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The Americans Season 1


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#21 of 82 OFFLINE   Jeff Brooks

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Posted February 02 2013 - 05:03 AM

Tusk, originally by Fleetwood Mac-not sure whether it was a cover version.

#22 of 82 OFFLINE   Scott Hanson

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Posted February 02 2013 - 08:15 AM

Pretty sure it was the original Fleetwood Mac version.  Didn't they play it at the end as well?


I enjoyed the pilot.  A good, slow burn, but also enough tense action.  The overall feel of the show visually reminded me of 'Boss', so I looked it up and sure enough it is the same cinematographer.


If I had a complaint, I thought Elizabeth's complete 180 on her feelings for Phillip and even the kids seemed a bit forced.  I realize they had kind of a moment when Phillip killed her rapist and they disposed of the body (and it seemed to keep Phillip in check, at least for now), but she seemed to be in complete misery with her family situation...and then all of a sudden she's mounting him in the car and joking around over pancakes.



#23 of 82 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 02 2013 - 11:40 AM

Thanks. I didn't listen to Fleetwood Mac in high school, save for one or two top 40 songs (Little Lies, natch) at the time. :) I'm previewing it in iTunes. It's always remarkable how a song is completely changed when paired to the right scene.



#24 of 82 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming

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Posted February 04 2013 - 02:40 AM

Originally Posted by TravisR 


I can buy an FBI agent just happening to move in next door to two KGB spies but he's suspicious enough of them being the exact people that he's looking for that he almost immediately breaks into their garage? That guy has an incredible instinct or he's a total nut.


Not that far out: they did set up all the ingredients.  He'd been undercover for 3 years, so was himself 'paranoid', the car matches the description exactly save for the plates, which can of course be changed (as they indeed were) and he was checking that carefully, and when he was asked where Directorate "S" agents would keep the traitor, he theorized "right in their own home".  Add the President basically giving them carte blanche to do whatever necessary to catch Directorate "S" agents, I totally buy that he'd break in, to satisfy his curiosity as to whether his new neighbours are in fact KGB spies.

As an aside, offhand (haven't checked) I think In The Air Tonight was only released around 1984, which would make its use in an episode set in 1981 somewhat anachronistic, although since it was as soundtrack and not as source music, I suppose some artistic licence is fine; great use of the song, I must say.


Edit: harumph, just checked, it was in fact 1981.  I suppose I thought 1984 since it was used in Miami Vice, which started around 1984, and I must have assumed the song was 'brand new'.



#25 of 82 OFFLINE   Josh Dial

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Posted February 04 2013 - 02:50 AM

Originally Posted by Yee-Ming 


Edit: harumph, just checked, it was in fact 1981.  I suppose I thought 1984 since it was used in Miami Vice, which started around 1984, and I must have assumed the song was 'brand new'.


The music wasn't diagetic anyway, so they can play around with the music, I guess.  However, I wouldn't be surprised if the show sticks to a time-appropriate soundtrack.


I agree with music choices were great.  I only wish In the Air Tonight was played in its entirety, and not edited as it was--it muddled the best part of the song!



#26 of 82 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 04 2013 - 04:17 AM

Didn't like the muddling either. :) I hope they're not too strict about the music. There's good stuff both sides of '81 to use. I won't complain about a few years anachronism.

#27 of 82 ONLINE   Walter C

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Posted February 05 2013 - 02:34 AM

Finally got around to watching the Pilot, and thought it was interesting enough to continue watching. Even with Felicity and Kevin Walker as KGB agents. Posted Image


It's funny that Miami Vice was brought up, because I started thinking of that show, when the Phil Collins song played. It was probably the last time I heard it, when seeing that episode on Hulu recently.


TV Episodes Watched - 2009 (1419 ep) / 2010 (1367 ep) / 2011 (1509 ep) / 2012 (1440 ep) / 2013 (1191 ep) / 2014 - October
Feature Films Watched - 2012 (97 seen) / 2013 (100 seen)
Shorts Watched - 2012 (222 seen) / 2013 (87 seen)

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#28 of 82 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted February 05 2013 - 03:21 AM

I bailed at the 30 minute mark. Just didn't grab me at all.



#29 of 82 OFFLINE   Quentin

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Posted February 06 2013 - 04:47 AM

Pretty sure it was the original Fleetwood Mac version.  Didn't they play it at the end as well? I enjoyed the pilot.  A good, slow burn, but also enough tense action.  The overall feel of the show visually reminded me of 'Boss', so I looked it up and sure enough it is the same cinematographer. If I had a complaint, I thought Elizabeth's complete 180 on her feelings for Phillip and even the kids seemed a bit forced.  I realize they had kind of a moment when Phillip killed her rapist and they disposed of the body (and it seemed to keep Phillip in check, at least for now), but she seemed to be in complete misery with her family situation...and then all of a sudden she's mounting him in the car and joking around over pancakes.

Other than the forced suspense of the jumper cable confrontation (why did you take him into the garage?), this 'turnaround' bothered me the most. I get it, they are bonding over this shared moment and the overall focus of the episode is how each chose their emotional ties to each other over 'the job'. But, how has there NEVER been a moment like this in 15 years of living in America as husband and wife? The immediacy of the present time of the show is going to be tough to swallow if they continue with moments like this. Still, the show was a very well done slow burn with some great information coming out in just the right doses and some top notch performances. I'm looking forward to the next episode.

#30 of 82 OFFLINE   Josh Dial

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Posted February 06 2013 - 07:55 AM

Originally Posted by Quentin 


Other than the forced suspense of the jumper cable confrontation (why did you take him into the garage?), this 'turnaround' bothered me the most. I get it, they are bonding over this shared moment and the overall focus of the episode is how each chose their emotional ties to each other over 'the job'. But, how has there NEVER been a moment like this in 15 years of living in America as husband and wife? The immediacy of the present time of the show is going to be tough to swallow if they continue with moments like this.

Still, the show was a very well done slow burn with some great information coming out in just the right doses and some top notch performances. I'm looking forward to the next episode.


I actually think the entire garage scene was realistic in that each character clearly wanted to prove a few things to the other (each proof depends on what the other knows, but they all true).


Phillip wants to show that a) he's not a spy; b) he knows what Stan is doing (asking for something kept in a garage or car); and, most importantly, that c) he has balls of steel, isn't going to flinch, and it is going to be a lot harder to catch him that simply asking for jumper cables.


Stan wants to show that a) he has a suspicion, even if it's very faint; b) he isn't just your average law enforcement chump, and indeed is quite smart; and, c) he has balls of steel too, and has no problem going into a potentially hostile situation without backup, and possibly unarmed.


Of course, Stan's actions only make sense if you make the leap that he, at that point, already had a gut feeling something was off, despite not seeing the car or any other solid factors other than personality and mannerisms.  I happen to fall into that camp.  Stan was playing out a hunch in the best way he could at the time.  When he finally saw the car, his interest was piqued (that's why he went back).  Indeed we never saw Stan actually use the jumper cables (and of course a trained agent would make it look like they were needed anyway), but this omission is a story-telling device that gives the audience a tip that it was all for show.



#31 of 82 OFFLINE   Joe_H

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Posted February 08 2013 - 03:28 AM

I bailed at the 30 minute mark. Just didn't grab me at all.

Just saying, if you ever have time, it might be worth trying to get through the first episode, at the very least. It was an extremely slow burn.

#32 of 82 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted February 08 2013 - 06:18 AM

I'm not the only one who checked out:


http://tvline.com/20...ans-ratings-fx/



#33 of 82 OFFLINE   NolanJ

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Posted February 10 2013 - 07:57 PM

I'm not surprised the viewership went down. I can't get behind the lead characters. There isn't going to be anything that comes along that makes me want to "root" for them or hope they "get off." Poisoning that innocent in the 2nd episode makes them villains and their attempts to reconcile the family by acting like it was "their fault" if the child died did nothing to make them likeable. Hard concept to pull off... if it were me I would just make them as villainous as possible. The FBI agent is a jerk too.

#34 of 82 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted February 11 2013 - 12:10 AM

^ Yeah, everyone is pretty much a jerk on this show (though I could come to like the FBI guy if/when they show him doing more than being a hardass). That doesn't mean I can't enjoy the show but I can't imagine ever liking or rooting for the KGB characters. And it's not because they're against my country or some kind of jingoistic nonsense like that, it's because they're terrible people who do horrible things.

#35 of 82 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted February 11 2013 - 02:08 AM

It's just weird for me to see Phillip (Kevin on "Brothers and Sisters") seducing women on this show. :)
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#36 of 82 OFFLINE   Quentin

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Posted February 11 2013 - 04:44 AM

Villainous leads with questionable morals set in a time period most audiences either forget or have no identification toward at all. It's not a winning formula. Yet, I find the show to be my favorite new show of this past season/mid-season. Too bad, because I doubt it will last.

#37 of 82 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted February 11 2013 - 04:48 AM

I just keep thinking of "Russians", Sting's song, when I watch this show.
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#38 of 82 OFFLINE   Scott Hanson

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Posted February 11 2013 - 05:07 PM

I really enjoyed the second episode.  Thought it was even better than the pilot (which I also enjoyed).


I don't know...I found myself rooting for the maid to get the clock back in there, and I'm not so sure it was only because I wanted to see her son live.  I think I do find myself rooting for the Russians in a weird way.  And I'm the one guy that rooted against Vic Mackey from the pilot episode.


I think the guy playing Phillip might deserve an Emmy nomination.



#39 of 82 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming

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Posted February 13 2013 - 03:26 AM

Originally Posted by Quentin 

Villainous leads with questionable morals set in a time period most audiences either forget or have no identification toward at all. It's not a winning formula.
 


Oh I don't know -- I love the 80s...


One thing I realise I've missed is the whole Cold War "Americans v. Soviets" spy game -- I grew up reading a lot of spy thrillers, watching Cold War-related movies and TV shows.  Nowadays it's all about the far more nebulous "war on terror", Homeland being the prime exhibit.  Or simple "cops and robbers".


So a return to the Cold War is, for me, quite welcome.  Although it is somewhat anachronistic, given that we sort-of know the outcome.



#40 of 82 OFFLINE   Joe_H

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Posted February 14 2013 - 01:33 PM

I don't know how many people are still watching, but I thought last night's episode was the best yet.




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