"The Hour" Review: It's Not Exactly "Mad Men." In Fact, It May Be Better

By Dustin Rowles | TV | August 17, 2011 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | TV | August 17, 2011 |

There's another layer at play, too, and that is the developing conflict between Israel, England and Egypt, and what would eventually lead to the Suez Crisis of 1956. That may or may not play into the over-arcing murder mystery, but it is used as the central news story at play in "The Hour." The breaking story allows us to see the backroom politics between the journalists, the BBC, and the government, and the power struggle that takes place to determine how the story is reported.

"The Hour," like "Mad Men," is a slow burn, but in just six episodes, pulls in more social, cultural and political threads than a full season of "Mad Men." That's not to say it's a better show, but it is perhaps more dense and ambitious than Weiner's program. But it's also aligned with its BBC cousins, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and "State of Play," in that it's as interested in exploring the relationships between authoritarian institutions as it is in exploring sexual ones. It's a fantastic show, brilliantly acted, deftly written, and easily the summer's next best thing to "Breaking Bad."

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