Sunday, 7 August 2011

The hour... well and truly gone by

You might have seen advertised on television recently a programme set in the 1950s named The Hour, a short series based around the BBC. The British equivalent to the world reclaimed Mad Men, well that's what I heard anyway.
I've been trying to watch the Hour on and off when it's been on and I've got to say its a funny one. I know something is never going to be as authentic as the real thing because of course that time has been and gone, but that authenticity for me isn't there.I suppose because I'm such a big fan of Mad Men, the Hour had a lot to live up to. Where Mad Men has everything right down to the tiniest detail by getting truly antique bits and bobs (I've read up on it, that's how much of a dork I am), The Hour just doesn't look like they've made that much effort and it almost looks quite happy shopper I think. But then I do suppose it is down to budget and it seems the Americans had a whole bigger budget than the English.

I know as I said it has a lot to live up to in my eyes from Mad Men, for instance Mad Men is set in 1960s and the Hour is set in 1956 in post war Britain so the glamour isn't necessarily there however Britain and America were very different places during that time.
Saying that though I do think some of the outfits that the actresses wear in it are truly beautiful and have made me crave a vintage knit pencil dress but as I've got literally next to nothing on the expenses side I've got to let that one go... oh a girl can dream. I find that the main character Bel Rowley wears some classic dresses but yet the stylists have rather let her down because her hair has no authenticity to it and frankly I think looks quite scruffy for a main character, which is also similar to the male cast, now I know it may appear biased as I'm some what a 50s enthusiast and I know the quiff wasn't a popular style in all men during the era but I also think that their hair could do with a good brush and need a dollop of black and white grease or bryll cream! I personally don't think that the outfits of this series won't be as influential as what Mad Men was, which is a shame because it is often nice to see some key pieces on the high street.

Bel Rowley played by Romola Garai

Freddie Lyon played by Ben Whishaw

The sets are great and a lot of it is still very art deco which it was at the time, but I think some of them looks too well put together so it doesn't appear natural, it still looks good and would make amazing sets for shoots but once again it isn't as natural as Mad Men which could just about been made during the 60s.
What is similar in the two programmes is that they're both quite long winded which I like because you get to pay attention to some of the smaller details (hence this blog ha!).

I generally like the idea of the programme and I do think the story lines work perfectly, with murder,conspiracy and a bit of naughtiness on the side however I find that they tend to name drop a bit too much for it to be completely authentic, like they are trying to prove that it is set in the 50s, for example 'I've got Bill Haley's records' or 'I've got to go Jive', a bit cheesy don't you think?
I do think for anyone who hasn't seen it, it's definitely worth a look especially for anyone who is interested in vintage drama because like I said, the story lines are great and I do like the programme however I think some of the styling aspects haven't been addressed but who am I to judge, they did a lot better job than I ever could! I think I'm just too much of a geek and think if it isn't the real thing it's just no good, pfft what a load of old rubbish!
Until Next Time
Toodle Pip

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