8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Well Worth Watching,
This review is from: The Hour - Complete Series 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
I looked forward eagerly to Season Two of "The Hour", the first season of which I found absolutely riveting, watching it from beginning to end, and then re-watching it.
Although I found series two, which explores the politics of fear in the international race for the bomb, absorbing, I didn't think that the scenario was as tightly constructed as that of series one--perhaps too many subplots suggested, but because of the constraints of a six-part series, left unexplored.
As with the first series, the characters are well developed. The acting, in fact, is is flawless, particularly Peter Capaldi, the director of programming who replaced Anton Lesser (whose character is presumably being detained at HM's pleasure) and Anna Chancellor, who plays the cynical Lix, and this series reveals one of the reasons behind her chain-smoking cynicism.
The second series explores the troubled relationship between news anchor Hector and his unhappy wife. Dominic West manages to temper Hector's overweening ego with the vulnerability of a little boy lost, eventually rediscovering his long-buried generosity of spirit. Vincent Riotta displays a subtle menace as the owner of a trendy Soho night club (the elegance of which cannot quite hide its seediness), and we discover that there is more to Westminster spin doctor (to apply a term unknown in the 50s) Angus McCain--Julian Rhind-Tutt--than he would prefer the public to know. Hannah Tointon is convincing and moving in her role as a showgirl whose aspirations to climb the social ladder seem likely to be doomed, and the ensemble cast of the 'Hour Team' gives us an impression that we are 'backstage' at a working BBC production.
Romola Garai and Ben Whishaw continue their persuasive portrayals of the brilliant-but-lonely career-driven television journalists, Bel and Freddy, but I am less convinced of the chemistry that supposedly draws them together as a couple, but perhaps that is the point. They are drawn together by their mutual devotion to pursuing the story hell-or-high water and perhaps each represents the only one who could possibly fulfil the emotional needs of the other (I also thought that the charming actress playing Freddy's wife was wasted in a thankless role, since that subplot seemed undeveloped and became quickly buried under the main issue).
Nevertheless, series two still had me wanting to know what was going to happen next, and I fervently hope that there will be a series three.
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Initial post: 15 Feb 2013 00:14:52 GMT
Thanks for the great review, F.S. L'hoir! I just finished watching the second series last night. Fantastic series! I too, was hoping for a series 3 (& beyond)!
Sadly, it looks like the BBC has just cancelled the series two days ago (Feb 12, 2013) for poor ratings. The news is being widely reported now and this is from the Huffington Post (there are several petitions to keep the show on air that you can sign on Face Book, Twitter, etc...hopefully this will have an impact):
'The Hour' Canceled: BBC2 Axes Drama After Two Seasons
Posted: 02/12/2013 9:53 am EST
BBC announced on Tuesday that "The Hour" has been canceled.
The period drama, which often drew comparisons to "Mad Men," ran for two seasons and saw a large dip in ratings in its second season. In the UK, the Season 1 premiere brought in 2.9 million viewers and the Season 2 premiere didn't even match half of that with 1.3 million viewers, according to Broadcast.
"The Hour" followed a group of reporters in the 1950s who work at the BBC's titular fictional news program and earned a lot of critical acclaim, including BAFTA, Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
"The Hour" aired on BBC America stateside (Season 2 wrapped at the end of 2012) and HuffPost TV critic Maureen Ryan gave five reasons those on this side of the pond should watch the show. "'The Hour' is one of those nicely calibrated UK dramas that has an alluring atmosphere and is bursting at the seams with great character actors," she wrote.
A BBC spokesperson told Broadcast: "We loved the show but have to make hard choices to bring new shows through."'
A representative for BBC America did not immediately return HuffPost TV's request for comment.
For more on the cancellation of "The Hour," click over to Broadcast.
Posted on 15 Feb 2013 00:23:30 GMT
And seeing this comment on Wikipedia makes it even more frustrating:
Producers commented that they were upset to see the show cancelled, as they had plans for a third series.
In reply to an earlier post on 15 Feb 2013 00:27:09 GMT
F. S. L'hoir says:
I'm pleased that the review was helpful. Thanks for the Alert and the news about the petitions, RD: I'll gladly sign one (for all the good it will do).
Although I did not think that the second season was quite as good as the first, I was still hoping for a snappy comeback with a third season, because with the series' combination of focus on actual history and political shenanigans, "The Hour" has so many possibilities. Alas, like some politicians, the Beeb seems to be paying attention to focus groups!
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