A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this British drama presents the social realities of the 1950s -- including sexism, frequent cocktail-swilling, and smoking cigarettes -- in a slickly styled environment that subtly glamorizes all of the behavior. Expect some violent acts (including a murder and a bloodless suicide), mild sexual tension, and infrequent low-level swearing like "hell" and "damn."
What's the story?
With the Suez Crisis brewing in the background, a small team of British journalists prepares to launch an hourlong investigative news show on BBC television called THE HOUR. Producer Bel Rowley (Romola Garai) pulls in Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw), the best reporter she knows, to serve as the show's home affairs correspondent, while the handsome and charismatic Hector Madden (Dominic West) gets the coveted position of presenter.
Is it any good?
With its spot-on period details and glamorous styling that artfully captures the feel of mid-1950s London, The Hour has drawn obvious comparisons to the Emmy Award-winning American drama Mad Men, which was set just a few years later in 1960s Manhattan. But smart looks aside, the two shows prove to be very different series, exploring different aspects of media and culture.
While The Hour received mixed reviews from critics across the pond, where it's already aired, it does many things exceptionally well, delivering complex characters, a well-paced story, and, of course, the aforementioned art direction. In fact, the show's biggest drawback is that, true to British form, it contains a mere six episodes -- and you'll probably want more than that.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sexism and women in the workplace. Does it surprise you to see that there were physical places women weren't allowed to be in the 1950s (let alone theoretical ones)?
Why were women often considered inferior to men, particularly in a professional environment, and how does the show address these prejudices? How have attitudes about the feminine "nature" changed since then?
How does the one-hour news show the characters create compare to the mix of news and opinion programs on the air today? How has the 24-hour news cycle -- and the Internet -- changed the way we get information?