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The Americans - S4 of the KGB spy drama - Keri Russell & Matthew Rhys - Wed on FX

Sober

Member
- Boston Globe: Sally and Paige, daughters of the TV revolution



Good to see the Globe on board with my spinoff plan.

#TrueDetectiveS3
 

Saty

Member
I had 4 instances of technical issues trying to watch the finale so it's harder for me to talk about the flow of the episode but it really was unconventionally low-key even for this show. Dunno what and how i'd added to make it more 'pressing'.

What would you guys prefer if Phillip and Elizabeth were to be exposed: the Jennings on the run with the FBI on their heels or the FBI letting them sweat, monitoring them, getting more evidence on them, grabbing Gabriel and then squeezing them to be double-agents?
The latter is what makes operational sense to me and has the potential to land more 'wins'.

Heck, although very unlikely and against how The Americans does things, this might be what's happening now. We didn't see William die, maybe he continued to blab near death and said something like 'i envy the Jennings' and now the FBI is holding onto their advantage and are going to get the most out of it.

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You can understand very well why Phillip doesn't want Paige to have anything to do with Matthew. If they are on the verge of being exposed the last thing he'd want is for the FBI and Stan to view Paige as the 3rd spy in this group rather than her being caught in the middle of it all. Trying to elevate her relationship with the FBI's neighbor's son is way too suspicious.

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Of course Stan is ecstatic over Paige and Matthew making out. He knows Paige. He knows his son. We know Paige. We know his son. He should be so lucky, she's a keeper! Plus, free honeymoon.

https://my.mixtape.moe/iilcfs.webm
 

Zousi

Member
So how do we feel about Frank Langella's work as the supervisor. I think he is doing a marvelous job in that role. Might have even surpassed what Margo Martindale brought to the table. The acting in this show is just so sublime on all fronts.
 

lazygecko

Member
Generally how long does it take for a season to show up on Netflix? They only have up to season 3 right now.

NPR article on the US-Russia spying that continues today:

- Decades After Cold War's End, U.S.-Russia Espionage Rivalry Evolves

The show is probably not going to go on for that long, but I would have liked to see it set in the messy transitional and post-Soviet period of Russia in the 90's. The cold war is so heavily tied into this idea of a struggle between ideologies, but it's really a superficial aspect and it ultimately just comes down to 2 world powers vying for influence in the world. Nothing really changed about that after the Soviet collapse, and intelligence agencies carried on as usual. Putting Elizabeth and others who are convinced and ideologically driven communists in that situation where their country just changes to capitalism overnight would make for some interesting character development.
 
I finally watched the finale yesterday, and I haven't caught up on the thread. But as far as I'm concerned, this is hands down the best television drama series this year. The acting, directing, writing, it's all been excellent. If this doesn't win the Emmy (which of course it won't), it will be a damn shame.

Edit: I meant to post this but I don't think I did. Maybe a few years ago I watched The Day After when it was basic cable (maybe at my parents' at Xmas one year?), and it's a good, serious representation of the Cold War and its dangers. Worth watching if you're interested in this era.
 
- THR: Upstarts vs. Stalwarts: How 'Mr. Robot' and Other Shows Stand Out Amid Peak TV
Another established series looking to break through and occupy the Emmy-nom berth vacated by the departed Mad Men is FX's The Americans, which has been overlooked in the drama series category by TV Academy voters since its 2013 debut despite earning a Peabody and the Television Critics Association's Program of the Year award in 2015. Just recently THR critic Tim Goodman posted a story urging the TV Academy "to nominate The Americans on FX for best drama," adding that the series "is the best drama on television. Not one of the best — the best."

According to showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields, who outwardly have been diplomatic about Americans' Emmy snubs, much of the current fourth season has to do with propelling forward relationships that had been set in motion very early on in the series. That resulted in "emotional moves" that affected the lives of the show's lead characters, Soviet spies Elizabeth and Philip Jennings (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys), their children and their collaborators.

"We were certainly aware from the beginning that we were working with these storylines we had been telling since the beginning with Philip, Elizabeth, Martha [Alison Wright] and Nina [Annet Mahendru]," says Weisberg. "Bringing these arcs to a close and being able to tie them up in the right way was very important and emotional, and the season as a whole, if we did it right, would create a lot of feeling and a lot of emotion out of that. I think it felt good to us, a real goal for us that worked out well."

Weisberg and Fields say they began scoping out the rest of the series after season three. With a green light from FX, the duo believes they have more than enough material to mine from the 1980s-set espionage drama for two more seasons. "I think it's less a question of that we wanted to land at some place at the end of season four, but rather that we wanted to propel through to changes that will keep pushing the characters forward," says Fields. "It's always hard to do this job, but in this case the hard work is always rewarding, and we haven't run into any brick walls. It seems like these characters and this setting have been extremely fertile creative ground."
 

TripOpt55

Member
Finally got around to watching the rest of this latest season. Got totally overwhelmed trying to keep up with TV in April and May and just lost control and fell behind. Anyway, I loved this season. The same kind of quietly tense scenes I have come to expect from the show. The same kind of oddly uncomfortable scenes that are both memorable and hard to watch. And I just love everything they have done with Paige these past two seasons. It has really made the show even better in my eyes. This has always been both a show about spies and family, so letting Paige in on the secret and seeing how she reacts as she learns more has let us dive into new layers and aspects of both of the show's core subjects. It has been fascinating and Holly Taylor has been great.
 

Ristifer

Member
Finally got around to watching the rest of this latest season. Got totally overwhelmed trying to keep up with TV in April and May and just lost control and fell behind. Anyway, I loved this season. The same kind of quietly tense scenes I have come to expect from the show. The same kind of oddly uncomfortable scenes that are both memorable and hard to watch. And I just love everything they have done with Paige these past two seasons. It has really made the show even better in my eyes. This has always been both a show about spies and family, so letting Paige in on the secret and seeing how she reacts as she learns more has let us dive into new layers and aspects of both of the show's core subjects. It has been fascinating and Holly Taylor has been great.
Nice!

Good timing on the bump too, because I think the Emmy noms are announced tomorrow (might be wrong, though). So, we'll have to see how the show fares!
 
- WSJ: Emmys 2016: ‘The Americans’ Finally Gets Called Up
“In past seasons, when we’ve been asked how does it feel to not get nominated, I think we’ve been able to pretty genuinely say we’re so grateful to work on this show with these great people that we love working with and that we’re so thrilled to have the support of the critics and the audience,” says Fields. “And now, to have all that, plus the nomination, it’s pretty great. It’s pretty overwhelming.”
More via the link.
 
- Deadline: 'The Americans' Tears Down Emmy Wall With Key Noms For Cold War Spy Drama
The news today came as a huge surprise to both Russell and Americans EPs Joseph Weisberg and Joel Fields. Commenting on why this year was finally the year for the show, Russell beamed, “In all my years of wearing winter coats, I have no idea why. Our show is a slow burn for a lot of people.”

“It feels like we’re the bad kids who got invited to the party,” quipped the actress who counts her first Emmy nom after scoring a Golden Globe in 1999 for Felicity. For Rhys, Fields and Weisberg, it’s their first time too.

“We spent so much time convincing ourselves this wouldn’t happen, that it’s hard to turn on a dime and explain why it did happen,” said Weisberg about the show’s kudo nom collection.

“We live in a time where it takes some shows some time to hit their zeitgeist,” said Fields.

In total, Americans counts five noms this year including honors for writing (episode “Persona non Grata” by Weisberg and Fields) and for guest drama actress Margo Martindale (as tough-as-nails Soviet spy ring leader Claudia), who after winning last year for the series, now counts her fourth guest actress nom for the show.
 
Yeah, it's about time the show got some recognition from the Emmys.

On the other hand, Alison Wright's absence from the list of nominations is absolutely criminal. She was doing work at least as good as anyone else's on TV.
 
- Variety: ‘The Americans’ Finally Breaks Into Top Emmy Race in Season 4
Although they’re on vacation at the moment, Fields and Weisberg are already “deep” into writing the next season — the series’ fifth and penultimate batch of episodes. They’re hopeful the Emmy breakthrough will carry over to general audiences.

“One thing that strikes me is this nomination may help get more people to sample and join us and be part of the live audience for the final seasons,” Fields says. “It’s not important so much as it used to be in terms of the ratings — although ratings are nice — but there’s something great about being part of a show where there’s a growing community watching it together.”
“We’ve thought an incredible amount about how to pace and plot the final two seasons,” Weisberg says. “I think you’ll find there will be some very specific things happening that will be special and different because it’s the final two seasons.

“The world we’re in is specific — I’d say constrained, but not in a negative way — because it takes place within a historical model that’s different from ‘Breaking Bad.’ That history guides us and gives us a lot of opportunities. It opens up a lot of what we want to do in terms of where the episodes go and where the story goes.”

Fields adds: “As crazy as it may sound, in our own heads there’s just a truth to the world of this story. We can’t impose upon it a pace that it doesn’t have. That wouldn’t ring true. By now, as we turn the corner into these final seasons we feel we can do nothing other than follow where the story is going. Obviously we’re the ones writing the story, and we know where it’s going, we’ve been talking about that for some time, but we can’t impose upon that a different pace than it may want.”
 

Ristifer

Member
So glad this show finally received the recognition it deserves. Usually I don't worry about those kinds of accolades, but if a show ever deserved to (hopefully) bring in a bigger audience, it's The Americans.

Can't wait for Season 5.
 
So glad this show finally received the recognition it deserves. Usually I don't worry about those kinds of accolades, but if a show ever deserved to (hopefully) bring in a bigger audience, it's The Americans.

Can't wait for Season 5.

Black Sails deserves it too. Toby Stephens was snubbed.
 

IronRinn

Member
Margo Martindale has a cushy fucking gig, man. Show up, put in maybe an afternoon for maybe 10 minutes of screen time, collect trophy.
 

Aiii

So not worth it
Some of the most damaging information Montes admitted giving to Cuba, the FBI said, were the identities of four American undercover intelligence officers working there.
I like that the non-Americans are spies and the Americans are "Undercover Intelligence Agents" as if it is not the same thing.
 

KahooTs

Member
So is the common thinking Stan was playing Oleg with his 'let's end this, I don't want you on my conscience' talk? And that it was successful?

And are other people thinking the show is priming Oleg for defection or more likely a big betrayal, possibly the one that blows Elizabeth's and Philip's cover? That this was just a first step. Hence why we get his family story and Tatiana relationship, as Oleg's betrayal would destroy their positions in society, making it all the more difficult decision for him. While at the same time playing up his concern generally for people and doubt about the Soviet's capabilities.
 
- THR: 'The Americans' On- and Offscreen Couple Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys in Rare Joint Interview

Have you pitched your ideas? You know, "I'd like us to turn, become Americans …"

RHYS Oh, I definitely do.

RUSSELL I actually said to them at the beginning of last [season], "Are we seeing cracks? Is there any way this could be Elizabeth saying, 'Maybe we should double agent or something?' " And Joe looked like I had said the most blasphemous thing. He was like, "No, there is not a chance." (Laughter.)

RHYS These spies were called "illegals," and so we had a real illegal come to set who did exactly what we did. We caught some flack in the press about having an FBI agent [Noah Emmerich] living next door, but that was his story. He had an FBI agent who lived next door to him who turned him, so I was saying all this to Joe and Joel. I was like, "This is perfect. Noah Emmerich will turn us — we'll become double agents."

RUSSELL Yes!

RHYS This whole massive pitch. And they went, "Yeah … no."
Have the fan exchanges changed?

RUSSELL Oh yeah. After season one, when I got to beat up Margo Martindale, I'd be walking down the street in New York City, and like every construction worker would be like, "Yo! You really kicked that lady's ass!"

RHYS Actually, what he said was, "I loved it when you kicked that old lady's ass!" And you were like, "How dare you call Margo Martindale an old lady. How f—ing dare you."

More via the link. Fun interview.
 
Finished watching a few days ago.
I still like the show, but it's become a bit boring...

One thing that bothered me: the priest thing in Ethiopia took place near the border with Eritrea... which at the time was not a country IIRC.

Oh well, now we got to wait until February right?
 
:) @ the second tease
Lots of good stuff in there.

Other recaps of the panel:

- NY Mag: 10 Things We Learned About The Americans’ Final Seasons at TCA
The ending has been set for awhile.

Weisberg said that the fifth season of the series “stands alone as a season,” but it “sets up the finale in a pretty specific way.” Fields added that “around season two, we started creating what we call this master document that … had all our scene ideas for every story line. We’d work from that as we wrote every season and every episode. At the end of last season, we went through that and that has everything in it.” (Apparently this magical document was so long that it had to be shrunk down to seven-point font.)

Weisberg added, “We’ve been stuck on this one idea [for the finale] for like three years.”

Last season cleared out lots of characters. Does this mean there’s room for new ones?

“We asked ourselves: Martha’s gone. Nina’s gone. So much of our story revolved around them. Do we want to replace them? We’ve got two years left,” said Weisberg. “We did what we usually do and panicked for five minutes and then decided, let’s just let the story answer that question. We found that the story we want to tell for them isn’t really replacing them with characters who have that kind of significance in the Jennings’ life.”

- Variety: ‘The Americans’: 10 Things We Learned From the Showrunners at TCA
- During the first season, Weisberg and Fields were very worried about whether the show could pull off extended scenes in the Soviet embassy with characters speaking entirely in Russian. “It’s crazy when we think back to the first season how risky it seemed to do those scenes in Russian,” Fields said.

- Weisberg was particularly nervous about whether the nine-month time jump that the show took in season four would work. “Joe’s first words after seeing the director’s cut was ‘Oh my god, it worked,’ ” Fields said. Weisberg gave a lot of credit to a discreet hairstyling choice. “It was such a subtle, simple thing — we tied Paige’s hair back into a ponytail and that gave her a sterner look. It was the littlest thing but it did so much to make it work,” he said.

- Of all the wigs and disguises the producers have thrust upon Russell and Rhys, the only one that Russell has rejected is a wig that is way too close to her “Felicity” persona from the WB Network days. Everybody else in the “Americans” company has put it on for a picture. But not Russell, Fields said.

- THR: 'The Americans' Showrunners Tease Season 5, Talk End Game
 
- Deadline interview: Keri Russell & Matthew Rhys On 'The Americans' Emmy-Nominated 4th Season
What were the most satisfying moments during the season?

Rhys: A highlight for me was the big argument that happened in Episode 8, that was a long time coming for Philip and Elizabeth. So much is quashed, and sat on, and not addressed, and finally, in a world where so much isn’t said, they had an opportunity to really, albeit briefly, let some things go; to air some truths.

Russell: It was such an old marriage fight, too. I don’t know what ended up making it in the edit, but there were a few lines in there where we’re talking about people from the first season arena, and I remember, in the midst of this vicious retort back and forth, they’re like, “You have to say her name because you have to [remind] people who she was.” It’s like, it doesn’t matter what her fucking name is. They get the point. It’s like a wife yelling about…

Rhys: Betrayal.

Russell: Over something that happened years ago. That was good because that’s the show, and it’s so interesting to me when it’s just this great marriage show.
It’s a tough role for Holly Taylor to play. Her decision to confide to her pastor that her parents are Soviet spies brings unimaginable stress.

Russell: And when my character has unleashed on the Paige character, there’s been so much going on, and I love that it’s really fueled by personal stuff. The most recent one was in this episode where I had to yell at her about… who knows what it was that time, but I feel like it was all spawned from the jealousy and the resentment and everything going on with Philip and Elizabeth and what she was supposed to be doing. But I felt like it was a real parent moment as well.

You would never know what this young actress is capable of until you test her.

Russell: Right. There’s another thing I want to say about the Paige recruitment, and Tommy Schlamme, one of our directors who I love so much. There was a scene which, on paper, sort of read a certain way, and he had such a good note about it. It was my problem with the recruitment issue. He says, “Yeah, but it’s about her knowing who you are.” She doesn’t know anything about [the fact] that we’re Russian, or our heritage, or truly who we are, and you want to be seen [incorrectly] by these people that love you. You want them to truly see who you are. So, in a way, it’s less about her becoming a spy, and more like, “This is who I am. I want you to know who you are versus this lie of a person.”

All this unraveling of the story, it is still so interesting to me, and that’s a good thing.
Much more via the link.
 

RatskyWatsky

Hunky Nostradamus
Margo Martindale just won an Emmy for her work on this season of The Americans.

In other news, Margo Martindale was apparently in this season of The Americans!
 

Grizzlyjin

Supersonic, idiotic, disconnecting, not respecting, who would really ever wanna go and top that
Margo Martindale just won an Emmy for her work on this season of The Americans.

In other news, Margo Martindale was apparently in this season of The Americans!

Haha, well good for her. She deserved it for her work in past seasons at least.
 
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