Although I’ve only watched the first three series so far, I’m a massive ‘Mad Men‘ fan. So I was fairly excited when the BBC announced plans for ‘The Hour’. As a rubbish TV watched, I’m having to catch up via the iPlayer; I’ve only got the last episode to go.
I don’t love it: I’ll be honest about that. But I think I could come to if I watched it again. The more I watch, the more I enjoy it. As was to be expected, the style is spot on – well, to my eyes that have never seen the era in real life.
Bel is the producer of ‘The Hour’. Her flat isn’t an immediately ‘WOW’ factor of a place, but if you look closely, there are certain details that are fantastically stylish. The Ercol-style table and chairs above and the Scandinavian design sofa are both perfect.
I also think they’ve got the styling of Bel’s character just right, too:
Bel’s character is torn between two men: best friend, Freddie, or charismatic front-man, Hector:
I’m definitely on Team Freddie – Hector is far too smarmy and toothy for me. I spotted this lamp in Freddie’s bedroom in Episode Five; made me even more of a fan:
Hector is also married to Marnie, the British version of Betty Draper:
As always seems to be the way, the female characters have a much better wardrobe than the men. Many of the minor characters have fantastic outfits:
I think this character is called Janet – I’m probably wrong! But I do love everything she wears – the dresses, accessories, even her hair is how I would have it.
You might have noticed that all I’ve mentioned so far is the style and design of the show. Herein lies the problem with the show: it looks fantastic, but so far – and bearing in mind I’m on episode five of six – I don’t care that much about the characters, barring Freddie. I understand that the producers have probably had to sit down and think, “How can we put something into this that makes it like Mad Men, but not like Mad Men?” and incorporating a murder-mystery plotline certainly does that. But in all honesty, I really do not care who killed the debutante childhood friend of Freddie. It’s all a bit too ‘stylishly bare’ in dialogue, leaving far too much unsaid and ultimately leaving the audience a bit blase about the character. Whilst I’m not a fan of Hector, I think it would have been better to focus on the dynamics between Bel, Hector and Freddie – the scenes involving the three of them are far more interesting than anything else.
I would continue watching ‘The Hour’, if only for the set and costumes alone, but more emotion and focus on characters we care about is needed for it to truly grab my attention. And a bit more of Freddie…
Visit the BBC website for ‘The Hour’ here.
- Have you been watching … The Hour? (guardian.co.uk)
- ‘The Hour’ review: spy thriller and genuine acting (sfgate.com)
- Festival of Britain: Back to the Fifties (telegraph.co.uk)