The Americans Season 1

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by JohnS, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    It was a really great episode. They have a stupendous cast.
     
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Yeah, they do. I've seen a number of the actors in smaller roles but this is the first time I'm seeing any of them in a large part (I know Keri Russell was on Felcitiy but I've never seen it) and I'm really impressed with all of them. It's way too early to say this but I wouldn't be surprised if Russell gets an Emmy nomination this year.
     
  3. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Cinematographer

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    I'm really enjoying this show, and I agree that episode three was their best yet. The surveillance scene was shot really well--the paranoia and tension was perfect.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I watched the second episode last night: the producers committed a cardinal TV sin changing the style of the actual show from the pilot. The pilot used 80's music to great effect; had superb lighting; and no intro sequence. The second episode jettisoned the music, look more conventionally "television", and had an intro with ill-fitting music. The plot also lurched, to me, with them working full time at a travel agency. I suppose I missed the references in the pilot, but it felt out of left field and made me wonder if I'd mistakenly skipped an episode are the pilot. Ok. After adjusting to the realities of the pilot being a better funded mini-movie than the actual show, I enjoyed it. And it was even harder hitting than the pilot. Phillip and Elizabeth are villains. Which is good because they're covert soviet spies in the US in the 80s, which means they are the bad guys. It's both hard to watch, and thrilling. It's a strong emotional sensation, because I'm rooting for the leads of the show, and hoping they fail. I don't like these people, but it makes for a strong viewing experience. The last show I watched with a bad guy as lead, Lone Star, failed immediately. But this isn't new territory for FX. The Shield and Nip/Tuck were about despicable anti-heroes. And rooting for the bad guys? The Sopranos. I hear HBO did ok with that series about terrible people doing awful things.
     
  5. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Who said they didn't do OK with that? There's plenty of successful shows that focus on the bad guy. What I meant was that when you have a show focusing on an anti-hero, you usually see that the bad guy is also funny or charismatic or has some buddies or something else that makes them relatable. After two episodes (when I wrote that), we still have yet to see much of a pleasant or human side of these characters. About the only likable or relatable thing you can see is that they love their kids and even then, their mission puts their kids in serious danger. Outside of their family, Elizabeth and Phillip are very much about business and are dangerous people.
     
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Travis, I wasn't reacting to you specifically. Several comments commenting in the show's challenge to success with anti-heroes. But some of the best known cable shows are based around anti-heroes. It may be the The Americans takes the concept to its absurd limit, and fails because of it. Tony Soprano was a family man, trying to run a small business. Vic Mackie was often trying to take down even worse bad guys. Phillip...may have no redeemable, or empathetic traits. And without the music and TV cues the piot had, the show was less overtly "80s". I'm looking forward to watching the third episode, and seeing how it evolves. So far, it's a fascinating show. And even for me, I'll ultimately need an emotional hook to stay with the characters. Well see. But I'm staying hopeful that it can succeed.
     
  7. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Cinematographer

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    One of my favourite nods to his Russian heritage is that Phillip is a hockey fan. That makes him a hero in my books :)
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I was wondering if that would be a red flag for the FBI agent. Were suburban D.C. kids playing hockey in 1981?
     
  9. Joe_H

    Joe_H Screenwriter

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    Only a year before, in 1980, was the "Miracle on Ice" so I'd say it wouldn't be all that uncommon.
     
  10. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Cinematographer

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    Hockey had nowhere near the penetration into non-traditional markets as it does today, even taking into account the effects the Olympics may have had. Even at the height of the Ovechkin era, hockey wasn''t anywhere near as popular in Washington as say Moscow or Calgary in 1981. The scene in question even had Stan noting that he plays baseball, football, and racquetball, with the obvious message of "you know, American sports."
     
  11. Joe_H

    Joe_H Screenwriter

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    At the same time though, I just don't think it's enough to be a red flag, even under those circumstances. Who knows though, maybe it'll end up leading him to look closer.
     
  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    It felt like a nibble, a tease to the audience. Asking about the caviar was also probably innocuous, but there could have been some probing behind it.
     
  13. ScottH

    ScottH Producer

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    Well, those looking for some sort of empathy from the Phillip character got it in the third episode. I have to wonder though if Phillip knew the wife was toast when they handed her off.
     
  14. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    I'm guessing no. He did seem to genuinely want to save his friend's (colleague, really) wife, and exfiltrating an adult woman is a lot harder than just a baby, so if he was happy with the idea that she might simply be executed, he would have done it himself. At least that's my take on it.
     
  15. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    Renewed! Happy day! Here's to a great season and the anticipation for Season 2.
     
  16. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Really enjoying this show. The last two episodes have the show and characters finding their stride.
     
  17. Nathan_F

    Nathan_F Second Unit

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    I am really enjoying this show. I have a fascination with the era, and this show is hitting all the right notes. The perspective of the Soviet side is quite interesting. I really enjoy that we have both sides to root for.
     
  18. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    I'm not sure if our FBI neighbor really feels guilty or not...but, the situation with him and the Russian girl does a good job of making me root for our Commie couple and against him. Also, they keep showing us him studying his Russian. PLEASE don't try to pull the old off-the-cuff Russian question drop to try and catch Phil or Liz in a response. That's too easy.
     
  19. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Cinematographer

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    Maybe he'll try it, and they'll pass :)
     
  20. Dave_P

    Dave_P Stunt Coordinator

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    It's good to hear this show has been picked up for another season. I am really liking the styling and storytelling going on here. One of a few shows on television that I consider worthy of my viewership.
     

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