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Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by JohnS, Jan 28, 2013.
Anyone else going to watch this? Starts Wednesday. I'm really looking forward to this show.
Not sure if it's my thing but I'll check it out.
My interest is piqued. I'll be tuning in for sure.
Season pass set on TiVo. Love the idea.
the show runner has stated that throughout the show and as your watching, "in the end you're going to want to root for the Russians".(spies)
^ I'm just guessing but I don't think that will be due to the show taking a pro-USSR/anti-U.S. stance. The spies are the leads and viewers almost always root for the main characters to accomplish their goals. On Breaking Bad for example, I feel that Walt's a bad guy but I still want to see him get away with whatever scheme he's involved with. Though I guess I want it both ways because I also want to see Walt pay for his crimes at the end of that series.
I'm kinda wondering if some of the plot lines may dance around the forum's rules for political discussion. Several years ago, I described a communist government in unflattering terms and I (quite rightly) got a reprimand from the mods. Will a plotline showing how evil the US or the USSR is in this fictional drama be iffy? Yeah, I know, The West Wing is an example of a show that took a political slant; did discussion of it here ever come close to the edge just because of the content of the show?
I think that as long as discussions are kept within the context of the show and people remain respectful in their posts, it should be OK.
You could also say the same thing for Dexter
With Dexter and his "Code", at least you can justifiably root for him in that he's also basically a vigilante -- who happens to be a serial killer and therefore really "enjoys" his work -- and we've almost always rooted for vigilantes even if they are technically breaking the law, e.g. The Punisher, the Green Hornet; was the Lone Ranger actually a lawman, or also a vigilante?
I'd say a better analogy would be The Shield, where Vic Mackay didn't really have any morals and was trying to make a buck, yet somehow we still wound up rooting for him.
With this show, if the spies' stated objective is to bring down the USA (basically act against US interests), as a non-American I would find it quite unusual if an American audience could ever root for them. But I thought I read somewhere that the spies themselves will be shown to have second thoughts about their mission, in that having lived in the US for so long, they've learned to appreciate the American way of life and what the US stands for? In that respect, if they are portrayed as continuing to act against US interests in carrying out their mission, but all the while with reservations and perhaps delivering less than total success to their masters, then maybe that's what the showrunners are driving at?
The show turned out to be pretty decent, if unspectacular. Trying to avoid spoilers. . . The conflict between maintaining a suburban family and acting as KGB agents is what will make or break the show. The wife is a Soviet patriot and the husband straight-up wants to defect to the US (and is suspected of such by their superiors), which may have gotten played out in the pilot or may lead to interesting character study as the show continues. There were times when Elizabeth was tough to root for, but Phillip was pretty sympathetic. Her reaction at the very end to what he did with their prisoner helped her case a bit. The FBI guy moving in across the street was a little contrived and has already led to one WTF moment (when Phillip invited him into the garage instead of just saying "I'll be right back with the jumper cables"). Although maybe he secretly wanted to get caught. The bit with the guy from the shoe store felt kind of tacked-on, as well. I let the second episode of The Following slide, but I'll probably continue to watch this. Incidentally, I just realized that "Elizabeth" and "Phillip" are the Queen of England and her husband.
Dexter embodies both good and evil in his internal conflict between his consciously moral nature and his "dark passenger." His "good side" is easy to root for. Of course, much of the show is more concerned with the logistics of keeping secrets then with his actual psychological issues. He doesn't spend much effort trying to stop himself from killing. (Note that I've only seen through season 5. Season 6 starts tonight, incidentally!)
It's nice to have another Graham Yost show on the air, even if this one doesn't have the style and swagger of "Justified." And after watching the pilot, I get the feeling that if 32 years aren't enough time for the eighties to be considered stylishly retro, it's never going to happen. On the other hand, the final shot is a lesson into how a few seconds of editing can completely transform the meaning of a scene. Before that final shot, you think we're getting the most innocuous, earliest foreshadowing, with the FBI agent needing to investigate and then shaking his head at his own paranoia. The pullback to reveal "Philip's" silhouette with gun at the ready makes it mean something else entirely: the cat and mouse game has already begun.
On the other hand, "Elizabeth" and "Philip" aren't psychopaths. You can invest in them because they develop emotionally. The plot of the pilot was basically: "Philip's" love for his wife was greater than his desire to defect, and "Elizabeth" -- seeing what he did and understanding why he did it -- finally lets her husband in, emotionally, and defies the first rule of the KGB: never discuss your old life. They each chose their marriage over their politics.
The pilot certainly intrigued me enough to keep watching. Nice slow pace rather than racing from one thing to the next like nearly every network show. Having these characters in this situation seems like a tough plot to keep up over years and still maintain any level of believability though. Maybe they'll blow things up by the end of this or next year and put them in a totally different set of circumstances at some point. 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.
I thought the pilot was good but not great. But there is enough for me to continue to watch. I was also skeptical about the ending with the FBI agent breaking into the garage. He must have some great perception about people (even though he's right)
I thoroughly enjoyed The Americans. The style was great. The music took me back to the '80s. The lighting, particularly the night scenes, had the feel of cinema more than conventional television. And the first 30 minutes or so was thrilling. If the show can recreate the tension of the introduction, it will be a great ride. I've not watched an FX show in several years, so I was surprised by the level of sex and violence. The Mature / LSV rating was not fooling around! It was also a little hard accepting the ages. When the first flashback happened, from '81 to '60-something, telling me Elizabeth is about 40, it was jarring. The leads don't quite look 40s in the 'present day', and don't look 20s in the flashbacks. But to start, every character is interesting. The main story, two Soviet spies living in America as Americans, has promise. I hope they keep the internal tension. Phillips desire to defect and live the American family life suggested a proxy for him truly being in love with Elizabeth, while she viewed him and even the kids as "mission". But his alliance with her, finally being "stronger", as her sex-audiotape indirectly told him to be, and cementing the decision to stay (and not defect) brought her over to him. And the final scene flipped itself from being goofball spy-drama to chilling setup for the rest of the season. I'm excited about the next episode. It's got panache.
being 40, and growing up in the 80's, I really enjoyed the music all throughout. I especially liked the sex scene in the car with the Phil Collins - "In the Air Tonight" I agree about the lighting. Very cinemaesque. I've seen a few FX shows, like Wilfred, Archer and Sunny in Philadelphia. But I was still surprised by the anal rape scene and the audio recording of the finger up the ass during sex.
FX has to be the most lenient channel on basic cable. Sons Of Anarchy and American Horror Story go way beyond what was in The Americans.
I think the FCC is one day going to have to have a "self-gut check". I didn't catch The Americans(I have enough stuff on scheduler). When Schindler's List was shown on Network TV and nobody batted an eye(granted, it had PLENTY of warning leading up to it)...it opened the door. As a country we have some great TV...but what he can't do on TV compared to Australia and the UK is utterly embarrassing.
What was the song used in the during the chase sequence at the start? Heavy on percussion. Might have been studio soundtrack work only, but I really liked it.