Home » Entertainment » The hotel series “The Halcyon” at Sony

The hotel series “The Halcyon” at Sony

Gut, maybe you have exaggerated a bit with the connotations: “Your Lordship” here, “your Lordship” there, beekeeping hands of the employees, who furnish luxurious rooms with historic decor to beautiful violin sounds, an unshakably loyal chief butler (in the main profession hotel manager) , clinging to porous social thinking. Details such as the key board at the reception or the operator’s plug-in board were staged in such a way that the famous bell wall of the Earls of Grantham hardly comes to mind. The authors Charlotte Jones and Jack Lothian have even associated a big favorite dog with the blue-blooded owners of the five-star hotel “Halcyon”. It is also no secret that the British broadcaster ITV was vigorously looking for a successor to its hit series “Downton Abbey” a few years ago. They even hired their last producer, Chris Croucher.

It cannot be denied that there are some echoes of the station’s other successful “period piece”, the department store saga “Mr Selfridge”. Despite the owners ‘nobility and sense of style, “The Halcyon” is more modern than Julian Fellowes’ Tea Time series, which conjures up a fairytale England: the new upper-class epic not only takes place in the middle of the Second World War in lively international London, but also has a bourgeois bread trade as a subject with the hotel industry. Aesthetic perfectionism in the evocation of earlier epochs can be seen as the signature of the production company Left Bank Pictures, which has now become part of Sony and is also responsible for the royal true drama “The Crown”. Add a note of “Das Adlon” and “Babylon Berlin” – dirty politics, war in the air, elegant champagne parties full of uninhibited swing dance rage of a lost generation – and the next hit seems to be ready.

On the market of emotive Braun filter series epics

Contrary to all expectations, “The Halcyon” was not a hit. After only one season with a medium audience, ITV canceled the enthusiastically started project, which may be justified in view of the not so original idea of ​​touching on the political at most superficially and as an upscale soap opera on the love trade across class, race and gender boundaries to concentrate. After all, the competition on the market of emotive Braunfilter series epis is not small. You could even get mixed up if, of all things, Alex Jennings gave Lord Hamilton, the hotel owner who was embarrassing his wife and family and tending to the appeasement party. After all, Jennings mimicked a similar pitiful character in The Crown with the Duke of Windsor. He does both with flying colors.

This applies to the entire ensemble: Olivia Williams is a magnificent Lady Hamilton, who begins as a depressed and dreaded matron, but grows with the demands; Steven Mackintosh has to be admired for his reduced expression on his face – there is nothing more appropriate for the manager, who is always correct, dirty tricks and not shy -; Hermione Corfield shines as the manager’s daughter, who may have been a bit too often gnarling, and into which the hotel heir Freddie (Jamie Blackley) fell for. A femme fatale could not be missing as a slightly investigative journalist: The former gives Kara Tointon as an open-minded singer Betsey, the latter Matt Ryan. His Joe O’Hara is a biting American who gets involved in British high society, although without the ambiguity of a Marcello from “La Dolce Vita”.

The Nazi danger on the horizon is conjured up everywhere, but has a more atmospheric character. The acute action itself – an attack, the prehistory of which is told – only serves as the basis for the colorful coloring of the figure relationships: friendships, intrigues, changes, envy or attraction, none of which is new under the sun, but you watch with increasing fascination. The series seems to be quite pervaded by the sometimes futile but uplifting idea of ​​maintaining dignity and style, especially in times of need. “The Halcyon” is plush television at its finest, pure escapism, but told with great certainty and at a rarely achieved level of acting. And when was the last time we’d been so delighted to have escapism as we were in these weeks?

The Halcyon can be seen on the Sony Channel every Wednesday at 8:15 p.m.


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