By happenstance last week, while trolling through On Demand, l lucked across The Hour on BBC- what many called the British answer to Mad Men. Since I love period dramas (this one starts off in London, year 1956) for the costumes and set design, I figured it was worth an hour of my time. Cut to 4 hours later and the wee hours of the morning (I watched 4 episodes of season 2 that night ) and I was hooked. I watched the remaining 2 and the first season in the following 2 days – that’s how good this show is!
Written and created by the award-winning Abi Morgan (“The Iron Lady,” “Shame,” “Sex Traffic”), The Hour is set in the world of 1950s television journalism (behind the scenes of the BBC newsroom) and delves into the personal lives, professional interplay and jealous ambition between aspiring but renegade journalist Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw, ‘Bright Star’ and ‘Skyfall’), the beautiful ambitious young producer Bel Rowley (Romola Garai, ‘Emma”) with whom he is in love, and his handsome rival Hector Madden (Dominic West, ‘The Wire), the face and lead anchorman of this rising television news team.
This fashionable and stylish six-parter (each season consists of 6 shows) is witty, intelligent and passionate, all while being a feast for the eyes – the costumes rival those of ‘Mad Men’, and while the sets might not be as dazzling as Mad Men’s, they have wonderful aspects and are realistic to what news show sets were like in late 1950’s London.
Season 1 is available on itunes, and while season 2 will be airing On Demand until June of this year, you won’t want to wait that long to watch this riveting, entertaining and totally addicting show!