In the UK: Tuesdays, 9pm, BBC2. Available on the iPlayer In the US: Wednesdays, 10pm ET/PT, BBC America. Starts August 17
If you listened to me on Radio 5 a couple of Saturdays ago, you'd have heard me warbling on about US TV's attempts to cash in on the Mad Men period vibe with two new shows: The Playboy Club and Pan Am. Now, before anyone over here starts to feel so superior about America's supposed unoriginality - and it's debatable just how much of a cash-in those two shows are - let's have a look at BBC2's The Hour, which doesn't so much try to cash in on Mad Men as scream to the rafters, "Look! We're doing a British Mad Men! Look!"
Set a little earlier than Mad Men in 1956, this slightly navel-gazing tale does what The Playboy Club is doing by marrying Mad Men with the crime drama. In this case, we have two heroic journalists (Ben Whishaw and Romola Garai) working at the BBC's very dull newsreel service but wanting to produce the Corporation's new properly journalistic, TV news service, all while juggling their emotional lives and the prejudices of the time – men-only bars and "no coloureds, no Irish" signs in hotels. But along the way, Whishaw discovers a conspiracy involving murders, suicide and Torchwood's very own Burn Gorman.
I was on Radio 5 Live's Saturday Edition last night! Woo! Actually, I was on it last week for all of two sentences but they were good enough apparently to get me back on this week to have another go at talking about the coming season of US TV. If you want to listen to my shiny opinions of The Playboy Club, Pan Am, Castle, Parks & Recreation, Terra Nova, Falling Skies, Wilfred, In Treatment, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and – amazingly – Who's The Boss, fingers crossed the embedded player will let you for the next week at least (don't know if this will work in the US). My bit begins at 2h16mins in or thereabouts and lasts for about 20 minutes.
Been missing Heroes? Want something that's almost identical but a bit more average - doesn't quite hit Heroes' heights but doesn't hit its depths?
Then have I the show for you. It's about a group of different people from different backgrounds who have extraordinary abilities. They all come together to help solve crimes and fight a greater evil. They're not very interesting people, but they have some cool super powers and the plotting is actually pretty clever.
About the blog
A UK media blog focusing on the best scripted TV from around the world, with daily news, views, exclusive reviews and good conversation. There's a bit of a bias towards the latest and greatest US TV, but we also cover Scandinavian, Canadian, European and Antipodean TV, as well as UK TV ranging from new Doctor Who to old Z Cars, and BBC4 to S4C.
Add in film, theatre, art, books, events, competitions and even weekly reviews of Wonder Woman comics, and you've (hopefully) got officially the fourth best blog on the web for media lovers. Oh yes, and there's The Barrometer, the ultimate guide to quality TV.
Praise for the blog Cision: fourth most important UK TV blog Blogging Edge: Blogger running Britain 2013
"For most of us watching the telly of an evening is a way to wind down and relax, but for Rob Buckley it’s his blogging bread and butter. With reviews of cult classics and up and coming US and Brit television shows, The Medium is Not Enough is fast becoming essential reading for TV buffs, with over 50,000 hits a month."
"The Medium Is Not Enough is a light-hearted look at TV, often from the US, but also from the UK. With varied, well-written content, the blog features healthy engagement and features well in search engines."
"Billing itself as 'officially the fourth most popular UK TV blog', there are several whimsical regulars here that could help it climb as high as number three…"
I'm Rob Buckley, a freelance journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of, although you might have heard me on Radio 5 Live's Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I've edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for trade magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider and the equally short-lived Death Ray and Filmstar magazines; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it "web site for urban hedonists" The Tribe. I'm freelance now and have contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network and TV Scoop.