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30 September 2011 @ 06:29 pm
DVD-watching fail  
Yesterday I watched all six episodes of The Hour in what was basically one go, with a pause for dinner and a call from my best friend. So not okay. It was fun, though--although the "I am never attracted to the ruggedly handsome leading man we're supposed to care about" problem is still in effect, which means that there was a little too much focus on outside-the-office Hector for my taste. (Nothing against Dominic West, and Hector's attempts to learn how to be a reporter were interesting; it's just that "ladies' man" character does less than nothing for me. More Bel and Freddie, please. And maybe a subplot about Hector's wife sans Hector; I quite liked her.)

I also engaged in some fairly embarrassing clapping and, er, burbling in delight when Jamie Parker delivered his small handful of lines (I...sort of leaped up off the couch when I first heard his voice?), but no one saw because I live alone, strategically, just to avoid having to inflict this kind of behavior onto other people.

Also, I want all of Romola Garai's dresses. My word.
(Deleted comment)
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on September 30th, 2011 10:38 pm (UTC)
How did I forget to mention her?!? She was awesome. She sees all and knows all! Oh, Anna Chancellor--why so fab?
litlover12 on October 2nd, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
Maybe you can tell me what "Lix" is short for, because I can't figure it out! Alexandra, possibly?

I liked a lot of the period detail of the show, and the acting, especially from the leads. (Thank God Garai has toned down the mugging -- in "Emma" she was all but conducting a torrid affair with the camera.) Whishaw and Gorman were particularly good. I thought the handling of the political issues simplistic and cliched, though. Going with the "evil government official menacingly watches the broadcast and then storms the set to shut down the show" trope? Really? That *might* have been fresh if we viewers were actually living in 1956.

And don't get me started on the decision to run a skit -- and a lame skit at that -- on a news show.

The twist with Clarence at the end was nice, though. Finally we got a hint that the issues involved might be a little more complex than "Government BAD! Journalists GOOD!"

Oh, and I liked Marnie too. Liked her so much, in fact, that I wanted to strangle Bel and Hector for hurting her. She was so strong and wise under the surface. Interesting that a show whose political storyline was so one-note was able to make the characters so complicated.

(ETA: Hmm, I originally said "strangle Bel" instead of "Bel and Hector." I wonder why? Blaming just the other woman instead of the other woman AND the husband is icky, and I don't usually do it. Maybe it was because Marnie went directly to Bel to plead her case?)

Edited at 2011-10-02 04:25 pm (UTC)
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on October 2nd, 2011 10:42 pm (UTC)
I think I heard Bel call Lix "Alexis" in an early scene, but I can't swear to it.

Romola Garai is an actress that I really like, but only some of the time: loved her here, found her very frustrating in Emma (as you did!). As for the skit--I get why they did it, since they weren't allowed to do any actual reporting, but the skit itself was fairly disappointing. I...suspect I didn't pay all that much attention to the politics, though, because I do that sometimes. :) At the same time, I did think that the issue wasn't really that the government was all bad; yes, there's censorship, but at the same time, it turns out that Freddie's investigation (which he sees as noble and completely on the side of right, an attempt to help the downtrodden and vindicate the innocent) uncovers several people who are in fact, Soviet spies. He's been championing the wrong team the whole time.

Anyway, it struck me as a show that wasn't really about the politics so much as it was a show about how you put together a news show--so I didn't mind the broadness of the political situation as much, and also the whole narrative is so strongly colored by Freddie's idealistic (and self-ennobling) perspective that I did wind up taking it all with a grain of salt.

I think I have trouble with Bel's actions for slightly different reasons from the ones for which I dislike Hector's? With Bel, it's not just that she's hurting Marnie (which is a major point, certainly), but she's also risking her entire career to be with Hector in this very casual way. Which is her pattern, I suppose (if we believe Freddie's remark that she always chooses unavailable men), but it is frustrating.
litlover12 on October 2nd, 2011 11:26 pm (UTC)
Good point. That was VERY frustrating.
tempestsarekind: arthur clennam [little dorrit]tempestsarekind on October 2nd, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
I mean, I was also less interested in Hector's side of things, because I feel like I've seen that story a lot. (I tried, really hard, to get invested in the adaptation of Any Human Heart, if only for Matthew Macfadyen, but that "I married for money and now my staid wife just doesn't understand me" plot, and the way it was done, had me eyerolling through the whole thing. I don't find Hector as annoying--and Marnie is so interesting--but it isn't a favorite story of mine.) But Bel's story I haven't seen as often, so it was interesting and frustrating at the same time. :)
litlover12 on October 2nd, 2011 11:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, I know -- I couldn't even make it through "Any Human Heart." I tried, but there was no way.
tempestsarekind: little dorrittempestsarekind on October 2nd, 2011 11:53 pm (UTC)
I stopped watching after Hayley Atwell's part was over. Oops.
La Reine Noire: Elizabethlareinenoire on October 1st, 2011 12:04 am (UTC)
I've downloaded the episodes but haven't watched them yet. WANT. :)
tempestsarekind: typewritertempestsarekind on October 1st, 2011 10:09 pm (UTC)
I just got the DVDs from Netflix, and had a very good time watching them. :)