Hour: Season 2 [Blu-ray]
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Critical favorite The Hour returns for more drama and intrigue on Blu-ray January 8! Season two rejoins The Hour team in 1957 where we are introduced to new characters played by Peter Capaldi (The Thick Of It, The Nativity) Hannah Tointon (The Inbetweeners) and Tom Burke (State of Play). They strive to broadcast the stories they believe in at the same time they grapple with the looming specter of the Cold War and changing social mores. With the advent of space race and the threat of nuclear annihilation forever looming, Britain grapples with an era of unprecedented scientific advancement, economic opportunity and cultural change in the face of new immigration from the Commonwealth. At the same time, the members of The Hour team live in a world of cover-ups, sexual intrigues and lurking fascism.]]>
Brown also prefers the reporting of ITV competitor Uncovered, so he rehires journalist Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw) as cohost, to the consternation of Hector and producer Bel Rowley (Romola Garai), who fell out at the end of the first year (Lizzie Brocheré plays the new lady in Freddie's life). As his fame increases, Hector's situation worsens when Kiki (Hannah Tointon), a showgirl, accuses him of abuse, so Bel sets out to uncover what's really going on at the El Paradis Club, while Freddie shines a light on the white supremacists running rampant in his Notting Hill neighborhood, plot lines that involve a controlling club owner (Vincent Riotta) and an amorous ITV executive (Tom Burke). As these six episodes come to a conclusion, the story strands coalesce, and most of it works quite splendidly, even Brown's history with desk editor Lix Storm (Anna Chancellor), which starts off on an uncharacteristically soap operatic note. As long-buried secrets rise to the surface, The Hour ends on a moment of triumph for some--and tragedy for others. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Top Customer Reviews
This year The Hour has returned with season two, and I have to say it has only stepped up it's game (which was a TALL order to accomplish in my book seeing as how I adored season one). In my foray through the world of tv I have found time and again that it is a rare show indeed that only gets better with season two, and this show is one of those rare gems. There is a reason it has received critical acclaim.
The writing is done brilliantly by Abi Morgan (Shame, The Iron Lady). It never fails to grip me and draw me into the characters and the conflicts which they face. What impresses me the most is both the dynamic writing for all of the characters and the fact that the historical setting (this year being the Cold War) is never romanticized, but examined through the eyes of these characters for it's unflattering qualities as it interweaves with the story line.
In addition, the cast is made up of some of the most talented actors of our time, headed by Ben Whishaw (Bright Star, Skyfall), Romola Garai (Emma, Atonement), and Dominic West (The Wire). These characters (and all the characters) are beautifully sculpted. Through both the performances of the actors and the writing given to them, we are made to care deeply about these flawed, realistic individuals working tirelessly to bring the truth to the people in the world of journalism where honesty isn't always regarded as the best policy.
Freddie Lyon brings all the heart to the show, as Bel brings the know how and strength to steer the ship that is 'The Hour'.Read more ›
The ending of season 2 is much more tense and scary than anything in season 1. There's nothing in this season as inexplicable as the suicide of Thomas Kish in season 1. It holds together pretty well.
I can't discuss the weak points without giving away much of the plot. Suffice it to say that I would have had some of the personal relationships between the characters play out differently.
If they make season 3, I'll watch 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 Her Majesty'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.Read more ›
The focal point of the story is "The Hour", the first 60-Minute type news show in Britain in the still somewhat grey, grim post-WWII years - newsreels are going out of style and the BBC is looking for an intriguing new format. "The Hour" is what they come up with, and it is also notable for being the first news show produced by a woman (Bel Rowley, played by Romola Garai). What gives the show its intellectual heft is the way actual news stories of the era (for example, the 1956 Suez and Hungarian revolt crises) are utilized to bring out different aspects of the characters and to highlight their values and attitudes.
The central characters were all introduced in Season One: the beleaguered Bel, out to prove that a woman can do it and do it well; Hector Madden, the hunky, handsome face of the show (Dominic West), struggling with terrible war memories, a difficult marriage, and his fierce attraction to Bel; and Ben Lyon, the passionate, intellectual, left-wing journalist who will stop at nothing to get a good story, also cherishing unresolved feelings toward Bel, who is equally confused about her feelings for him.
The stories also tell us a great deal about post-war Britain: the rise of immigration of people of color from Britain's former colonies uncovers blossoming racism; sexual scandals rise to the highest political levels (shades of the Profumo scandal!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Package arrived before the promised date. Another nice touch was was a follow up email from this vendor to make sure I was satisfied with my order. Thanks.Published 10 days ago by stepan
Truly the best written show I've ever found. The ending was gut-wrenching--obviously intended as a season cliff-hanger,not a series ending. Read morePublished 1 month ago by KRae
Great movie, but I hated the ending. Ben Whishaw is brilliant. Please make a season 3!Published 2 months ago by Laura D. Villasenor
Wish there was another season- such a great series, albeit short-lived.Published 4 months ago by Randi Boyd
I really enjoyed this stylish series, shame it was drawn to a close too soon with only 2 series!Published 5 months ago by bookgirl
And that's saying something. Comparisons with "Mad Men" are inevitable, but outside of both being period dramas, there is little to compare. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Lady O
Season 2 is even better than Season 1, because everyone seems to have loosened up a bit.Published 13 months ago by John A. Harwood