is a male is conceived but doesn't have receptors on his cells to allow androgen (testosterone) to attach and direct them.  When an embryo is developing, it will automatically develop into a female appearing infant unless it is exposed to testosterone at a crucial phase in development.  That testosterone is only produced by genetic males.  Lois' testes would have produced testosterone, but her cells could not absorb it and use it to direct her development, so, as an embryo, she didn't develop a penis, testicles, etc.  Interestingly, those with TF do develop breasts and are usually nicely endowed, they tend to be taller and thinner than the average woman, too.

Even if it had been known at birth, she could've been given huge doses of testosterone and never developed as a male because her cells were lacking androgen receptors.  Even women produce small amounts of testosterone at puberty, from the adrenals and ovaries, which causes the development of some secondary sexual characteristics like hair on the genitals and under the arms.

The testes which are inside her abdomen, probably somewhere near where ovaries would have been, need to be removed because there is a high risk of developing cancer in them. but, I'm not sure that was known back then.  In any event, back in those days, doctors took a much more paternalistic POV with patients, and I doubt he would've been as forthcoming back in the day.  Tell her she has a birth defect, that her uterus and vagina didn't develop properly and that her ovaries, while present, could become cancerous, and need to be removed. 

Nowadays, this diagnosis would be given to a patient only with a genetic specialist, psychologist, and other professionals available to help her understand it.

Edited by doodlebug
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A little bit too easily wrapped up...this is 1964 people (writers)...Lois’ fiancé was a bit to easy to accept the news.   I don’t think he would have been so quick to go on with the wedding. The only realistic scene was that doctor treating Lois like a strange specimen.

What’s with the forced romances of Nurses Phyllis & Lucille?  Both seemed happily single.  How about Valerie?   This episode was meh for me.

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Like others I felt so bad for Lois during that examination scene.  I used to work in a University Hospital in an administrative role. But I got sick once and had to go to the ER and right away some students came in with the doctor and one of them said "I know you" and I was like yeah, all students out! The doctor tried to get me to change my mind but I was like no I still have to deal with these people and be respected by them.  Poor Lois had the double trauma of her diagnosis and the horrible exam.

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I get most of my care from teaching facilities, like Duke or UNC, so, it's not uncommon to have students involved with care.  I've always considered myself fortunate and it never bothered me, but, I suppose everyone is different.  

Does anyone know if there were any kind of patient confidentiality laws back in England during the 1960's?

Edited by SunnyBeBe

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10 hours ago, Brookside said:

Because starting marriage with such an enormous lie and attendant repercussions is probably not the best idea.

I don’t think it would be an enormous lie. I said Lois could have told him she had a condition that affected her reproductive anatomy without getting into being genetically male. Since Lois had no external masculine features and identified as a woman, that issue wasn’t really relevant to her relationship with her fiancé.

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I've been in a teaching hospital or clinic attached to the hospital and often I've been asked permission for students to observe.  Of course, this was not in 1964, but from 1990 and onward.  I've always given permission, since people have to learn.  But I've always trusted the doctor in those circumstances, and been confident that he or she would not act like this doctor did with Lois, treating her as a specimen, not as a human being.  

I wish they would stop with Phyllis and the sergeant.  They are making him into a stalker, and I feel the Phyllis we've seen over the years would speak up and say sorry, not interested.  They have zero chemistry.  Writers, just because the romance between a midwife and a police officer worked once doesn't mean you have to recycle this story line.

There are story lines I would like to see brought back, or added to.  I wish they occasionally would bring back a character from a previous season, perhaps a mother who had a traumatic delivery who is reluctant to have another child, or the mother who had a baby with spina bifida and is pregnant and terrified it will happen again.  

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4 minutes ago, Calvada said:

I've been in a teaching hospital or clinic attached to the hospital and often I've been asked permission for students to observe.  Of course, this was not in 1964, but from 1990 and onward.  I've always given permission, since people have to learn.  But I've always trusted the doctor in those circumstances, and been confident that he or she would not act like this doctor did with Lois, treating her as a specimen, not as a human being.  

I wish they would stop with Phyllis and the sergeant.  They are making him into a stalker, and I feel the Phyllis we've seen over the years would speak up and say sorry, not interested.  They have zero chemistry.  Writers, just because the romance between a midwife and a police officer worked once doesn't mean you have to recycle this story line.

There are story lines I would like to see brought back, or added to.  I wish they occasionally would bring back a character from a previous season, perhaps a mother who had a traumatic delivery who is reluctant to have another child, or the mother who had a baby with spina bifida and is pregnant and terrified it will happen again.  

I always wanted a follow up to baby Susan who was the baby born with the effects of Thalidomide. I know she showed up briefly at a later point, but I always wonder how she is doing now. 

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5 hours ago, Forever8 said:

I love Dr. Turner, but it seemed after he told Lois what was her ordeal. He quickly raced out of the room without any words of encouragement etc.. I know it is a tough situation to go through but, it seem out of character for him to be so unfeeling. And all of those men checking out her vagina felt so scary, embarrassing, like sexual harassment tends to be for the victim. 

I thought Dr. Turner left Lois with Trixie precisely because of how uncomfortable Lois was about speaking about it with a man, especially after her experience at St. Cuthbert's, so he was trying to make the conversation a bit easier by letting her have it with a woman.

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4 hours ago, Kohola3 said:

Doubly important since both of them said that they had no idea what to do and that would be under normal circumstances.  But this was the 60's when that kind of information was not routinely or openly discussed.  We can'l look on it from the norms of today.

I do get rather tired of being told that I'm looking at things "by the norms of today."   Either today or yesterday, lots of information that was not  openly discussed in general,  was openly discussed between doctors and patients. 

My mother was married in 1939.  She had a slight irregularity, an unusually thick hymen.  When she told her doctor that  sex was painful, he discovered the problem, fixed it in the office and all was fine.  But he didn't hesitate to discuss it all with her.

Actually I think, by the "norms of yesterday,"  Dr.  Turner and Trixie wouldn't have  told Lois such disturbing words as, "You are a genetic male," but simply said that, sadly, she would not be able to bear children because she had been born without a uterus and  by the way, had a rather short vagina. 

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4 minutes ago, caitmcg said:

I thought Dr. Turner left Lois with Trixie precisely because of how uncomfortable Lois was about speaking about it with a man, especially after her experience at St. Cuthbert's, so he was trying to make the conversation a bit easier by letting her have it with a woman.

That is how I saw it. And perhaps he was feeling a bit uncomfortable? 

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Interestingly, those with TF do develop breasts and are usually nicely endowed, they tend to be taller and thinner than the average woman, too.

My "tv guide" said that this episode was about someone who was intersex, and I assumed the story was going to be a baby where the gender couldn't be determined, and the parents had to choose.  No real DNA testing back then, I don't think, to help them.

House did an episode on a girl with androgen insensitivity - she was tall, thin and had big breasts, in the modern world of House she was a model - with a drug problem, and other mental and physical issues.  In addition to the trauma of discovering she was genetically male, House's patient also was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

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8 minutes ago, Mermaid Under said:

In addition to the trauma of discovering she was genetically male, House's patient also was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Well, that sounds like a cheerful little episode!

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29 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:

Well, that sounds like a cheerful little episode!

For House? It kinda was!

I know I called Sgt Walrus an asshole last week, so bear in mind that I do still think that but....

Phyllis needs to grow the fuck up and make a grown up decision here. There's no confusion here at all, he's *been asking her out on dates*. If she doesn't like him, fine, I don't like him either, but he's actually been pretty nice to her and her thinly veiled disgust after he *nicely* offers to drive her around, and her rude lack of acknowledgement towards his gestures is making Phyllis look like the asshole here.

Not only was Sister Monica Joan subtly encouraging Lucille with good sense and wisdom, she also remembers, late at night, while being screamed at, that she delivered a particular woman's baby 20 years ago. Hmmm. Did her dementia take the episode off? Again?

I don't really like Lucille enough to care who she dates, because I find her almost cloyingly perfect, but considering the times, I can see why she might be encouraged to see a pleasant nice looking man who shares similar interests and background. I mean, we didn't object when Barbara went after Tom, for mostly similar reasons.

I will be contrary to the common opinion and say I liked that they gave a more honest depiction of how doctors handled unusual cases like teaching example freak shows because yes, this is what happened to people who were poor who had unusual health problems. I also appreciate that while "You're genetically male" was hamhanded and blunt and upsetting, that in that setting, that was probably the only thing Turner and Trixie knew to say  - they weren't getting gender sensitivity classes back in 1964.

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On 2/11/2019 at 10:00 AM, MissLucas said:

I was hoping Sister Frances would show some unexpected mechanical skills and so gain a bit of recognition and self-confidence. Alas, it was not to be. I felt uncomfortable watching that romance for various reasons. But we'll see how it plays out.

I had the same thought. I was sure we were going to find out Sister Frances's father was a mechanic who owned a shop, and she learned a few things being around him and the other mechanics.

On 2/11/2019 at 4:25 PM, MissLucas said:

Oh, I think Sister Monica Joan was quite sweet and it was probably really how people would have reacted to the scenario.

Sister Monica Joan was such a shipper on deck this episode. I could almost hear her thinking "Drat! They are sinking my ship. I must take action."  

5 hours ago, LittleIggy said:

I don’t think it would be an enormous lie. I said Lois could have told him she had a condition that affected her reproductive anatomy without getting into being genetically male. Since Lois had no external masculine features and identified as a woman, that issue wasn’t really relevant to her relationship with her fiancé.

I agree. She could have said that she will not be able to have children, and an exam revealed some abnormalities of her "lady bits" or "lady parts" (I think that's what an ordinary woman would have called it when talking to her husband). 

2 hours ago, Mermaid Under said:

My "tv guide" said that this episode was about someone who was intersex, and I assumed the story was going to be a baby where the gender couldn't be determined, and the parents had to choose. 

That's exactly where I thought the episode was going too. It went in a more interesting and less common direction.

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I thought people around Lucille trying to be matchmakers was typical of the time, when people assumed a Jewish person wanted to marry a Jewish person, or a Lutheran wanted to marry a Lutheran, or a black person wanted to marry a black person.  And it was ALWAYS assumed that a woman wanted to marry, wanted children, so not shocking that Lucille was encouraged to see Cyril as a possible romantic partner.  It could have been a lot more subtle though!

I do wonder why they haven't tried to find someone for Valerie. 

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9 hours ago, Calvada said:

I wish they would stop with Phyllis and the sergeant.  They are making him into a stalker, and I feel the Phyllis we've seen over the years would speak up and say sorry, not interested.  They have zero chemistry.  Writers, just because the romance between a midwife and a police officer worked once doesn't mean you have to recycle this story line.

I just want it to end.  Phyllis looks deeply uncomfortable, and the sergeant just cannot take a hint. 

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1 hour ago, Calvada said:

I do wonder why they haven't tried to find someone for Valerie. 

Hell, I'd be happy if they found any storyline for Valerie. This is her second full season, and she's always stuck in the B or C plot, if she's featured. Past time to either fill in some blanks or bring her something new of substance.

Edited by caitmcg
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1 hour ago, caitmcg said:

Hell, I'd be happy if they found any storyline for Valerie. This is her second full season, and she's always stuck in the B or C plot, if she's featured. Past time to either fill in some blanks or bring her something new of substance.

Spoiler

Patience, Grasshopper. Biiiiiiig storyline coming for Valerie soon.

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4 hours ago, purist said:
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Patience, Grasshopper. Biiiiiiig storyline coming for Valerie soon.

I'm glad, and I think (didn't read anything) that the abortion story line isn't going away, too big of a social issue then and now.

I would love as another post said, more time to each story and not as many going on. Some filler is fine but when I binged on CTM months ago, I remember the shows seeming to concentrate on one thing more. I also liked how they brought back baby Susan and mom who took thalidomide. Seeing past mom's and characters might be a pain in some ways but makes the "family" of Poplar more real. I understand a "guest" and recurring character are different but it's nice.

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5 hours ago, debraran said:

Some filler is fine but when I binged on CTM months ago, I remember the shows seeming to concentrate on one thing more

I don't have the shows, to re-watch but I still remember certain ones from the early years so vividly.  They could write an entire season with follow-up stories on women from past seasons. For example,  I would love to know what happened to the young woman on the ship whose father had used her to keep the sailors from becoming restless.

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I spent many happy years from babyhood at Gram's house on her scratchy embossed sofa and chair with pineapple doilies over the back, just at like Pam and Marty's!

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On 4/29/2019 at 4:13 AM, debraran said:

This is my favorite show and I love it, but I just feel the writers were sloppy on this one and I hope they continue to write the great scripts they are known for. The pap smear education was great and that woman's retort to Dr Taylor made me laugh outloud.

I agree that the writers are getting lazy.  Are there new writers?  Because it seems that this season we're hearing a lot more expository conversations.  Everyone speaks like they're educating us, setting things up, explaining things -- it doesn't sound like natural conversation at all. 

And even though the show is set in the early 60's when married couples slept in twin beds, the characters can certainly speak to their physician without worrying about censorship.  I wanted Lois to ask the doctor what he meant by a "short vagina".  Wouldn't that be a natural question, for a young woman who was a virgin?  Wouldn't she ask for specifics about sex?  We might not need to hear the doctor's answers, but certainly she would have asked. 

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From the recap I read on WETA, the man who experienced a phantom pregnancy and his wife had a complete storyline that PBS cut.  

Quote

Apparently, there was a bit more to it in the original BBC cut which basically boiled down to Pam suspecting her husband’s strange behavior (and weight gain) was the result of an affair with a local café owner

Ugh. Why does PBS do this?  Just show the entire episode.

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On 4/29/2019 at 7:39 PM, Calvada said:

I thought people around Lucille trying to be matchmakers was typical of the time, when people assumed a Jewish person wanted to marry a Jewish person, or a Lutheran wanted to marry a Lutheran, or a black person wanted to marry a black person. 

Yeah, as cringy as everyone so obviously trying to play matchmaker with Lucille and the first young single black man they meet, it seemed somewhat true to life, especially for that time period. Its not like interracial dating didnt exist (we`ve seen it on the show before) but I think it kind of was just assumed that people want to be with people who are "like them" and everyone, especially a young woman, will want to get married as soon as possible, and will quickly push them together. To an extent, I think people still do it now. Its like that episode of Sex and the City where one of the girls sets up two of her gay friends, who have nothing in common except being gay men, and they confront her and ask if she set them up just because they're her only two gay friends. 

That hospital visit that poor Lois went to was the stuff of nightmares. Would it be so awful just to explain to the poor woman what was going on, especially for such a confusing and possibly traumatic diagnosis that changes her whole life? And then the doctor stuck her fingers right inside of her, it was so awful! I assume that Dr. Turner skipped out on talking to her more so she could talk to Trixie, that talking to a woman would be easier for her after that. I wish we had more backstory on the couple, so we could know more about why the fiance was so cool with this so quickly. I dont think its impossible for him to still want to be with her, but I so think it would take a hot minute to get used to that, if they still wanted to keep on with the wedding. 

Lucille did certainly look super cute on her date! And Shelagh saying how The Beatles "seem nicer than those Rolling Stones" was so adorably mom-ish.

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5 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Yeah, as cringy as everyone so obviously trying to play matchmaker with Lucille and the first young single black man they meet, it seemed somewhat true to life, especially for that time period. Its not like interracial dating didnt exist (we`ve seen it on the show before) but I think it kind of was just assumed that people want to be with people who are "like them" and everyone, especially a young woman, will want to get married as soon as possible, and will quickly push them together. To an extent, I think people still do it now. Its like that episode of Sex and the City where one of the girls sets up two of her gay friends, who have nothing in common except being gay men, and they confront her and ask if she set them up just because they're her only two gay friends. 

That hospital visit that poor Lois went to was the stuff of nightmares. Would it be so awful just to explain to the poor woman what was going on, especially for such a confusing and possibly traumatic diagnosis that changes her whole life? And then the doctor stuck her fingers right inside of her, it was so awful! I assume that Dr. Turner skipped out on talking to her more so she could talk to Trixie, that talking to a woman would be easier for her after that. I wish we had more backstory on the couple, so we could know more about why the fiance was so cool with this so quickly. I dont think its impossible for him to still want to be with her, but I so think it would take a hot minute to get used to that, if they still wanted to keep on with the wedding. 

Lucille did certainly look super cute on her date! And Shelagh saying how The Beatles "seem nicer than those Rolling Stones" was so adorably mom-ish.

Yes, more back story would have helped. This wasn't a minor or common thing.

I think doctor's like that kept many women away from checkups and following through on things. I remember at Yale, a big teaching hospital near me, they would talk like the patient wasn't there all the time but occasionally a doctor (usually older) would point out that the "gallbladder" or cancer growth, had a name. I loved that. ; )

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I'm wondering if the Brits of today still pronounce cervical like it was pronounced on the show. I had never heard the word pronounced that way before& it took me a moment to figure out what they were saying!

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