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The Americans - FX Cold War Drama


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You lot really dropped the ball on this one, with only a one page topic. I’m binge watching the whole thing now and it’s amazing. At first we weren’t sure how utterly ruthless KGB operatives could ever be portrayed sympathetically, but Philip Jennings must be the nicest murderer of innocents on television.

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On 15/05/2020 at 17:32, Sirloin said:

Yeah, it’s my favourite series of the last few years. Final season is amazing.


Finished the last three episodes today. Don’t think I’ve watched a final episode while feeling so tense: unlike the likes of Game of Thrones (or the wire, Westwood, sopranos, person of interest), I could honestly see it playing out in any one of ten thematically appropriate ways until the final few seconds.

 

Must watch.

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We stopped watching it after about season 3, for no particular reason really. Really enjoyed it, and will pick it up again thanks to the recommendations above. I was downloading it back in the day, and didn't know it is now on Prime.

 

Tonights viewing sorted (just finished Money Heist last night).

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I picked up the entire series cheap last week having previously watched season 1 years ago. Watched the pilot again yesterday and had forgotten about the closing shot in the garage, holy shit , that's how to do tension.

 

Looking forward to  working my way through it.

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Picked it up again last night, and watched two episodes. Great viewing.

 

We had actually seen four seasons, so are now on season five. A few things that i have forgotten about:

 

 

What happened to Sandra, Stan's wife? Did she die?

 


 

The second family Phillip and Elizabeth have with Tuan, how did he enter the show as i have no memory of that? Presume he is a Soviet Spy too?

 

What happened to Nina?

 

William, the bio chemist, he was Soviet too? How did he die?

 
 

 

 

 

Thanks. Really shouldn't have left such a big gap between seasons!

 

 

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5 hours ago, Pavey said:

Picked it up again last night, and watched two episodes. Great viewing.

 

We had actually seen four seasons, so are now on season five. A few things that i have forgotten about:

 

  Hide contents

What happened to Sandra, Stan's wife? Did she die?

 


 

The second family Phillip and Elizabeth have with Tuan, how did he enter the show as i have no memory of that? Presume he is a Soviet Spy too?

 

What happened to Nina?

 

William, the bio chemist, he was Soviet too? How did he die?

 
 

 

 

 

Thanks. Really shouldn't have left such a big gap between seasons!

 

 

 

Stan and his wife divorced, she has a new fella I believe.

 

Yes Tuan is a young Soviet spy like they were, I think they're training him.

 

Nina - executed I'm afraid, Stan and the Russian guy with the high level father both tried to save her but failed.

 

Pretty sure William dies though not sure if you see it, I think he just gets himself infected with the deadly virus thing, and I think he was just an American who liked the Soviets.

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Spoiler

William is an American, he infects himself with the virus when he’s about to get captured just before handing off the sample to Phillip IIRC. He then dies pretty horribly, and gets buried on the grounds of the base.

 

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In sirloin’s post the fourth word is wrong. He’s a sleeper like Phil and Elizabeth. Many references to how long he’s been over in the states.

 

I think that’s vague enough to avoid counting as a spoiler if you’ve not read sirloins post.

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So I started watching this after having gone through various other highly praised TV drama series. The critical praise from the American press is certainly something and its name pops up every so often on recommendations too.

 

Starts off fine and it's pretty good going by the first series, but, unless it really picks up massively, I'm not quite seeing what makes this amazing level television. It's reminding me of so many other acclaimed TV series from the past decade or so, fine if you've got nothing better to watch, but missing that certain something extra that the HBO classics have (and those do hold-up, despite having been made near the start of the modern Golden Age).

 

At this rate, I'm going to have to stop bothering catching up on this multi-decade TV backlog as it really isn't quite worth the effort required, sadly.

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On 11/09/2021 at 17:10, mushashi said:

Starts off fine and it's pretty good going by the first series, but, unless it really picks up massively, I'm not quite seeing what makes this amazing level television. It's reminding me of so many other acclaimed TV series from the past decade or so, fine if you've got nothing better to watch, but missing that certain something extra that the HBO classics have (and those do hold-up, despite having been made near the start of the modern Golden Age).

I'm a big fan of The Americans, but I wouldn't necessarily disagree with this. I'd argue that your top tier golden age shows, (e.g. Sopranos, Wire, Deadwood, Mad Men) aspire to capital A Art. The Americans is simply a very good TV show, well-written, with terrific actors, and is an enjoyable way to spend time. I'm also fond of Justified for similar reasons. And I think that's absolutely fine. We don't need to put something in an untouchable pantheon of timeless classics that change the way you see the world for it to be valuable. You shouldn't feel bad if you don't have time to catch up everything that was made during the Peak TV era. But one day, you'll be in bed with flu and an iPad, and shows like this will be waiting to welcome you.

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1 hour ago, Graham S said:

I'm a big fan of The Americans, but I wouldn't necessarily disagree with this. I'd argue that your top tier golden age shows, (e.g. Sopranos, Wire, Deadwood, Mad Men) aspire to capital A Art. The Americans is simply a very good TV show, well-written, with terrific actors, and is an enjoyable way to spend time. I'm also fond of Justified for similar reasons. And I think that's absolutely fine. We don't need to put something in an untouchable pantheon of timeless classics that change the way you see the world for it to be valuable. You shouldn't feel bad if you don't have time to catch up everything that was made during the Peak TV era. But one day, you'll be in bed with flu and an iPad, and shows like this will be waiting to welcome you.

I much prefer The Americans to any of the shows you mention 

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1 hour ago, sandman said:

I much prefer The Americans to any of the shows you mention 

Of course. It’s hard to convincingly argue that The Americans is more important than The Sopranos but that doesn’t say anything about our affection for a tv show. 
 

For some reason I’m reminded of Simon Gray’s paean to Law and Order in the Smoking Diaries. 
 

Quote

Distracted from distraction by an hour of television – an old Law and Order. Stroke of luck that it was on, and that I came in near the beginning. I love this series – love? Love Law and Order? – did I love my father? I don’t think – Do I love Law and Order? – I know I do. Is it the word that’s at fault, or is it my use of the word, or is it my self, my incapacity? Apply the Plato principle that we should love people for their virtues. What were my father’s virtues? What are Law and Order’s virtues? – That’s easy, just consider how it works: each episode has the same structure, three neat little acts. 1) The discovery of the crime (usually a body) and the police investigation. 2) The involvement of the DA’s office and the arrest. 3) The trial and conviction – or sometimes the acquittal. Formally very dapper, you see, but flexible within its conventions – even though the official characters are always the same, and played by the same actors, there is a variety of story, of milieu, of incidental characters, played by those marvellous American character actors who give you a glimpse of a whole life in a two-minute scene – a grieving mother, an overworked guy behind a deli counter, a sixteen-year-old Hispanic with a gun under his bed and drugs in his pocket, so the scene-by-scene texture is terrific – as is the dialogue, snappy, authentic, moving the story along – and it’s usually a pretty snappy and authentic story that’s moved along, with often a twist that really twists – on top of which you get lots of detail about police work, along with lots of detail about the way the law works in New York – and in the one I’ve just watched, the conflict between the way it works in New York and the way it works, and doesn’t work, in Los Angeles, made specially enjoyable by its exhilarating contempt for all things Californian – even to the faces, those round Californian faces, neatly featured, large shiny teeth, smoothly tailored hair, and there among them the New York faces, faces to which I am now addicted, slightly unhygienic, with pocks and other blemishes, slightly more used up, slightly more comically rancorous than the last time I saw them – So there it is, that’s what I love about Law and Order. As for my father, Daddy, I –

 

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Well that's it all over for me. 

 

That's one of the better tv show endings i have seen over the years, really gripping in places and although one annoying question remains unanswered (for me at least) i was really satisfied with how that all came together. 

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