'The Hour': A Quick Endorsement

More




I mentioned this over twitter, but I wanted to repeat my affection for The Hour, the BBC's dramatic take on a news program during the late 50s. It's really sad that the show is being compared with Mad Men. Unlike the other period piece knock-offs floating around, The Hour is its own deal and is, if anything, significantly less nostalgic than Mad Men.


But beyond that I greatly appreciate that The Hour isn't a show "about the 50s," and that it never mistakes is setting for an actual plot. Its characters don't believe they invented sex, and are not much interested in stating their own revolutionary import.

The show has weaknesses. I don't think Dominic West and Romola Garai's roles are particularly well-formed. Their subsequent affair isn't well developed, nor does it prove to ultimately be very consequential. On the contrary, some of the best moments are heterosocial. (Garai's ultimate confrontation with her lover's wife is more affecting than anything that happens between her and West's character.) The Hour could have used a scene like the one in Broadcast News where Albert Brooks' character discovers that there's more to reading the news than looking pretty. 

But that aside, you should see the show--it's on Amazon for $1.99 per episode--because it exhibits something that I hunger for in this era of super-powers, vampires and playmates: a humility and respect for telling a story.

Sorry fellow Commies. I am, indeed, quite the snob.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In