Friday, December 7, 2012


bel and freddie in The Hour

I haven't done a television post in a while (unless you count all those Downton Abbey posts--here and here and at Edwardian Promenade--but anyway) and I thought I was due for one, especially as there are two shows I really want to talk about!


This a show you definitely should be watching. It takes place in 1950s London and is about a television news show called The Hour. But that's not all it's about! There are spies and murders and cocktails and country house parties and awesome cars. At the heart of the show, is the romance between Bel, The Hour's producer; and Freddie, a copywriter and reporter. Bel and Freddie have known each other forever and are best friends. These two are so clearly in love but aren't sleeping together, I don't know why. It's maddening. I LOVE FREDDIE SO MUCH. Actually I love all the characters, but Freddie's my favorite. He's one of those journalists who looks at his job as a calling, not a means of employment.

Basically, if you like Mad Men, The Hour is like that but with a John le Carré twist. It distracts you with shiny television gossip and then it's like BOOM, SPY STUFF! It's totally awesome. Thanks to Ruth from Booktalk & More for convincing me to give it a try. The second season just started on BBC America and you seriously must watch it; it's one of the best shows I've seen in a long-ass time.


When Elementary first started, I'll admit I was a bit snobbish about it. Compared to BBC's Sherlock, it seemed really fluffy and stupid. It didn't reference the Sherlock canon nearly at all, and the mysteries were kinda blah. Plus it didn't have Benedict Cumberbatch in it (PS: brain, feel free to give me more BBC Sherlock dreams whenever you want, thanks). Buuuuuuut I kept watching because I do like both Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Lui quite a lot.

Now that the show's been going for a few months, I've done a complete 180. I love this show. No, it's not canon and referential in the way BBC Sherlock is; but I think of the two it's actually the more creative adaptation. BBC Sherlock is almost slavish in its devotion to the canon--which is great, I love the layers of references in each episode--but Elementary allows its characters to live on their own and take off in an independent context. Sherlock's drug addiction, which at first seemed like kind of a gimmick, has really given the character and story an unexpected depth. I also think Lucy Lui does a great job as the Watson--both literally and figuratively--in the relationship, and I love the dynamic between her and Johnny Lee Miller. Despite my crush on Benedict Cumberbatch and my appreciation of the complex references in BBC Sherlock, I think Elementary might actually surpass it as my favorite Sherlock TV adaptation (especially if BBC Sherlock doesn't return until late 2013 *dies*).

Have you seen any of these shows? What are some of your new favorites?


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