Annika sits along the shore.

Exploring Motherhood With Iowa PBS Passport

As Mother's Day approaches, it's a time to honor and celebrate the incredible women who shape our lives with love, sacrifice and unwavering support. This Mother's Day, enjoy watching these shows with your mom.

Hotel Portofino 

Bella Ainsworth is the family matriarch and running Hotel Portofino has been her dream. She reminds us that motherhood never ends as her two adult children arrive at the hotel with her. She faces conflict with her son over the life she dreams for him and the life he wants to live. He is also trying to hide his struggles with PTSD after WWI. Her daughter, Alice, is looking for a fresh start after being widowed as she must now raise her daughter on her own. 


The Durrells in Corfu 

A widow decides to pack her life and family up to leaving the life they know behind. The Durrells said goodbye to the rainy skies of London and hello to the sunny Greek island of Corfu. Dysfunction meets devotion as the family's stories are shared through biting humor. The Durrells remind us that at the end of the day, sometimes our family is all that we need.

Call the Midwife 

The nurses, midwives and nuns from Nonnatus House, visit the expecting mothers of Poplar, providing the poorest women with the best possible care. Call the Midwife highlights the difficulties and joys that many mothers face and the importance of good medical care for all mothers.


Little Women 

The March family steals our hearts once again in this retelling of the classic novel from Louisa May Alcott. The March sisters wouldn’t be who they were without their loving mother, Marmee. She is the head of the house with their father away and tries to guide her daughters through her values and morals.

Before We Die 

Two mothers on opposite sides of the law both fought in season 1 for the same thing and they both failed. Season 2 highlights the complexities of losing your sons in two different ways. One flees the country with the woman he loves and the other is presumed dead. They each must learn to cope with their grief as they move forward.



DI Annika Strandhed is the speedboat-driving head of Glasgow’s Marine Homicide Unit. On top of balancing an ever growing caseload, Annika balances her rebellious teenage daughter. This drama explores the sometimes challenging relationship between mother and daughter. The two of them take on the world and while they argue, they still love one another.