10 Reasons why you should watch ‘The Hour’ and 3 Reasons why it’s even better than ‘Mad Men’

20 Mar
the hour 02

Freddie and Bel – a match made in heaven

The Hour, BBCs critically acclaimed TV show about a team of television journalists on the hunt for the next big story, set in the 50s (which is the reason for it being often compared to Mad Men), and with elements of espionage crime stories and interpersonal drama, was cancelled in February after just two seasons. Despite a petition trying to save it and several other campaigns, the BBC has, so far, remained stubborn. What a shame though, as this show has plenty to offer. I present you ten reasons why you should watch it (in no particular order). And three reasons why it might be better than Mad Men.

1. Bel Rowley

The Hour’s female lead character, producer Bel Rowley, is just wonderful, a strong women fighting to stay her ground in a man’s world. She’s far from perfect but that’s what makes her so likeable. Sometimes she struggles with making decisions, sometimes she is terrified by the consequences of these decisions, but she always stays strong and proves to her colleagues just how capable she is.  Moreover, she is portrayed by the wonderful Romola Garai (Atonement).

2. Fashion, Baby!

Oh, this beautiful 50s fashion. And actually waerable as well. It’s sometimes less glamorous than the suits and dresses in Mad Men but that makes it more realistic, showing the general spirit of post-war England.

3. Retro Settings

Beautiful settings. Everything works, from the cars to the private houses to the news room.

4. Freddie Lyon

Heart and soul of ‘The Hour’, idealistic, witty, and ambitious journalist Freddie Lyon will always uncover the truth and by doing that is very successful in gaining many enemies. He is portrayed by the beautiful Ben Wishaw (Q in Skyfall).

5. Lix Storm

Lix is probably everyone’s favourite badass on this show. This former war reporter is tougher than all of her male colleagues combined. And she has one of the most interesting story lines in season two. She is portrayed by the uber-talented Anna Chancellor.

6. Hector Madden

The Hour’s ‘Face’ is a stylish war veteran who got his job due to connections but manages to become a very good journalist over the course of time. Often haunted by the ghosts of his past, he is also known for being an everything but loyal husband to his wife Marnie. His fights with Freddie are among the most entertaining moments in the show.

7. A perfect Genre Mix

Crime stories, journalism, love triangles, lots of drama, and espionage. Embedded in a fascinating historical context. What more can you ask for?

8. Witty Dialogues

Abi Morgan wrote some wonderful dialogues. Freddie’s sarcastic remarks, his quarreling with Hector, and the often playful dialogues between Bel and Freddie are extremely delightful.

9. History

I love shows that are embedded in a historical context. How about you? Suez crisis, British-American relations,  racism. Lots of interesting topics to explore.

10. It’s getting better and better

The first season was good, the second season was great. Can you imagine how a third season would have been? Probably amazing!

the hour 01

Bel and Freddie prepare for the chance to entertain you!

Why is it better than Mad Men?

1. Better female characters – Bel and Lix are wonderful leading women, strong and independent they go their way despite what men might think of them. Mad Men’s women just can’t compare.

2. Faster pace – this can be seen as a pro or a con, but for someone like me, who lately doesn’t have the time to get invested into a very long show, the fast pace and the ‘six episodes per season’ structure are actually a gift!

3. Edgier and less polished – Let’s face it. Many aspects of Mad Men seem very over the top and polished. The Hour feels more grounded.

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