So after watching the first two episodes of the new BBC Drama The Hour, I can officially say that I like it. There are obvious comparisons to Mad Men mostly due to the time period (mid 50’s instead of the 60’s), attire, smoking/drinking, sexism/racism, and similar bossa nova/jazz soundtracks. But aesthetics and pre-Civil Rights aside, The Hour is more 30 Rock or Broadcast News meets an Ian Fleming novel. The espionage aspect of it gets a bit heavy-handed though, but only two episodes in it’s hard to tell how the whole murder-mystery will unfold still.
Oh but what really matters is that Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West) plays a smarmy Don Draper type newscaster and that’s kinda all you need to know. I guess I never knew he was British so the accent throws me off every time but it just makes me appreciate his acting and The Wire that much more.
The other two leads are pretty great too and have already established some good chemistry even only after two episodes. Ben Whishaw plays a would-be investigative journalist not unlike how I would imagine a British Peter Parker would be if he never got bit by a spider and worked for a TV show instead. And Romola Garai (hello new crush) is a hybrid of all recent strong female leads (something like an Oxford educated Liz Lemon but with extra sass).
The series comes out on BBC America next month but If you can’t wait though, I might or might not have the two episodes uploaded to Dropbox (hollerrr)
*EDIT: Episode 1 / Episode 2