Thursday, December 13, 2012
Movie Monday...only it's Thursday and I'm talking television...
Now that it's Thursday, I figured it would be a good time to make up the Movie Monday that I completely forgot about on, oh, Monday. It's been a busy week around here, but better late than never, I suppose.
Only today's post is about television rather than movies for the big screen, and is spurred by the announcement of the nominations for the Golden Globe Awards, given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. To be honest, I didn't find that much remarkable in the list of nominees, especially in the film categories. Some of the nominations in those categories are a big quirky, something the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is known for.
However, among the categories for television, one of the nominees for Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television jumped out at me because it is a show I'm a big fan of: The Hour.
The Hour is a British production. with its second six-episode series now running on BBCAmerica. It is a period piece, with the first series taking place in the Autumn of 1956 and the current second series beginning a few months after the end of the action in the first.
I love this show. The first season started out following the launch of a new BBC news magazine, "The Hour". It first comes to air as the Suez Crisis is unfolding. But, alongside that world crisis, a smaller drama is unfolding within the staff of the new news show. One of the journalists involved in the show is a young, brash, and brilliant writer, Freddie Lyon (played by Ben Whishaw), who is passed over to be the main presenter on the show for the older, supposedly more photogenic Hector Madden (portrayed by Dominic West). Freddie is not happy about that; he's sure the job should have gone to him. But Freddie has other problems as well: a female friend of his has died in mysterious circumstances, and the producer of the show, Bel Rowley (played by Romola Garai), who is also a longtime friend as well as a woman whom he is interested in romantically, has begun an affair with the very married Hector.
Freddie soon realizes that the death of his friend is tied up with the mysterious Thomas Kish (played by Burn Gorman), who is constantly around the offices of "The Hour" for no good reason, seeming to watch and listen very closely to what everyone there is doing and saying. It turns out that Kish is a government agent, investigating whether or not there is a Communist among the staffers on the show.
In a way, the show is very much a Cold War soap opera. But this is also drama at its finest, and I cannot recommend the show highly enough. The writing is wonderful, and so is the acting. Everything about the show is first-rate. In the series now airing, Freddie is back, taking on organized crime this time. I won't say much more, except that you really should watch, from the beginning of the first series if you can.
As a sort of taste of what the show is about, here is a clip from BBCAmerica introducing Freddie, who I see as the central character of the show:
Really. Go seek out The Hour and watch. It is exceptional.