Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Hour

Every time I start to feel that sad, depressing lack of a costume drama, BBC is right there to help and help me procrastinate with a new series. And they're really bringing out the big guns with The Hour. Set in the 50's at BBC, it stars Ben Whishaw (endeared to me for having played my cosmic boyfriend John Keats in Bright Star) as shit-starting television journalist trying to get the BBC to cover real stories instead of debutante engagements. While covering one of those debutante engagements, he puts his foot in a murder conspiracy. 

Elsewhere, he's putting his foot in his mouth while trying to climb the television production ladder. He doesn't know at first, but his best friend/love-interest (Romola Garai) has already secured the producer gig he wanted (ooh, and she's a lady! Let's just say there are a few echoes of Mad Men here) on a new topical news program the Beeb is launching.  Freddie-- that's Ben Whishaw's name on the show, but let's be real, he's just Keatsy as far as I'm concerned-- won't play by the rules, so Lady-Producer Bel (Garai) is forced to spend what little political capital she has to get him hired. (Good news since he pisses off his stick-in-the mud boss at their old news desk job and gets sacked.)

Luckily for Bel, she has a knack for attracting unavailable powerful men, and-- good news for both Bel and Freddie-- she caught the attention of the new host of said news program, (called "The Hour" after something Freddie said in his exuberant pitch) Detective Jimmy McNulty...I mean, excuse me, Dominic West, as Hector Madden. 

But let's face it: Dominic West is always best when he's being Jimmy McNulty. Here, he has shades of that-- the rebellion, the drinking, the womanizing, the charming mischievous eyes. But he leaves the "giving a shit when it's not your turn to give a shit" to Freddie. Passing that baton could great, or they could drop the ball with The Hour. We'll see. I've got 5 more episodes to look forward to... and let's just say, I'm looking forward to them quite a lot. 

For more, click here. If you're in the UK, watch the first episode here.

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