Thursday 11 August 2011

They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm

"I'm so obsessed with M&Ms at the moment... They're the new Farmville."

It's quite a while since I made that particular remark to Simon, and neither M&Ms nor Farmville especially excite me these days, but I am a bit of a serial obsessive.  (Note, not a cereal obsessive.  That's my sister.)
Fangirly obsession du jour is tv drama The Hour, set in the surprisingly dark and ruthless world of the mid-twentieth century BBC.

Have you seen it?  It is SWELL.  It's like Drop the Dead Donkey in the 1950s.  Secret agents and suicides abound, and the '50s setting provides a treat for the eyes.  The Hour has been hailed as 'the British Mad Men', but strangely it's the styling of the studio, not the costumes, that catches my attention every week.  I'm particularly fond of the big, stylised clock that floats behind Hector as he presents the show.

Pardon the crap picture.  Their heads were in front of it in all the higher-quality ones!

I would like that clock as an app on my supercool smartphone to tell me the actual time, 1956-BBC-style.

The Hour's clothes are of course delicious, though. (Make-up, on the other hand, is curiously hit-and-miss.  I'm no expert, but did well-heeled socialites like Ruth Elms and Marnie Madden genuinely wear rockabilly eyeliner flicks??  And surely nobody has EVER looked like Verda Rowley...)  There's much to admire in Bel's sensible suits, Sissy's bright colours and glamorous Marnie's full-skirted New Look party frocks, but I think the chicest wardrobe belongs to my favourite character, The Hour's smart and sarcastic foreign correspondent, Lix Storm.  (Wouldn't you like to be called Lix Storm?  Total superhero name!)

Hunting for screencaps is a job requiring heaps more time and patience than I'm willing to employ (ANND I didn't make a note of where I got these ones from so I can't even credit properly!) so you'll have to take my word for it, but Lix wears Hepburn wide-legged trousers with crisp shirts (the pretty stripey one reminds me of the Heyday blouses) and looks much slicker and smarter and superheroier than the other, girlier characters.  Take note, ASOS, Topshop and the rest of you, THAT is how you do androgyny with style!


Lix accessorises her masculine attire at all times with a packet of Gauloises and a glass of whiskey (Oh! And, in this week's episode, what looked like a wedding ring on a necklace chain.  Backstory coming up next week, I'll bet!  Widow?  Not divorcĂ©e - Lix wouldn't keep a cad of an ex-husband's wedding ring, she'd fling it into the middle of the Gobi desert, leaning perilously out of the cockpit of a fighter jet on her way to cover emerging unrest in a war-torn nation for a BBC exclusive, that's more Lix's style.)  She spends her days at The Hour dispensing whiskey and common sense to the younger members of the team, obtaining insider info from her "little man in Alexandria", and getting furious when nobody will run her reports on Egypt and the Suez Canal.  She's ambitious and steely and, methinks, desperately hiding some sort of vulnerability which we will  no doubt discover in the last two episodes.

"Darling, don't be utterly wet."

"Whiskey is God's way of telling us that he loves us and he wants us to be happy."

"Don't sulk, it ruins your face."

 "Darling, please don't deny me one of life's little pleasures; patronising those younger and fresher than me."


  1. I have been meaning to watch this but just haven't gotten around to it yet. I'll definitely try and catch it. By the way, love your new layout xx

  2. So I'm sure you've said all the above quotes to me at some point (except obviously substituting gin for whiskey where appropriate)!

  3. Yep, Lix is the one. She and Freddie are the most interesting characters; he-man Hector and dopey Bel the least. I love Lix's style and have coincidentally bought spectacle frames like hers, more pairs of black trousers to come. Agree with you about the womanly style as opposed to all the girlyness around us. I LOVE LIX! - Smilla.


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