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Started The Americans last night...


#1

…and it’s awesome.

Been looking for a new box set since Breaking Bad ended a couple of years back. Am very snooty with TV and only committed to about ten shows since the 1980s when I was a kid, though I try the first couple of eps of a few things here and there. Tried Game of Thrones, but couldn’t get into it. Tried various others, but never even finished first episode.

Stranger Things looked good, but my wife was spooked 10 mins in and a show is very much a thing we all have to sit and enjoy so I’ve bailed on it for now as we only get a one hour window to watch TV most days. I loved Daredevil S1, but gave up halfway through S2 and have been on the hunt for something new ever since.

I think this is it.

I bloody loved it!!

MM


#2

I tried to watch it a while back but I had so much going on that I decided it wasn’t a good idea taking on another series (it was just new at the time, so there was no acclaim by that point to persuade me otherwise).

Reading the ‘Watching’ thread over the last few years I’m aware it’s a Millarworld favourite with Todd and a few others speaking very highly of it.

Im in need of a new show to watch with Mrs S, we are wrapping up The Wire and Downton Abbey, Ray Donovan is the only thing we watch together right now as it is broadcasted.

We watched the first episode of Stranger Things together and it didn’t reverberate with her the way it did with me, so that’s another one for my own list.

She’d made gestures at maybe watching Sons of Anarchy with me, which I’ve only seen up to series 4 on, but I don’t think I can be arsed watching it again from the start.

So the choices were Mr Robot or The Man In The High Castle, which I don’t think she’ll like.

This is a timely thread then, The Americans sounds like a good his and her option, and I say that with no intention to offend - just my wife doesn’t like a lot of the stuff me and my friends like and I don’t like a lot of the stuff her and her friends like.

I’ll see if I can track it down on Amazon, Netflix or Sky On Demand.


#3

I was watching that Seinfeld web show the other week and he was talking with JB Smoove about how people get upset when you don’t watch their favourite show. It’s so true. I was talking to a pal the other day who hadn’t watched the Sopranos and I was almost getting angry as I was telling them why they should be watching :slight_smile:

MM


#4

It’s pretty good --I binged watched the whole thing pretty recently over about two or three weeks.

There are four seasons and I think it gets better, although the first two seasons are pretty break-neck and it slows down a bit after that.

I think they’ve said they’re doing two more to finish the story.


#5

My wife really likes this one, so I watch it with her. Espionage is not really my thing, although I had no idea how much sex they had, but it’s pretty good. I would say it’s overhyped a bit, but that’s true of every show.

I think my TV habits are similar to Mark’s. It’s been about ten total shows in my life for me (not counting comedy), and I’m often impressed and mystified by how much TV people watch, here in the watching thread or on Facebook. I guess I am snooty about it too.

I would also say the Americans (so far) has never gotten as good as the first episode was. I think that’s true of lots of the great TV programs, and lots of long running Image/Vertigo series. You almost need to spend a full year on that first episode/issue, and everything beyond that is gravy.


#6

I agree with that so much.


#7

The Americans is one of my favorite TV shows. I think each season is better than the previous one. The show at its core is a family drama with the espionage as a way to build tension. While there are action sequences, they are a very small part of the show. It really is more about tension and suspense. I like that you do not always know where the show is going. The series is peppered with scenes that have little or no dialogue and the actors just act. Great stuff.

As Tim said, it just wrapped Season 4 and was renewed for a 13-epsidoe Season 5 and a 10-episode Season 6, the final season.

The premise really didn’t grab me but since it was an FX Network show, I gave it a shot. So worth it.


#8

Yeah - the acting is pretty incredible.

Plus character actor Margo Martindale!


#9

I don’t know if it is just me but I find a lot, if not most, TV to be slow and treading water all the time.

That’s the issue with the Netflix Marvel shows, not at all in production values. It’s quite ironic really that the younger generation are meant to be MTV low attention span viewers but if you watch most 80s stuff back it is really lean and to the point.

I watched the first 5 or 6 of The Americans, great acting, great script, got a bit bored.


#10

I know with American network series, they tend to run 20+ episodes per season which even on a good series still generates a lot of filler. Many series, especially on cable, tend to go for around 13 episodes. But as you pointed out, even that can be too much in some cases. I have noticed that shows are now doing even shorter seasons. )FX’s new Legion series will be 8 episodes.)

I think it comes down to the skill of the showrunners and the story they want to tell.


#11

Well Chief, get ready to develop an unbearable crush on Keri Russell.

I think the show is about the actors, the scripts and stories I always found a bit weak and slow. I gave up a couple of seasons ago as time for TV started to disappear, but I enjoyed what I watched.


#12

It’s always the case but the Netflix House of Cards took 39 hours to get the plot point the BBC did in 8. That’s with half seasons of 13 episodes. It’s a great show but I want to nudge it along quite often.


#13

I watched all 27 episodes of Penny Dreadful and that show could have been done in 18 episodes, tops.


#14

I usually feel the same way, which is what makes “Stranger Things” special.


#15

I think the slow pace is fine if the show isn’t really about the plot, like Lost or Mad Men, but these plot based ones really spin their wheels.


#16

The Americans is great. It really has improved with each season. Everyone seems to raise their game whenever they interact with Margo Martindale. She was tremendous in Justified too.


#17

I can’t get over all the wigs.


#18

It’s not just you. Ray Donovan is the only current show that I feel is completely engrossing just now. Each season packs in a lot and still manages to nail the character development down perfectly.

I can’t think of another single (current) show that doesn’t have my mind wandering or reaching for my phone. The DC and Marvel shows are the worst for it, particularly legends of tomorrow. The writing is not tight enough and the dialogue not sharp enough to justify the running times.


#19

It gets better as it goes. I wasn’t completely sold on Season One, but S2 is very good, as is S3, and the most recent season is brilliant.

Only 23 episodes to go, which seems about right.


#20

Americans is one of the finest shows on television, season after season. And it’s based on a true story! (sort of).

This, Rick and Morty, and Fargo are the best shows of the last few years, in my opinion. And Hannibal, though it is over.