Bomb Girls is a Canadian TV series (set in Toronto) about various women who work at a munitions factory during World War II. It is complete soap opera, and I loved it! I had watched the first two seasons as they aired, and I just now got to watch last year’s 1.5 hour one-off finale, “Facing the Enemy,” so I’m all re-inspired to share to love.
The lead character is Gladys, daughter of a wealthy family who wants to get involved in the war effort and rebel against her parents, so she gets a job at the factory. There she meets many working-class women, from Lorna (the older supervisor with a difficult home life, played by Meg Tilly) to Vera (the flightly girl who faces a big challenge) to Betty (the strong independent woman) who falls for sheltered Kate (who’s running away from an abusive family). The stories follow them into the factory and out as the war complicates their lives. The series does a beautiful job showing the many opportunities and challenges that the war caused for women, plus gives some excellently soap opera-esque storylines to keep you hooked. There’s even some cute boys, including Marco, the Italian-Canadian hunk who works at the factory and is frustrated due to not being able to enlist.
Best of all, the costume designer (Joanne Hansen) did a BRILLIANT job. Everything from the factory outfits to the street and dress-up wear, hair, makeup, etc., is appropriate to the period. In particular, they either have a stock of vintage rayon prints or a source for making stunning reproductions, because the women wear dress after dress that makes you go, “WHOA, that is SUCH a 1940’s print!”
You can watch all of the episodes of Bomb Girls season 1 and 2 on YouTube. There was also a final, 1.5 hour movie called “Facing the Enemy.” Canadians can watch it on GlobalTV.com. The whole series is currently on Netflix, too.