I first watched The Hour two years ago. I put off watching the second series this long because the ending was spoiled for me. Finally, however, my love for the show overcame my fear what was to come, and I’m so glad I finished the series.
This review covers only the second series. . .so vague if minor spoilers might be ahead if you haven’t watched series one.
The people at the Hour are still trying to recoup from last year’s shake-up, but that doesn’t stop Bel Rowley from being interested in a series of crimes that she suspects have something in common.
Unfortunately, rather than tracking down leads, she is forced to deal with other—more immediate—business. With Freddie gone, Bel’s basically running the Hour by herself while trying to contend with Hector’s growing playboy status (and alcoholism).
Things change dramatically, however, with the arrival of a new boss, Randall Brown.
Randall brings back Freddie and makes him co-anchor with Hector.
Soon Hector’s threatening to leave for ITV and finding himself arrested for assault–all while Freddie and Bel are stepping into the dangerous world of nightclubs and organized crime.
These are perilous times for the Hour. More than one person will become a victim in this season’s search for the truth.
The second series plot was just as well written and performed as the first. Like before, though, it wasn’t the plot so much as the characters that left an impression on me.
The only issue I did have plot-wise was the fact that I wish Freddie and Bel had just been allowed to be together. The weakest subplot of the entire second series was Freddie’s marriage. I don’t think it added anything to his characterization and I believe it weakened Bel because she was relegated to the role of the unrequited lover.
That disappointed me because, while Romola Garai was still fabulous as Bel, her role was mostly defined by Freddie in this series—with the notable exception of her interactions with Rosa. Bel was at her strongest and most defined when dealing with the El Paradis actress. It was also such a relief to see Bel furious and distraught when she learned that she would not be able to provide Rosa with the protection she had promised.
The Bel and Rosa storyline only lasted two or so episodes. Most of the time Bel was mooning over Freddie or furious with Freddie or trying to make sure Freddie didn’t do something stupid. Freddie, of course, wasn’t worried about Bel most of the time. He was too busy chasing his story.
It was aggravating. I loved the relationship between Freddie and Bel in the first series, but by the end of series two, their entire relationship felt forced and one-sided.
Bel was given the raw end of the deal so to speak. I just wish she could have had as interesting and pervasive a plot to herself as the rest of the characters did, but for her, it was all about Freddie.
Thankfully, Marnie came to the forefront in series two.
I never liked Marnie in the first series. She came across as spoiled and too concern with people’s perceptions of her. In the second series, however, she was amazing.
Marnie handled a bad situation with Hector in a way that made her fascinating to me. She had basically been raised to be an ornament, but she made Hector and others realize that there was plenty of depth and intelligence to her when she pursued her own career and struck out on her own.
She still maintained her perfect façade but you could finally see her layers underneath.
The Marine and Hector story made the second series for me. I grew to be fully invested in their characters in a way I hadn’t before.
And, finally, while Marnie and Hector stole the show, I also loved the plot between Randall and Lix. Randall was a great addition to the show, and The Hour 2 totally sold me on Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. He was just fantastic as their quiet, OCD boss.
I would definitely recommend watching The Hour and The Hour 2. This show is addictive and smart with characters that are absolutely loveable in their weaknesses (when they are given the chance to shine).The second series ends on a partial cliffhanger (not having to do with the plot, f.y.i.), but I, at least, didn’t feel any lack of closure.
Have you seen the Hour? Did you think the second series was as good as the first?