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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Wed July 18, 2018 3:59 pm 
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And I would be remiss if I didn't comment on Miriam Shor's outstanding performance and her character's contributions to the show in the final season.

Spoiler: show
Just outstanding work. What she gives Elizabeth, the way she alters her perception is so powerful and lovely.


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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Wed July 18, 2018 4:00 pm 
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durdencommatyler wrote:
Also,...

Spoiler: show
I love how the show -- again, much like Mad Men -- jumped time in key places and subverted expectations by skipping past historic moments that I thought for sure they'd cover. We got a sliver of Iran Contra. But no Berlin Wall. No Chernobyl. It was so brilliant. By avoiding some of that stuff, they got to contextualize the show in their own way and keep the audience on their toes. There was no expected outcome or "I know how this ends but how did we get here" type questions. We never knew how any given mission would end.


Spoiler: show
Absolutely. It was a bit jarring how each season opened with operations already in motion with little explanation as to why, but that is what made the show so great.

Phillip is one of my favorite TV characters.


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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Wed July 18, 2018 4:01 pm 
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I want to click those spoilers so bad.


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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Wed July 18, 2018 4:02 pm 
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cutuphalfdead wrote:
I want to click those spoilers so bad.


#Resist


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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Wed July 18, 2018 4:09 pm 
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Monkey_Driven wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
Also,...

Spoiler: show
I love how the show -- again, much like Mad Men -- jumped time in key places and subverted expectations by skipping past historic moments that I thought for sure they'd cover. We got a sliver of Iran Contra. But no Berlin Wall. No Chernobyl. It was so brilliant. By avoiding some of that stuff, they got to contextualize the show in their own way and keep the audience on their toes. There was no expected outcome or "I know how this ends but how did we get here" type questions. We never knew how any given mission would end.


Spoiler: show
Absolutely. It was a bit jarring how each season opened with operations already in motion with little explanation as to why, but that is what made the show so great.

Phillip is one of my favorite TV characters.

Spoiler: show
Totally agree. It made you instantly focus. This show isn't background viewing. They demanded the audiences's full attention always. Almost to a fault. It's a dense show, to be sure. But totally worth the commitment.


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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Wed July 18, 2018 4:09 pm 
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Monkey_Driven wrote:
cutuphalfdead wrote:
I want to click those spoilers so bad.


#Resist


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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Wed July 18, 2018 4:11 pm 
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Monkey_Driven wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
Okay, so...

Spoiler: show
This show almost never fell into standard spy/thriller tropes. Much of the time the tension was never adequately released. Much like Mad Men, story lines would play out to a pseudo-conclusion and then were just... dropped. Or moved to the background. It made the show impossible to predict and very difficult to turn away from. I wish Breaking Bad had done this more, it would have been all the better for it.

I think that kind of storytelling is a huge strength of the show and it's a large part of what made the series finale so goddamn hypnotic and heartbreaking. We arrive at the end of the show. The end of the journey. Out of breathe, sweaty, devastated and still with this odd liquid slosh in our stomach that maybe... this is the best it could have possibly gone. What?! Holy. Shit. Nothing was compromised, nothing was cheated. It was a natural, honest, and satisfying ending to a six season arc.

BUT!.... Is Stan's wife a Russian spy? Can a deal be made for Oleg? Will Stan help him? Will Philip see Martha again? What happens to Paige? Can she have any kind of normal life? Obviously, she can't work for the State Department and I'm guessing she won't work for the KGB either. So, where does that leave her? Is she alone? The only thing she was afraid of was being alone; even more than death, she feared being alone. Can she ever see her brother again? Will Henry every understand/forgive?

These are MASSIVE questions. Season (not SERIES) finale type questions. And yet, the show still feels complete, the ending totally satisfying. That's a remarkable feat. The show played/ended more like a literary fiction novel than a television show and it's all the better for it.

Of course, watching this show now, as the US is going threw a real life Russian nightmare was illuminating. You have to wonder if the show had been pitched in 2016 or 2017 instead of 2013, if it would have been picked up and aired at all. The show did a great job of making us care for and even root for the Russians. It gave us an empathetic understanding of "the other" in a way Americans are not used to at all. It's been ingrained in my mind since I was a kid that Russia is the ultimate enemy. I grew up in Reagan's America. To this day, I'm sort of brainwashed about Russia. Our pop culture, or films, everything reinforced how terrible and evil Russia is/was. So much so, that I'm often taken aback when I remember or am reminded that Russia was a US ally in WW2. Even Rocky had to fight THE RUSSIAN!

And I felt so much for the Jennings family. Even as Elizabeth was doing reprehensible things (mostly in that final season) I understood why and I wanted her to win. That's banana's to me! What remarkable work all around from writers, directors, actors, etc. The show did a great job of making us care and exposing the American hypocrisy without totally condemning either side.

Of course there were missteps, too. Pastor Tim was a terrible character that hung around too long and his knowledge/involvement never quite worked for me. However, his final pay-off was outstanding, so perhaps all that other junk was worth it.

Sometimes the show was too sexualized. At it's best that hyper-sexualization was a insightful commentary on America perception/values juxtaposed to the rest of the world's values and doing what needs to be done: disconnecting and removing emotion and all of that. At it's worst it was just a reason to have a naked woman, ass exposed, lying next to a fully clothed dude. Thankfully, that went away as the series advanced and they found better ways to tackle those themes and found new themes to explore which were more effective.

Paige's journey felt redundant at times. I got really sick of the "YOU'RE LYING" "Paige, stop yelling, your brother is upstairs" scenes. That shit went on and on and on and I was so relieved with where she was in the final season.

For me, I think the biggest problem with the show as that Stan's instinct was never wrong. He was a flawed, interesting character. I was conflicted about him, which is a good thing. But he was always right on the money. He was never wrong. He was like Batman and that was kind of annoying once the whole thing was said and done. I wish he'd had more reason to doubt himself and his abilities and I wish the audience did as well.

Okay, so those are my first reaction thoughts the series as a whole. I don't know if anyone still wants to talk about this show but if they do, I'm happy to jump in and discuss it in depth. I really really loved this show.


Excellent write up.

Spoiler: show
That parking garage scene is all timer. Probably one of the best TV scenes ever. Months later and I can't stop thinking about it.

Spoiler: show
Wait... I just realized there are so many parking garage scenes... are you talking about the finale? The showdown with Stan? I thought you were talking about Philip cutting up that body with an ax. Both amazing, tense, and gut-wrenching scenes in very different ways.


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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Wed July 18, 2018 4:37 pm 
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durdencommatyler wrote:
Monkey_Driven wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
Okay, so...

Spoiler: show
This show almost never fell into standard spy/thriller tropes. Much of the time the tension was never adequately released. Much like Mad Men, story lines would play out to a pseudo-conclusion and then were just... dropped. Or moved to the background. It made the show impossible to predict and very difficult to turn away from. I wish Breaking Bad had done this more, it would have been all the better for it.

I think that kind of storytelling is a huge strength of the show and it's a large part of what made the series finale so goddamn hypnotic and heartbreaking. We arrive at the end of the show. The end of the journey. Out of breathe, sweaty, devastated and still with this odd liquid slosh in our stomach that maybe... this is the best it could have possibly gone. What?! Holy. Shit. Nothing was compromised, nothing was cheated. It was a natural, honest, and satisfying ending to a six season arc.

BUT!.... Is Stan's wife a Russian spy? Can a deal be made for Oleg? Will Stan help him? Will Philip see Martha again? What happens to Paige? Can she have any kind of normal life? Obviously, she can't work for the State Department and I'm guessing she won't work for the KGB either. So, where does that leave her? Is she alone? The only thing she was afraid of was being alone; even more than death, she feared being alone. Can she ever see her brother again? Will Henry every understand/forgive?

These are MASSIVE questions. Season (not SERIES) finale type questions. And yet, the show still feels complete, the ending totally satisfying. That's a remarkable feat. The show played/ended more like a literary fiction novel than a television show and it's all the better for it.

Of course, watching this show now, as the US is going threw a real life Russian nightmare was illuminating. You have to wonder if the show had been pitched in 2016 or 2017 instead of 2013, if it would have been picked up and aired at all. The show did a great job of making us care for and even root for the Russians. It gave us an empathetic understanding of "the other" in a way Americans are not used to at all. It's been ingrained in my mind since I was a kid that Russia is the ultimate enemy. I grew up in Reagan's America. To this day, I'm sort of brainwashed about Russia. Our pop culture, or films, everything reinforced how terrible and evil Russia is/was. So much so, that I'm often taken aback when I remember or am reminded that Russia was a US ally in WW2. Even Rocky had to fight THE RUSSIAN!

And I felt so much for the Jennings family. Even as Elizabeth was doing reprehensible things (mostly in that final season) I understood why and I wanted her to win. That's banana's to me! What remarkable work all around from writers, directors, actors, etc. The show did a great job of making us care and exposing the American hypocrisy without totally condemning either side.

Of course there were missteps, too. Pastor Tim was a terrible character that hung around too long and his knowledge/involvement never quite worked for me. However, his final pay-off was outstanding, so perhaps all that other junk was worth it.

Sometimes the show was too sexualized. At it's best that hyper-sexualization was a insightful commentary on America perception/values juxtaposed to the rest of the world's values and doing what needs to be done: disconnecting and removing emotion and all of that. At it's worst it was just a reason to have a naked woman, ass exposed, lying next to a fully clothed dude. Thankfully, that went away as the series advanced and they found better ways to tackle those themes and found new themes to explore which were more effective.

Paige's journey felt redundant at times. I got really sick of the "YOU'RE LYING" "Paige, stop yelling, your brother is upstairs" scenes. That shit went on and on and on and I was so relieved with where she was in the final season.

For me, I think the biggest problem with the show as that Stan's instinct was never wrong. He was a flawed, interesting character. I was conflicted about him, which is a good thing. But he was always right on the money. He was never wrong. He was like Batman and that was kind of annoying once the whole thing was said and done. I wish he'd had more reason to doubt himself and his abilities and I wish the audience did as well.

Okay, so those are my first reaction thoughts the series as a whole. I don't know if anyone still wants to talk about this show but if they do, I'm happy to jump in and discuss it in depth. I really really loved this show.


Excellent write up.

Spoiler: show
That parking garage scene is all timer. Probably one of the best TV scenes ever. Months later and I can't stop thinking about it.

Spoiler: show
Wait... I just realized there are so many parking garage scenes... are you talking about the finale? The showdown with Stan? I thought you were talking about Philip cutting up that body with an ax. Both amazing, tense, and gut-wrenching scenes in very different ways.


Spoiler: show
The finale scene. But, goodness, the axe scene was something else too. Just a gripping episode.


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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Wed July 18, 2018 4:39 pm 
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Monkey_Driven wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
Monkey_Driven wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
Okay, so...

Spoiler: show
This show almost never fell into standard spy/thriller tropes. Much of the time the tension was never adequately released. Much like Mad Men, story lines would play out to a pseudo-conclusion and then were just... dropped. Or moved to the background. It made the show impossible to predict and very difficult to turn away from. I wish Breaking Bad had done this more, it would have been all the better for it.

I think that kind of storytelling is a huge strength of the show and it's a large part of what made the series finale so goddamn hypnotic and heartbreaking. We arrive at the end of the show. The end of the journey. Out of breathe, sweaty, devastated and still with this odd liquid slosh in our stomach that maybe... this is the best it could have possibly gone. What?! Holy. Shit. Nothing was compromised, nothing was cheated. It was a natural, honest, and satisfying ending to a six season arc.

BUT!.... Is Stan's wife a Russian spy? Can a deal be made for Oleg? Will Stan help him? Will Philip see Martha again? What happens to Paige? Can she have any kind of normal life? Obviously, she can't work for the State Department and I'm guessing she won't work for the KGB either. So, where does that leave her? Is she alone? The only thing she was afraid of was being alone; even more than death, she feared being alone. Can she ever see her brother again? Will Henry every understand/forgive?

These are MASSIVE questions. Season (not SERIES) finale type questions. And yet, the show still feels complete, the ending totally satisfying. That's a remarkable feat. The show played/ended more like a literary fiction novel than a television show and it's all the better for it.

Of course, watching this show now, as the US is going threw a real life Russian nightmare was illuminating. You have to wonder if the show had been pitched in 2016 or 2017 instead of 2013, if it would have been picked up and aired at all. The show did a great job of making us care for and even root for the Russians. It gave us an empathetic understanding of "the other" in a way Americans are not used to at all. It's been ingrained in my mind since I was a kid that Russia is the ultimate enemy. I grew up in Reagan's America. To this day, I'm sort of brainwashed about Russia. Our pop culture, or films, everything reinforced how terrible and evil Russia is/was. So much so, that I'm often taken aback when I remember or am reminded that Russia was a US ally in WW2. Even Rocky had to fight THE RUSSIAN!

And I felt so much for the Jennings family. Even as Elizabeth was doing reprehensible things (mostly in that final season) I understood why and I wanted her to win. That's banana's to me! What remarkable work all around from writers, directors, actors, etc. The show did a great job of making us care and exposing the American hypocrisy without totally condemning either side.

Of course there were missteps, too. Pastor Tim was a terrible character that hung around too long and his knowledge/involvement never quite worked for me. However, his final pay-off was outstanding, so perhaps all that other junk was worth it.

Sometimes the show was too sexualized. At it's best that hyper-sexualization was a insightful commentary on America perception/values juxtaposed to the rest of the world's values and doing what needs to be done: disconnecting and removing emotion and all of that. At it's worst it was just a reason to have a naked woman, ass exposed, lying next to a fully clothed dude. Thankfully, that went away as the series advanced and they found better ways to tackle those themes and found new themes to explore which were more effective.

Paige's journey felt redundant at times. I got really sick of the "YOU'RE LYING" "Paige, stop yelling, your brother is upstairs" scenes. That shit went on and on and on and I was so relieved with where she was in the final season.

For me, I think the biggest problem with the show as that Stan's instinct was never wrong. He was a flawed, interesting character. I was conflicted about him, which is a good thing. But he was always right on the money. He was never wrong. He was like Batman and that was kind of annoying once the whole thing was said and done. I wish he'd had more reason to doubt himself and his abilities and I wish the audience did as well.

Okay, so those are my first reaction thoughts the series as a whole. I don't know if anyone still wants to talk about this show but if they do, I'm happy to jump in and discuss it in depth. I really really loved this show.


Excellent write up.

Spoiler: show
That parking garage scene is all timer. Probably one of the best TV scenes ever. Months later and I can't stop thinking about it.

Spoiler: show
Wait... I just realized there are so many parking garage scenes... are you talking about the finale? The showdown with Stan? I thought you were talking about Philip cutting up that body with an ax. Both amazing, tense, and gut-wrenching scenes in very different ways.


Spoiler: show
The finale scene. But, goodness, the axe scene was something else too. Just a gripping episode.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:


And Keri Russell's performance in that scene!
Spoiler: show
Her first clear objective is to protect Paige. Her second is to get that gun away from Stan. She's so locked in. And she does it all with minimal dialogue. Keri is so good a "wheels turning" acting.


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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Wed July 18, 2018 4:54 pm 
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I want to add one more thing that I disliked:

Spoiler: show
The "technique" they teach Paige to deal with her anger, focus, and worry --- that rubbing your fingers thing --- was stupid. "If you can really master this technique..." and blah blah blah. I was expecting something much more complicated and interesting than rubbing your fingers together. If that's all it takes to be an effective spy... :?


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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Sun August 05, 2018 3:49 am 
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I'm glad the
Spoiler: show
Nina storyline
is over. I totally saw it coming when they
Spoiler: show
shot her
.


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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Sun August 05, 2018 4:11 am 
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cutuphalfdead wrote:
I'm glad the
Spoiler: show
Nina storyline
is over. I totally saw it coming when they
Spoiler: show
shot her
.


This is solid analysis.


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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Sun August 05, 2018 11:05 am 
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Monkey_Driven wrote:
cutuphalfdead wrote:
I'm glad the
Spoiler: show
Nina storyline
is over. I totally saw it coming when they
Spoiler: show
shot her
.


This is solid analysis.

Ha


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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Sun August 05, 2018 3:55 pm 
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Still watching season 2. A little bit closer to the end but yeah, its taking me some time.

_________________
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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Sun August 05, 2018 4:05 pm 
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VinylGuy wrote:
Still watching season 2. A little bit closer to the end but yeah, its taking me some time.

I have no idea how it's taking you so long. I couldn't stop! That show sucked me in and never let go. I still think about it. Every night I almost start the series over.


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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Sun August 05, 2018 5:29 pm 
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durdencommatyler wrote:
VinylGuy wrote:
Still watching season 2. A little bit closer to the end but yeah, its taking me some time.

I have no idea how it's taking you so long. I couldn't stop! That show sucked me in and never let go. I still think about it. Every night I almost start the series over.

I found season 2 to be a bit slow until the end. It really picks up the last few episodes and in hindsight it's easier to appreciate the earlier parts of the season.


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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Sun August 05, 2018 5:34 pm 
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cutuphalfdead wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
VinylGuy wrote:
Still watching season 2. A little bit closer to the end but yeah, its taking me some time.

I have no idea how it's taking you so long. I couldn't stop! That show sucked me in and never let go. I still think about it. Every night I almost start the series over.

I found season 2 to be a bit slow until the end. It really picks up the last few episodes and in hindsight it's easier to appreciate the earlier parts of the season.

The first four episodes of S2 are fucking amazing. Just floored me. I agree that it slows a bit in the middle, but then final run of S2 is top notch.


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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Sun August 05, 2018 5:35 pm 
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I think I did the entire series in like 6 weeks. I love this show!

My wife and I were talking about it and I dared to suggest that it might be better than Breaking Bad. She adamantly disagreed. I think Breaking Bad has superior strengths, for sure. And the best episodes of BB are better than the best episodes of The Americans. But overall... on balance... all things considered... I might really prefer The Americans.

But I should wait and see how I feel after watching it a second time. Breaking Bad changed for me a lot upon full series re-watch.


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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Sun August 05, 2018 10:01 pm 
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durdencommatyler wrote:
VinylGuy wrote:
Still watching season 2. A little bit closer to the end but yeah, its taking me some time.

I have no idea how it's taking you so long. I couldn't stop! That show sucked me in and never let go. I still think about it. Every night I almost start the series over.


Well, im very busy for a start but i dont really like to watch 10 straight hours of something. I may watch two episodes maybe? and then i need to do something else o go outside.

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 Post subject: Re: TV: The Americans on FX
PostPosted: Sun August 05, 2018 10:04 pm 
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VinylGuy wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
VinylGuy wrote:
Still watching season 2. A little bit closer to the end but yeah, its taking me some time.

I have no idea how it's taking you so long. I couldn't stop! That show sucked me in and never let go. I still think about it. Every night I almost start the series over.


Well, im very busy for a start but i dont really like to watch 10 straight hours of something. I may watch two episodes maybe? and then i need to do something else o go outside.

I get it. But I don't get it.


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