Happy New TV Year! With the brief holiday programming pause about to be over, it's already time to say goodbye to one of last year's better series: the evocative second season of BBC America's Golden Globe-nominated The Hour. A ticking-clock deadline fuels the suspense in Wednesday's gripping finale (9/8c). With showtime fast approaching for a new edition of the fictional '50s TV newsmagazine, The Hour's co-anchors find themselves embroiled in controversy and peril.
Memo to HBO's The Newsroom: This is how it's done.
In its second season, BBC America's The Hour (Wednesdays at 9/8c) is the very model of a smart, sleek, witty and sexy drama about the inner workings of a high-profile TV news operation. Set in the late '50s, but feeling quite contemporary in its depiction of media celebrity, with political and competitive pressures assailing journalistic ideals, this first-class entertainment avoids the pitfalls of preachiness and extreme silliness that often derailed Aaron Sorkin's TV comeback.
Finding yourself in Mad Men withdrawal this summer? Missing those nattily dressed men and women of a bygone modernist age, smoking and drinking their way through glamorous-seeming media jobs as dark clouds loom in their personal and professional lives?
Fret not. BBC America has come to the rescue, with a deluxe six-hour diversion set in the politically charged mid-1950s, titled The Hour — and few hours this summer have been so stimulating and absorbing. The problem here, typical of so much British TV, is there just aren't enough of these hours — though each one counts. And by the end of the twisty sixth hour, you'll be satisfied, if still craving more...