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post #721 of 1060 Old 03-01-2014, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

I've often felt disappointed that the remake of 'Battlestar Galactica' is usually left off those lists. In my mind, it's an all-time top five show with an epic feel and scope. There were many episodes where I'd be left with the same level of wide-eyed astonishment, a feeling of "That hour of TV was so good I can't believe I got to watch it for free!", as any episode of 'Breaking Bad', 'Deadwood', or any of the other shows that are usually mentioned in that pantheon. It was easily the best sci-fi series of all time, but that genre has historically carried a certain unfortunate stigma.

Read Sepinwall's book if you have not already. BSG is a chapter in it. I loved BSG. I could not wait til Friday nights to watch a new episode and was so bummed when it was over each week. But it was a Sci Fi show on a non major network and it was a reboot so just based on the name some people went...well i remember the show in the 70s didn't like it so not going to bother with this one. BSG is in my top 5. It was my #1 until Breaking Bad came along. I've watched BSG start to finish 4 or 5 times now and it never gets old to me.
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post #722 of 1060 Old 03-01-2014, 04:05 PM
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After the DVR wiped the entire first season of this last year I missed this first time around. Thankfully Amazon to the rescue and a binge session has brought me up to date. Overall this is definitely worthy of sitting alongside other classy FX productions. I didn't even have an issue with the wigs from last season that were a comedy target on the internet.

The marriage with Martha on the other hand I too find that a major weak link. Mostly because I find Martha a massive distraction to more interesting events and characters. Even when you consider real-world polygamy with secret families in different cities, Philip is doing so many other tasks and missions it's difficult to imagine when he actually sleeps. Not to mention it emphasizes Martha to be the most gullible character on the show. Even the kids are coming across as smarter and more suspicious.
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post #723 of 1060 Old 03-01-2014, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jamieva View Post

Read Sepinwall's book if you have not already. BSG is a chapter in it. I loved BSG. I could not wait til Friday nights to watch a new episode and was so bummed when it was over each week. But it was a Sci Fi show on a non major network and it was a reboot so just based on the name some people went...well i remember the show in the 70s didn't like it so not going to bother with this one. BSG is in my top 5. It was my #1 until Breaking Bad came along. I've watched BSG start to finish 4 or 5 times now and it never gets old to me.

I love you man. biggrin.gif

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The marriage with Martha on the other hand I too find that a major weak link. Mostly because I find Martha a massive distraction to more interesting events and characters. Even when you consider real-world polygamy with secret families in different cities, Philip is doing so many other tasks and missions it's difficult to imagine when he actually sleeps. Not to mention it emphasizes Martha to be the most gullible character on the show. Even the kids are coming across as smarter and more suspicious.

Affirmative. It's really the show's only weak link, the one plot-point I can't really buy into.
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post #724 of 1060 Old 03-01-2014, 05:33 PM
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^^
Phillip looks like such a doofus in his Martha wig, and Martha is such a tool, that it makes this plot line good for comic relief.
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post #725 of 1060 Old 03-01-2014, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Fantastic season opener. Though, my sadness sorta got in the way :/
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post #726 of 1060 Old 03-01-2014, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by pbarach View Post

^^
Phillip looks like such a doofus in his Martha wig, and Martha is such a tool, that it makes this plot line good for comic relief.

Is Martha not at all active in bed? You'd think that she would have at least dislodged that Donald Trump reject by now.
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post #727 of 1060 Old 03-01-2014, 10:11 PM
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Now Fake Philip and Martha are married I am dreading the moment that she might say "I'm pregnant!" because that could open a whole can of soapy worms.
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post #728 of 1060 Old 03-01-2014, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
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LOL... oh brother
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post #729 of 1060 Old 03-02-2014, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

Now Fake Philip and Martha are married I am dreading the moment that she might say "I'm pregnant!" because that could open a whole can of soapy worms.

As meanspirited as your suggestion is, I confess that Martha getting pregnant would fit the premise of The Americans perfectly and I would like seeing it happen. Elizabeth and Philip have already dug themselves into a deep hole by living duplicitous lives, so a Martha pregnancy would just turn the emotional screws on them a bit more. While I don't quite hate Elizabeth and Philip, I never lose sight of their treacherous, often violent, secret lives, so seeing more difficulties placed in their path wouldn't bother me a bit.
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post #730 of 1060 Old 03-02-2014, 09:38 AM
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My guess the Afghans weren't too happy that Philip killed two of their agents. Probably figured out it wasn't the Americans who did it. Didn't he leave the knife with his prints?

So the Afghans did it? Hadn't occurred to me, but it seems likely.

"There is no truth. There's just what you believe."
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post #731 of 1060 Old 03-02-2014, 01:16 PM
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So the Afghans did it? Hadn't occurred to me, but it seems likely.

I don't think so. The Afghans were unaware of the KGB's agents in the U.S. as evidenced by their being taken in by Philip. In any event, they wouldn't have the counterintelligence capacity to discover any other Directorate 3 personnel, especially in a country so foreign to them.
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post #732 of 1060 Old 03-02-2014, 01:32 PM
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The Americans as the best on TV now?? Come on, not as many people think so this year as the ratings dropped, if not tanked. I thought the episode was pretty good, thats it. To say it rates with Nucky, Mad Men, SOA, Justified etc. let alone Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, The Shield, or The Wire is almost laughable to me. Someone mentioned our favorite anti-hero earlier. Let's see Phillip dress up as a Texan and murders 2 Afghan freedom fighters and a kitchen dish washer because he came to work. [Funny wig though]... He isn't my anti-hero, he's a "red" spy.... Come on Stan, figure it out... One thing i have noticed as it's filmed fuzzy, king of like it's on a VCR. Checked Direc and several Cable Co's, they all look the same....Period 80's I guess.
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post #733 of 1060 Old 03-02-2014, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post

Hmm, if the ratings are bad, they may not get to Glastnost, Gorbachev, much less the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the USSR.

...or a Chris Hardwick aftershow...

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post #734 of 1060 Old 03-02-2014, 02:13 PM
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The Americans as the best on TV now?? Come on, not as many people think so this year as the ratings dropped, if not tanked. I thought the episode was pretty good, thats it. To say it rates with Nucky, Mad Men, SOA, Justified etc. let alone Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, The Shield, or The Wire is almost laughable to me.

The majority (and Metacritic average consensus) would disagree. Esecially comparing one season to shows that have been on for years. Justified had an unfocused first season that was not representative of what it became in season two. Boardwalk Empire had a slow and ponderous first season with some similarily distracting ancillary characters. And as genius as The Wire was for four seasons, the final season pushed the boundaries of stupid that made McNulty ridiculous at the expense of other character arcs.

For one season under the belt The Americans is doing no worse than any of the others did at one point or another. Like Justified it could improve dramatically in the second season and beyond.
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post #735 of 1060 Old 03-02-2014, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Ray Lucca View Post

One thing i have noticed as it's filmed fuzzy, king of like it's on a VCR.

That's about the only fault I find with this show. There doesn't seem to be any reason to own it on Blu-ray over DVD, as it's the most visually disinteresting show I currently watch. The content makes up for that, so I guess it's just an excuse to save a few bucks by buying the complete series DVD set over the BD set a few years down the road, assuming it holds up and continues that long.
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post #736 of 1060 Old 03-02-2014, 02:39 PM
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For one season under the belt The Americans is doing no worse than any of the others did at one point or another. Like Justified it could improve dramatically in the second season and beyond.

I thought the first season was amazing. I'm not sure how much it can improve. Of course, I said that about 'Breaking Bad' too...
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post #737 of 1060 Old 03-02-2014, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

The majority (and Metacritic average consensus) would disagree. Esecially comparing one season to shows that have been on for years. Justified had an unfocused first season that was not representative of what it became in season two. Boardwalk Empire had a slow and ponderous first season with some similarily distracting ancillary characters. And as genius as The Wire was for four seasons, the final season pushed the boundaries of stupid that made McNulty ridiculous at the expense of other character arcs.

For one season under the belt The Americans is doing no worse than any of the others did at one point or another. Like Justified it could improve dramatically in the second season and beyond.

I think The Americans is brilliant too. It seems to me to have to have the same combination of humor and darkness that many of us came to know and love in Breaking Bad. It's dark and a lot of bad things happen but, my God, it is compelling! Another show on TV right now that I love isn't really a show, it's a miniseries, is True Detective. As a lover of noir fiction, I believe The Americans to be a perfect example of that genre. It's like looking at film of a John Le Carre novel in a funhouse mirror. I just hope that The Americans doesn't turn out to be too smart for its own good.
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post #738 of 1060 Old 03-02-2014, 02:52 PM
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I thought the first season was amazing. I'm not sure how much it can improve.

If the show could make Martha less gullible it would improve immensely for me. There is already a KGB double agent, so how about an FBI double agent? Martha actually getting clued in that her husband of ten minutes might be a bit suspicious would not only help her character but provide another source of espionage entanglement for the Jennings and the KGB in general.


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post #739 of 1060 Old 03-02-2014, 05:07 PM
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The Americans as the best on TV now?? Come on, not as many people think so this year as the ratings dropped, if not tanked. I thought the episode was pretty good, thats it. To say it rates with Nucky, Mad Men, SOA, Justified etc. let alone Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, The Shield, or The Wire is almost laughable to me. Someone mentioned our favorite anti-hero earlier. Let's see Phillip dress up as a Texan and murders 2 Afghan freedom fighters and a kitchen dish washer because he came to work. [Funny wig though]... He isn't my anti-hero, he's a "red" spy.... Come on Stan, figure it out... One thing i have noticed as it's filmed fuzzy, king of like it's on a VCR. Checked Direc and several Cable Co's, they all look the same....Period 80's I guess.

Finally...a voice of reason!

Don't forget the dull cinematography, either, along with that tepid image quality.

I still put this show a shallow notch above broadcast fare like Person of Interest or The Blacklist, but no higher.
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post #740 of 1060 Old 03-03-2014, 07:52 AM
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Finally...a voice of reason!

Don't forget the dull cinematography, either, along with that tepid image quality.

I still put this show a shallow notch above broadcast fare like Person of Interest or The Blacklist, but no higher.

With all due respect, I suspect that those of you who denigrate The Americans and place it on the same level as the good but far from great Person of Interest and the mostly awful Blacklist, which is saved only by the talent of James Spader, simply don't appreciate great noir. After all not everybody loves very genre. That's why so many horror and sci fi shows make my eyes glaze over.

As sort of an acid test, have you been watching True Detective? if you have seen it what have you thought of it?
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post #741 of 1060 Old 03-03-2014, 08:03 AM
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With all due respect, I suspect that those of you who denigrate The Americans and place it on the same level as the good but far from great Person of Interest and the mostly awful Blacklist, which is saved only by the talent of James Spader, simply don't appreciate great noir. After all not everybody loves very genre. That's why so many horror and sci fi shows make my eyes glaze over.

As sort of an acid test, have you been watching True Detective? if you have seen it what have you thought of it?

That's just it; I don't set out to denigrate it per se, but I have an ongoing set of mini-disappointments with it. I want to like it more. I'm still on board, despite being mildly frustrated with it at the same time. tongue.gif

Gave up on PoI last year due to time constraints; wife still watches. Somehow we're still watching The Blacklist, but its preposterousness grows with each episode, and the female lead (and her hair) couldn't act their way out of a paper bag.

On a positive note, I'm definitely loving True Detective. smile.gif
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post #742 of 1060 Old 03-03-2014, 08:24 AM
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On a positive note, I'm definitely loving True Detective. smile.gif

Great! my faith in your good good taste has been renewed. smile.gifTrue Detective is a noir story for the ages and the performances of its powerfully talented stars make it even stronger. By the way, how many TV series have there been in which the star was the incumbent winner of one of the acting Oscars? None that I can recall, until Matthew McConaughey and True Detective that is.
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post #743 of 1060 Old 03-03-2014, 08:57 AM
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The way the Russians believed Haig was going to take over based on his "I'm in charge" comment, you wonder how they would have reacted to Reagan joking about the bombing starts in 5 minutes quip that he made in the '80s too.

They didn't like it. And let it be known. There was a minor kerfuffle at the time about it

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post #744 of 1060 Old 03-03-2014, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbarach View Post

^^
Phillip looks like such a doofus in his Martha wig, and Martha is such a tool, that it makes this plot line good for comic relief.

Is Martha not at all active in bed? You'd think that she would have at least dislodged that Donald Trump reject by now.

I have thought that too, but looking at how the Afghan wig was attached when it finally came off, that may be why it hasn't come off, yet. But there are stupid people in this world. Just because you work in DC doesn't make you smart. Just look at what is going on today to see that is a true statement.

Martha's weak spot is she wants to be truly loved, at any cost. She dressed somewhat homely at the start and she had the other FBI agent, Amador, after her, but she thought he was a player (he was) and only wanted her for conquest (maybe not in this case. He was stalking her). Not what she wants. She wants "love." She told him so. "Clark" on the other hand, is in "love" with her and treats her with "loving" respect, and because of that, she would do anything for him, including placing the pen bug in Gaad's office. She said so before she placed it because she doesn't want to lose him. She is afraid she might not be loved again. Low self esteem. (Philip could change that!) She is totally blinded by love. Philip worked that one well. And I suspect Philip has fallen for her in someway too. In his world, she is "uncomplicated," completely the opposite of Elizabeth who is a handful no matter what is going on. Maybe a little "dumb" is what he is needing about right now and he may be thinking if they are found out, he can melt into the landscape with Martha and stay comfortably under the radar.

If I remember correctly, "Clark" told Martha he is a USA "friendly" diplomat (was it Sweden?) and that is why he is always interested in what the FBI is up to and why he is gone a lot. Alison Wright, who is the actor who plays Martha was upped from recurring role to starring role this season. So Martha is going to be around for a while, for at least this season.

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post #745 of 1060 Old 03-03-2014, 09:34 AM
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I stand with you Todd. The Americans, so far this year, is pretty good. I was on it last year and stuck with it during an akward boring beginning. Stated it got really good as it rolled through the episodes. Using the scoreboard as a guide the ratings tanked last Tuesday. Let's see how it does tomorrow.
As to you GW... Good to know "your faith is renewed". I was holding my breath for your approval.....I think words like "Love", "Outstanding", "Best on TV", "Best ever" etc. are thrown around much too easily. It's like rating a player for the Hall of Fame...It's not the "Hall of Very Good", but the Best of the Best.
True Detective is very good, yet I fell asleep during the premiere. Several friends bailed and said boring. Boy, did they miss out.. Luckily I went back and re-watched it, and have ridden the wave. If Woody is in it, I'm in. McCon. is terrific too, man it's hard to hear through his drawl, mumbling, but worth it. Season Finale, next Sunday.
I also liked Frank Darabont's show last Dec. on TNT. [The original name was "LA Noir"]. It got better and better, and of course had Shane from WD. Too bad it wasn't renewed.. I guess that was Noir...
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post #746 of 1060 Old 03-03-2014, 09:52 AM
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If you watched the sneak peak after the first episode the martha phillip marriage is going to get very rocky during the season
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post #747 of 1060 Old 03-03-2014, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

Great! my faith in your good good taste has been renewed. smile.gifTrue Detective is a noir story for the ages and the performances of its powerfully talented stars make it even stronger. By the way, how many TV series have there been in which the star was the incumbent winner of one of the acting Oscars? None that I can recall, until Matthew McConaughey and True Detective that is.

Thanks! smile.gif You'll also be glad to know I hold Breaking Bad in my personal all-time top three TV shows, and I'm also a huge Dexter fan, and a reasonably big Homeland fan. You would also probably steer me toward Justified, which I have not yet seen an episode.
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Thanks! smile.gif You'll also be glad to know I hold Breaking Bad in my personal all-time top three TV shows, and I'm also a huge Dexter fan, and a reasonably big Homeland fan. You would also probably steer me toward Justified, which I have not yet seen an episode.

Yep, Breaking Bad is on my personal honor role with Deadwood and damn few others. I must say, though, that True Detective is on the verge of making the cut. As much as I have enjoyed The Americans, I am not yet ready to place it in the rarified company of the others. Justified is another great show but, because I am a devoted fan of the sainted Elmore Leonard, I am far from unbiased. The Justified writers have done such a great job of channelling Leonard, I love every minute of the show.
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post #749 of 1060 Old 03-03-2014, 05:45 PM
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From Esquire On Line. Interesting insights to how they are building this season and an explanation of the Soviet ability to get info easily and many times, giving it up willingly thinking they are doing something good for the USA. (Martha?)

Also, the season finale wrapped shooting last week.

Possible spoilers if you can't seen this episode.

Season 2, Episode 1: "Comrades"

During the new season of The Americans, we're looking at the show's use of espionage tactics and getting behind-the-scenes accounts from the creators, directors, make-up artists, actors, and even former spies to help analyze what's under the covers. To kick things off, Esquire spoke to The Americans creator Joe Weisberg and co-executive producer Joel Fields about the premiere, "Comrades," which they co-wrote, and what to look for as the season unfolds.

ESQUIRE.COM: What's the most striking spy tactic we see in "Comrades"?

JOE WEISBERG: The brief, single operational act in the first episode is a "brush pass." It's the second time we go to the amusement park. You see Philip go get Henry and pull him away and that's when the sequence starts. It's a great little piece of tradecraft. I was in the CIA and learned how to do them and then taught all the staff and actors how to do brush passes. They're a lot of fun to do. And one of the great things about a brush pass is that they're harder than they look. You really got to practice them. Ninety-five percent of people, the first time they do a brush pass, they drop it. But by the fifth time you do it, you can do it okay. The truth to it, is to do it without looking. If you look down, you give yourself away. The idea of the brush pass is that you can hand something off to another person in a public place, you can do it under surveillance, and no one will ever notice it. It's a very, very discreet act. In a crowd, two people pass by each other all the time. The little ways that their hands bump into each other are just not noticeable unless someone is actually looking for it. If somebody's actually looking for it, you're pretty much screwed. They already know you're a spy. We were able to get videos of KGB brush passes and it was very interesting to see those because there are some variations.

ESQ: An important spy scene comes right at the beginning, when Philip and Emmett pose as airport security and "bust" a Lockheed analyst.

JW: There's something about the Soviets and how brilliant they were with what we call "human intelligence." Working people. They were so great at figuring out how to drill into someone's psyche and having them give up intelligence without ever knowing they did it. Part of the genius of the sting at the end is that guy doesn't even know that he was conned. It's all just about getting the codes to his briefcase. He's experiencing it in such a different way. There should be no way that he would know he's been turned to be a Soviet agent. He actually thinks he's being a patriotic American.

ESQ: How does one get into a mindset to play a con like this?

JW: I've thought about finding some former agency guys and putting them in the show. I thought to myself, "I wonder if they could act," because that is what they do. There is a capacity to play a role and become someone else. After a while, with enough training and practice, to have that focus and play that role becomes second-nature to people. You have to be able to compartmentalize things and take your fear and anxiety and put that somewhere so it's not distracting you.

ESQ: It appears that Philip and Elizabeth will have to work hard to keep their cover from their kids in season two. In the first episode, was their sex scene a cover or were they actually into each other?

JOEL FIELDS: In our minds, it was legitimate. But we're big believers that things are open to interpretation and we shouldn't always have the final word on things. Intimacy was a part of what we were going for and they're at a place in their marriage for that.

ESQ: What new espionage tactics can we look forward to in season two?

JW: There's a stable of tradecraft that we've used in season one that we'll be returning to. There's your brush passes, your dead drops, and your codes and your signals. There is a counter-surveillance thing we filmed that, for my money, is one of the most original takes on it that I've ever seen on film. I don't want to build it up too much, because it's possible nobody will even notice it.

ESQ: Will the FBI and Stan Beeman get more stealth?

JF: Stealth will certainly play a role this season. Stan and his team are going to have to step it up if they're ever going to get ahead.

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/culture/the-americans-recap-season-2-episode-1

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post #750 of 1060 Old 03-04-2014, 09:40 AM
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^^^ Nice. Thanks for posting.

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