1. It’s about journalism, my chosen profession.
2. It’s also an espionage thriller, a favorite genre.
3. It’s set in the 1960s, visually the best decade in history.
4. Perhaps most of all, it’s an hour-long, limited series on the BBC, who’ve rocked my world in the past year with “Sherlock,” “Luther” and “Zen,” all of which blew my away and raised the tube’s storytelling bar.
So why didn’t I?
All I can think of: It’s. Just. Too. Sloooooooooow. It’s like a novel by John le Carré: Sounds awesome, but proves to be too much work — much too complex to be much fun. Set in 1956, it follows a news show (“The Hour” of the title) where putting a “real” journalist before the camera is a point of contention; meanwhile, there’s a mysterious murder, a burgeoning love affair, the involvement of MI-6, and so many other other elements, but no clear indication that the stories have started to be told. Full disclosure: I gave up after hour number two of the season’s six.
The second-best thing about it is the “Mad Men”-esque commitment to the era in terms of production design. The best thing about it are the Saul Bass-esque opening credits (not on the first episode). —Rod Lott