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The Americans

Discussion in 'books, films, TV, radio & writing' started by big eejit, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. big eejit

    big eejit She looks like Alan Gilzean

    yardbird and Firky like this.
  2. Firky

    Firky The first of the gang Banned

    No but I may watch it now I've read that article. Thanks for posting!
     
  3. Supine

    Supine Rough Like Badger

    I was going to start a thread.

    Watched the first episode today. Will definitely keep watching :)
     
  4. TheHoodedClaw

    TheHoodedClaw "Ride me sideways" was another one

    Just watched the first episode. It's worth watching the opening sequence alone - excellent - and the best use of Fleetwood Mac in a TV show ever?
     
    yardbird likes this.
  5. TruXta

    TruXta tired

    It's no Homeland.
     
  6. yardbird

    yardbird Understands love.

    I just watched it and thought it was good, I'll continue.
    I found the music just right and agree about Tusk.
     
  7. yardbird

    yardbird Understands love.

    Added bonus.
    John-boy is in it.
    "Say goodnight Emmy Lou" :)
     
  8. big eejit

    big eejit She looks like Alan Gilzean

    I've not seen Homeland but my son said the same thing. I think it stands up well enough on its own terms.
     
  9. TruXta

    TruXta tired

    I only saw the pilot, lost interest two thirds through. YMMV...
     
  10. Supine

    Supine Rough Like Badger

    5 episodes in two days. Good stuff.
     
  11. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    Watched the first two episodes and I'm not sold on this yet. It's not top-notch US drama and doesn't even compare well to Homeland. There is a lot of handholding the audience and its all too much on the nose. The revelation that the defector also
    raped Elizabeth in a flashback is the type of overkill and audience manipulation that's just cheap melodrama.
    It would have been morally much more interesting had he not been such a boo-hiss villain. Too much of the drama relies on lazy co-incidences (the FBI agent next door is sitcom worthy).

    The reasons they contrive why the characters can't speak Russian, even in early training flashbacks has little to do with their education and more with the fear of scaring off the audience by subjecting them to a minute of subtitles.

    Since Lost it seems like any mystery drama needs flashbacks, which here looks like another generic element.

    It's a budgetary problem, but 1981 isn't particularly well evoked, with modern cars rather obvious in the background in street scenes.

    The two leads are fine and their relationship is the most intriguing element.

    Will give this a few more episodes to see if it improves.
     
    Miss Caphat likes this.
  12. Idris2002

    Idris2002 A kick up the Arás

    This sounds like another case of a tv show that would have made a much better novel - like Lost (which is straight out of the PK Dick school of Sci-fi weirdness) or Mad Men.
     
  13. Dovydaitis

    Dovydaitis Official fishco fish groupie

    Ive been enjoying this, granted its slightly predictable but a nice change to some of the dross on tv nowadays
     
  14. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    Why would Mad Men have made a better novel ? I find it the most visually beautiful drama on the telly and its spot-on recreation of the changing 60s is one of its main appeals. It's very well written, but it tells it's story as much in visuals as it does in words.
     
    Miss Caphat likes this.
  15. Idris2002

    Idris2002 A kick up the Arás

    The visuals are the only thing that saves it. In televisual format, the characterisation of the lead character is essentially incoherent. In a novel, his inner psychology could be effectively portrayed, and we wouldn't have to deal with the irritation of watching him do something monstrous and then being invited to sympathise with him, or vice versa.
     
  16. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    He is an anti-hero, very popuar in TV drama at the moment and you are supposed to feel conflicted about him. Fucked up people don't always function in a coherent way and for most of the shows run he has been enigmatic rather than incoherent. I grant you that in the last season maybe Don Draper wasn't that well handled (though I reserve my judgement till I see how they resolve this), but then again, it's always been an ensemble show and it isn't just about him. Peggy is almost as important character as he is and I liked what they did with her. I still find a poor season of Mad Men better than almost enything else on telly because the drama comes out of the character rather than them being in the service of the plot, like with most TV drama. I still find it better written and more subtle than most shows.

    BTW. if you want a novel, Mad Men was vaguely inspired by The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson.
     
  17. Idris2002

    Idris2002 A kick up the Arás

    Not read that, but I intend to - Room at the Top, set in post-war UK, reminds me a bit of Mad Men, even though the hero isn't a sociopath.
     
  18. Idris2002

    Idris2002 A kick up the Arás

    As for Peggy Olson, you just know she's going to grow up to be one of those awful people who are "socially liberal and fiscally conservative".
     
  19. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    All of the characters in Mad Men are flawed. That's why it's great.
     
  20. Idris2002

    Idris2002 A kick up the Arás

    That's also why it's a glorified soap opera.
     
  21. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    Because proper dramas don't have flawed characters ?
     
  22. Idris2002

    Idris2002 A kick up the Arás

    Of course not. Yoda and Obi-wan aren't flawed, for example.

    :)
     
  23. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    A soap for me is defined by always putting characters in the service of the plot, contriving artificial conflict, which is exactly what Mad Men doesn't do. It actually has very little plot and mostly is a character study. Unless you feel dismissive about it because it deals with domesticity, relationships and women far more than dramas that deal with bad ass drug kings do, but Mad Men is no more or less a soap than The Wire.
     
  24. Idris2002

    Idris2002 A kick up the Arás

    Oh for g-d's sake man, give me some credit!

    In my life as a lonely bachelor, shows dealing with domesticity and women are probably one of my few ways into that reality. . .
     
  25. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    I can only go by what you are saying, but diss Mad Men at your peril around me. :p
     
  26. Idris2002

    Idris2002 A kick up the Arás

    I'm not saying Mad Men is bad, I'm just saying it's not as good as it thinks it is.

    Dr. House - now that's a good show.
     
  27. TruXta

    TruXta tired

    House is the most overrated show currently on telly. FACT.
     
  28. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    :confused:
     
  29. Idris2002

    Idris2002 A kick up the Arás

    :p
     
  30. TruXta

    TruXta tired

    Can we at least agree that The Americans is poor?
     

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