Morocco: Love in Times of War Comes to Netflix

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Morocco: Love in the Time of War (2017) is the clunky English title given to Spanish production Tiempos de Guerra, which recently premiered on Netflix. The TV series tells the story of some Spanish nurses who are serving in Morocco during the Rif war (1920-27). The Rif war took place in a region of northern Morocco and was basically Moroccans from that region fighting against Spanish colonial takeover (France later got involved, it’s complicated, google it if you want to know more).

The series starts in 1921, when the war is getting bad and medical staff are desperately needed. Main character Julia has just volunteered to be a nurse — her brother and fiancé are fighting. Just as she signs up, her unit is sent into service and her brother and fiancé’s battalion go missing during a battle; she basically sneaks onto the train and talks the head nurse into letting her serve.

None of the nurses have any real war experience, so although Julia is the least trained, there’s lots of “oh holy crap what are we doing here” going on.

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

Yes, there’s some of this…

Of course, the plot thickens as Julia has an instant connection with hot (engaged) doctor Fidel, fellow nurse Magdalena (all ditzy blonde and also engaged) has an instant connection with Moroccan Larbi, and Pilar is confronted by the man who left her at the altar eight years ago. On top of everything, extra-competent and badass head nurse Carmen has a mystery illness that she’s keeping from everyone. Soap opera, here we come! It’s well filmed, well acted, and so far I’m entertained. (Side note, I was horrified to start watching it and hear OTT American accents, then very relieved to realize there were multiple audio tracks, and I could watch it in its original Spanish audio with English subtitles as, you know, any civilized person should do.)

Here’s what you need to know about Morocco: Love in Times of War:

 

The Boys Are HOT

First, and most important IMHO, the main male love interest characters are HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT. Okay, so I have a thing for dark-haired, Mediterranean men. Seriously, I am ready to throw my undies at the TV screen for:

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

Doctor Fidel, who is drawn to Julia as she is to him…

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

Larbi, Moroccan connecting with Magdalena when he should be CONNECTING WITH ME.

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

Luis, doctor and ex-fiancé to Pilar, whose height and floppy hair are keeeeling me!

Now that the most important stuff is out of the way…

 

The Costumes Are Pretty Good!

The costume designer is Helena Sanchis, who also designed major Spanish period productions Cable GirlsVelvet, and Grand Hotel.

The series starts in 1921, and I’m glad to see an appropriately early 1920s look — no mid-1920s dropped waists and short skirts here, what you’ve got is appropriately much closer to a late teens look than your mental image of “Twenties.” The main issue I have is that most of the dresses don’t use enough fabric. The big change you get between late teens and early twenties is some loosening of the overall silhouette (and a little bit of hem rise, but not much). Now, of course, I can imagine that despite being very upper class, these ladies’ wardrobes might be slightly out of date given that there’s a war on. But…?

Fashion timeline, 1913-1921
Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

Okay, so you’ve definitely got a lot of uniform scenes.

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

And I have no idea how accurate they are and I don’t care!

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

These are all upper-class ladies. Here’s lead Julia (red) with mom in tow. Why is mom’s hemline so much shorter than her daughter’s?

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

That’s badass head nurse Carmen in front. Lovely dresses that could totally pass for late teens, but that’s right on for the era.

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

Pilar (left) and Magdalena (right) look great at the fundraising picnic. PILAR’S HAT!! <3

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

Nice slouchy silhouette, particularly on Magdalena’s (left) bodice.

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

So far I’ve only spotted one clunkily dressed extra! Did she think this was a “flapper” murder mystery dinner? You can’t see it, but her hemline is about 4″ higher than everyone else’s.

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

The queen!

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

I loved this tunic-y look on Magdalena, although her wedding gown (on the dress form) looks awfully late 1940s New Look…

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

Here’s where we start getting into Not Enough Fabric Land — mostly on lead Julia, so maybe it’s Leading Lady Syndrome?

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

The skirt should be much fuller imho!

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

This one in particular just seemed 1930s maybe?

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

Luis’s pregnant wife is super cute in stripes…

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

And Fidel’s fiancée, rich girl Susanna (left), and her mother look great!

 

The Hair Is a Mixed Bag

The bob meets beachy waves! They’re KIND OF going for a Marcel wave on some of the ladies, but really it’s a slightly more done beachy wave, and they’re not fooling me. That being said, some of the ladies still wear long hair, and it’s styled very nicely in that faux-bob updo thing that’s totally right for the period.

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

That is not what a Marcel wave looks like.

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

I mean, points for a strongish wave at the temple, but that’s it!

Morocco - Love in Times of War (2017- )

On the other hand, Susanna’s faux-bob updo is right on!

 

Are you watching Morocco: Love in Times of War?

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About the author

Kendra

Website

Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

4 Responses

  1. Kelly

    This autoplayed on my Netflix the other day and I watched for awhile but I didn’t finish the first episode since I generally watch soapy romance while ironing or cooking and I can’t really do that with subtitles. Maybe i’ll Give it another go.

    Reply
  2. Mallory Stevens

    I binged the whole thing. I am deddddd from beautiful men and clothes and accents and scenery. Loved it!

    Reply
  3. John

    Watched every episode, English captions were not always there. Couldn’t believe there were that many liars casted. Loved the acting though.

    Reply

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