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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Check-in time

7/10
Author: vicstevinson from Cambria, California
3 January 2017

The first episode of THE HALCYON feels as though it was created for an American audience -- it feels obvious, not nuanced. As far as origin episodes go, it's packed with characters and sets many balls in motion. A few actors establish with strength, but others seem to be modeling wardrobe. --- There bit of tension and a nice jolt in direction, but the production doesn't achieve the velocity suggested by the music. Although the project is beautifully dressed, it feels very familiar. What might be run-of-the-mill sibling rivalry still has a chance to become much more: sibling teamwork. --- Although THE HALCYON has been compared to DOWNTON ABBEY, the pecking order and their relationships are less precise. A missed opportunity with THE HALCYON was establishing it as an actual functioning hotel before igniting fuses.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

"Fur coat and no knickers"...?

4/10
Author: daniele-iannarelli from Edinburgh, UK
5 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Very disappointing! What is it they say? "Fur coat and no knickers"...? I'm afraid that describes it to a tee. The ambiance, photography, 'costumes', glamour... all very nice but it lacks any quality substance in the scripting (and in some of the acting too, I'm afraid).

In the first 10-12 minutes, before any real attempt to establish the functioning of the hotel as authentic and the dynamics between the characters/players, I felt bombarded with incessant clichés... literally (and I mean "literally", literally) one after the other.

Although the music was good (and I am myself a jazz-vocalist and jazz fan - particularly of that era), it was hugely intrusive and, I'm afraid, fronted by a - let's be kind and say - less than adequate female jazz singer... whose jazz singing style was far removed from that of the 1940s period and more like a modern vocalist trying to sing a style out-with his/her area of comfort. In fact, in one song she did seem a little... off-key.

Now, I know that this was the first episode and it all needs time to settle in, but - in my opinion - it's a bad (and particularly boring) start.

I'd be surprised (should I indeed bother to watch any future episodes) if it does at all improve sufficiently enough to abandon its early coffin and a pre-emptive internment.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Strong - jawed Yanks,chinless aristos,scarlet women,intrigue....

10/10
Author: ianlouisiana from United Kingdom
4 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

....welcome to the world of 1950's British movies. Those of us old enough to remember the when we made "programmers",60 minute pictures shot on a shoestring with token American second - raters and chesty English gals who sang in night clubs while foreign - looking types(Eric Pohlman or Marne Maitland usually)followed them with hooded eyes,will gaze fondly at "The Halcyon",a new series starting on ITV this week. Watch it and immediately you are wafted back to the red plush seats at "The Odeon" with your Kia - Ora and Senior Service comfortably to hand casually scouting out "The Talent"(omg can I still say that?) and waiting for "Rebel without a cause" to start. But back on planet Earth in 2017(I don't have to believe it if I don't want to)we are seeing 1940 as a time of certainties,uniting against Germany(sorry,Nazism), the ever - so - slight cracking of the social barriers of the thirties and a time when women were just beginning to find a voice. So "The Halcyon" potentially has a lot going for it,aided no end by energetic performances by all concerned who have the look of actors who believe they are on to a winner. The basic premise is familiar enough;- a family -run business adapting to changes of manners and mores during wartime. We have all been here many times before but seldom with so much musical and visual enjoyment . The music is a clever pastiche of 30's styles by Jamie Cullum and is played onstage by a sextet but often sounds like like the Duke Ellington band with Cat Anderson playing the trumpet an octave above everybody else. Butlers,boot boys,chambermaids,concierges and major - domos proliferate and the hotel manager is satisfyingly menacing,mysterious and melliflous at the same time. With nine more episodes to go I look forward to a winter of content.

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6 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Stinker

1/10
Author: whatithinkis from United States
3 January 2017

It ticks off all the boxes and the sets are lush (it's a shame to see them wasted on this turkey). Costumes are good. But the sound isn't quite right, muffled almost like the old daytime soaps, and the first explosion is puny, unconvincing and obviously fake. A joke, really.

The writing is obvious, one cliché tripping over the next. And at the same time confusing: what is a hotel employee doing overseeing a private meeting? What is a Socialite doing in said private meeting and expressing opinions. And using some really awful acting to do it.

Direction, pacing . . . awful. The music busy and annoying.

It all just misses. Sound . . . camera angles . . . just . . . not . . . quite . . .

It's easy to see where they wanted to go, but they seemed to lack the talent in many and various areas, to get them there.

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