Whoever decided to spin The Hour as the British answer to Mad Men was either seriously deluded or had never seen Mad Men. Either way, he didn’t make The Hour, the new six-part show currently showing on BBC2, any favour.
Mad Men is a brilliant show, which I love dearly, and so is The Hour. Comparing the two however is a dangerous exercise. You need more than a decade-ish in common, a media background, hips of misogyny in the work place and daily alcohol and cigarette consumption at work to be Mad Men. Matthew Weiner’s show is slowly-paced with chiseled dialogues, understated acting and historically-perfect settings. In The Hour however, as The Luxe Chronicles puts it, “the pace [is] quicker (two murders in one hour) and considerably darker (two murders in one hour)”. It takes place in 1956, Mad Men starts in 1960. I could go on and on but I don’t think it’s worth it. I could also try comparing The Hour to Studio 60, another show taking place in the behind-the-scene of a weekly TV programme, although I’m too concerned Aaron Sorkin wouldn’t win this battle…
So watch The Hour, but watch it for itself, for its brilliant 1950s costume, its rendering of a newsroom in the middle of the Suez Canal crisis and its social commentary. Watch it for its complicated plot with multiple ramifications and its acting, especially Anna Chancellor’s.
PS: With all those “haha look how hard women had it in the work place back then” discussions, it’s easy to forget that, although things have improved, we’re not quite there yet. All boy’s club and wolf whistling in the morning still exist in media and advertising as much as in the next work environment. Less smoke doesn’t mean less machoism.
reblogging for andi who introduced me to this show which is now on my “to-watch” list. i must say as someone who has been interested in vintage clothing/modern films set in the 1950s-60s it’s gotten quite nauseating to hear that anything set in or around the same time period is “influenced by mad men.”
namely i’m grumping about people who see me wearing vintage clothes and say, “oh, you must be influenced by mad men!” cue death stare. because no one ever wore vintage clothes before mad men went on the air, and now it is the only reason they do. obviously that’s not necessarily the intention but seriously, for real? i hate turning it into one of those “i’ve been wearing vintage for 10 years and i didn’t stop or start because of any one television show/i’m so ABOVE trends” but still. i could go on…
20 people arrested at the G20 tell of inhumane treatment at the hands of police
Please, tell me that rape isn’t about power.
the thing that doesn’t come across in this quote, unfortunately, is that amy miller is SO. FUCKING. STRONG. <a href=”http://www.vimeo.com/12925239”>watch the video.</a> to talk about these things hours after being released, to put herself out there in the media that is constantly excusing rape culture and defending police violence and brutality.
The other day Brittany and I were having one of our many regular conversations about Tumblr & she mentioned feeling compelled to unfollow someone because they had posted some pretty vitriolic stuff about Courtney Love. Later on, Drew (riding the high of a recently-read Chuck Klosterman book) chose to share his less than savory opinions on Courtney & I found myself thinking about the ways in which the public has demonized her over the years, which reminded me of this fantastic piece by Sady Doyle for the Bitch Magazine website. I recommend reading the whole thing (which starts out as an exploration of the use of Cobain’s likeness in a Guitar Hero game and segues into a look at the dynamic between famous art/music widows & fans. The below is excerpted from Sady’s piece. You can read the whole thing here. (Emphasis is mine.)But the scenario [public scrutiny of Courtney Love vs. public scrutiny of Yoko Ono] is the same: a whole bunch of fanboys angry at that terrible, mouthy, weird woman ending up in charge of their idol’s estate, getting to make decisions about it, making (oh, no!) coffee cups and T shirts and action figures and video games and money, and controlling the materials produced by a man they love. Fanboys refusing to believe, on some level, that these mere wives had a more important connection and a more intimate knowledge of their favorite rock stars (the kind of connection that comes with, say, sleeping in the same bed with someone, and swapping spit on a regular basis, and using the same bathtub, and raising a child together) than they, the fans, do - that they might have more of a vested interest, more of a right to the estate than anyone else. Fans being outraged that their attitude toward their husbands is not one of unlimited deference, that they have not become reverent priestesses of the Great Man. (In point of fact, neither of the Great Men were apparently all that reverent about their own music; Lennon didn’t believe in Beatles, after all, and Kurt Cobain thought the Weird Al Yankovic parody of “Teen Spirit” was hilarious.) It’s openly misogynist, this stuff. And I suggest to you that Cobain and Lennon, who were both feminists, would have been more disappointed in it than anyone else.
THIS IS SO GOOD.
- i never really thought about how two of the women on the receiving end of so much (misogynistic) vitriol were married to two of the most famous male feminists, a fact especially important in lieu of the fact that they are two of the most famous men in music history.
- the fact that these women in question (ono and love) were not only their wives, but their artistic and creative peers is what makes the question of them having the “right” to make decisions about their estates/music rights so much more interesting. both women are artists and musicians in their own right, and were creating before their relationships with their husbands. if anything, this gives me the idea that they would have a better understanding of what their partner’s desires would have been, in addition to being able to relate to the politics of consumption and profiteering from the art/music you create…
- i think these fucked up things have so much to do with the fact that they are happening within the (very sexist, racist, homophobic, etc) music industry. we have very very rigid expectations of how men and women should act.
after reading this, i read all of the links, and watched the weird al yankovich video, in addition to the original smells like teen spirit music video, i was really struck by one thing. i mean, i really shouldn’t be surprised seeing as it is youtube comments and all, but seriously here is a brief sampling:
“These fags have like Drake and justin beiber and miley cyrus’ dirty twat. Music sucks nowadays”
“its girly ass preppy poplovin faggots like u who make people my age look bad i wish i was born in 1980 instead of over 1 year after kurt died(1995). get this through ur happygolucky head. justin queerber,nick homonas,and mr. gaga will never be music ledgends like kurt was,is,and always will be”
“my girlfriend is Courtney Love. Wheres my shotgun. Bitch ass nigga.”
aaaaand i’ll spare you the rest. basically, all of the slurs used are either homophobic, sexist, transphobic, ableist, racist, or some combination of the aforementioned. i don’t know what this says about music culture, about the argument of lyrics vs music, youtube commenting, or any other things like that, but the fact that cobain was an adamant advocate of dismantling sexism, homophobia and racism is kind of mind-boggling when hundreds of people who appreciate his music post hatefilled words like this.
let me remind you: the liner notes of incesticide state “if any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different color, or women, please do this one favor for us-leave us the fuck alone! Don’t come to our shows and don’t buy our records.”