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'The Americans' on FX HD - Page 11

post #301 of 893
I'll bet the son's lie about someone's Mom bringing them home will come back to bite him in the derriere. eek.gif.
post #302 of 893
Thread Starter 
@oink: Want to see some hardcore beer? (Sort of on-topic as the name/style of the beer is Russian related.)
North Coast Brewing Company's Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin, Russian Imperial Stout.

Did not buy it thankfully. I may buy it for a special occasion and after a paycheck, lol biggrin.gif
I don't see how it can be so expensive! It's only a 500ml size. $22 for like 1-1/2 glasses of beer.


You are awesome btw.
post #303 of 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by Young C View Post

@oink: Want to see some hardcore beer? (Sort of on-topic as the name/style of the beer is Russian related.)
North Coast Brewing Company's Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin, Russian Imperial Stout.

Did not buy it thankfully. I may buy it for a special occasion and after a paycheck, lol biggrin.gif
I don't see how it can be so expensive! It's only a 500ml size. $22 for like 1-1/2 glasses of beer.


You are awesome btw.

I'm not sure where you're located, but it is a lot cheaper here.....

http://www.bevmo.com/Shop/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=4172
post #304 of 893
Have recorded but not yet watched. Curious how they handle leftist (thus enemies of the United States) main characters. Are we given hope that liberty will be defended successfully?
post #305 of 893
The show is primarily about how humans manage to balance conflicting loyalties between family and state, and this struggle exists on both the American and Russian sides. It is not so simplistic as to present one side as "good" and the other as "bad"; the characters are complex and flawed individuals that are not solely defined by their national allegiances.

That's why the show is so compelling: it isn't about one side being "victorious" over the other; it's about how such a conflict impacts the lives of the people involved in it and how a life in the intelligence community (whether it be as a spy or in the counterintelligence business) takes a toll on a person's ability to relate to, and more importantly trust, other people.
post #306 of 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by Young C View Post

@oink: Want to see some hardcore beer? (Sort of on-topic as the name/style of the beer is Russian related.)
North Coast Brewing Company's Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin, Russian Imperial Stout.

Did not buy it thankfully. I may buy it for a special occasion and after a paycheck, lol biggrin.gif
I don't see how it can be so expensive! It's only a 500ml size. $22 for like 1-1/2 glasses of beer.
This whole 500ml size bottles business is very irritating.
The prices are outrageous, to say the least.
What are we buying here?
The liquid inside or the artwork on the bottle?

My rant aside for a moment, this Rasputin has a very cool bottle....biggrin.gif

Quote:
You are awesome btw.
Thank you...I keep telling me wife that very same thing....and she keeps watching Brad Pitt movies....eek.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by IAM4UK View Post

Have recorded but not yet watched. Curious how they handle leftist (thus enemies of the United States) main characters. Are we given hope that liberty will be defended successfully?
What do you mean "leftist (thus enemies of the United States) main characters?"
Are you trying to be naughty again, UK?
post #307 of 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by IAM4UK View Post

Have recorded but not yet watched. Curious how they handle leftist (thus enemies of the United States) main characters. Are we given hope that liberty will be defended successfully?
Quote:
Originally Posted by oink 
What do you mean "leftist (thus enemies of the United States) main characters?"
Are you trying to be naughty again, UK?

I think he meant to say "Soviet communist", as not all "leftists" were Soviets, or communists, and certainly not enemies of the U.S.

In fact, communists aren't even enemies anymore. Or else we've turned over billions of dollars of our national debt to an enemy, not to mention stocking every department store in the country with items made there. That wouldn't be too smart.

Don't think this show is going to be up your alley UK. Might as well delete and move on. You'll be happier.
post #308 of 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

The show is primarily about how humans manage to balance conflicting loyalties between family and state, and this struggle exists on both the American and Russian sides. It is not so simplistic as to present one side as "good" and the other as "bad"; the characters are complex and flawed individuals that are not solely defined by their national allegiances.

That's why the show is so compelling: it isn't about one side being "victorious" over the other; it's about how such a conflict impacts the lives of the people involved in it and how a life in the intelligence community (whether it be as a spy or in the counterintelligence business) takes a toll on a person's ability to relate to, and more importantly trust, other people.

Good points! I concur with each one of them with the exception of the highlighted words above. I do agree with you that it would be *simplistic* to label one as "good" and the other as "bad," but yet the reality is one side (i.e. the Soviet Union) was "bad." In saying this I'm speaking primarily of its ideology, for history has proven that Marxism (i.e. Communism) led to a few men leading lives of power, corruption and lasciviousness, while the masses were enslaved and demeaned by those in power. I will never forget when President Reagen boldy stated that the Soviet Union was an "Evil Empire" and I agreed with him. Some time later I was elated to see Mr. Reagan urge Mr. Gorbachev to "tear this wall down" (the "Berlin Wall" in Berlin, Germany) and even more jubilant when the wall did come down. As we all know, that Wall symbolized the ideology of Communism that enslaved men and treated them as nothing more than parts in a machine. Our own country knew something of this mindset during the many years of slavery and it was a precious day indeed when the Civil War ended and slavery was abolished (which set the tone for the future "Civil Rights" movement).

Again, I do agree with you though that the beauty of The Americans is seen in the complexity of the characters and the conflicts that arise in people's lives due to family and national allegiances. Because of this I can overlook the ideology (to some extent) of Philip and Elizabeth and actually root for them during the crises they face because of the rising conflicts between family and the Motherland. In saying I am rooting for them, I'm obviously not saying I hope they'll continue to succeed in their espionage, but I'm hoping they'll both find a true, moral compass and be delivered from the Communistic ideology (and from anything immoral they detect in our own beloved USA).
post #309 of 893
The main characters are working to harm America, correct?

Is that as tough a sell as it would seem, or are they more like Oskar Schindler, flawed but redeemable?
post #310 of 893
Huh, I've got a 4-pack of NCB Brother Thelonious sitting next to me atm. I don't normally buy this kind of thing, I like to stick with the known, and I'm a Steamer guy from way back, but it's different/good enough to warrant the price. Basically couldn't pass up a beer that donates to a jazz foundation.
post #311 of 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

I concur with each one of them with the exception of the highlighted words above. I do agree with you that it would be *simplistic* to label one as "good" and the other as "bad," but yet the reality is one side (i.e. the Soviet Union) was "bad."

That rather addresses my meaning behind saying, "The show is primarily about how humans manage to balance conflicting loyalties between family and state." The nations involved don't particularly matter; the story exists on a personal level, not a national one. The scenario would work with two spies from any nation living in any foreign country; the producers chose the Cold War as their backdrop, but the exigencies presented would remain essentially the same in other contexts. As such, history's judgements on the merits of Communism are irrelevant to the series.
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

Again, I do agree with you though that the beauty of The Americans is seen in the complexity of the characters and the conflicts that arise in people's lives due to family and national allegiances. Because of this I can overlook the ideology (to some extent) of Philip and Elizabeth and actually root for them during the crises they face because of the rising conflicts between family and the Motherland. In saying I am rooting for them, I'm obviously not saying I hope they'll continue to succeed in their espionage, but I'm hoping they'll both find a true, moral compass and be delivered from the Communistic ideology (and from anything immoral they detect in our own beloved USA).

We root for Philip and Elizabeth because they are the protagonists, not because we want Communism to win. This story would also work if it was set in reverse, i.e. following a fake family of American spies living in Russia. It's likely that all this perceived controversy over the unthinkable nature of rooting for "the enemy" would never have arisen had the show been configured in that manner, but the show would also have been far less interesting that way.

The Americans is also something of a study in other cultures and understanding that other nations' citizens can have just as much devotion to their countries as we do, as well as realizing that the views of individual citizens rarely reflect the entirety of a regime's policies. People will go to extremes if they are under the impression that drastic measures are necessary for the preservation of their homelands, even if their country's current rulers are less than stellar. The characters of Philip and Elizabeth are two examples of such people: it is perhaps a little extreme to say that we must overlook their ideologies, as they likely do not agree with or even know about all the policies of their government. They are just answering the call to serve their country, the same as intelligence personnel do around the world, even when they may not always agree with the governments they serve. The key element in The Americans is the human one: what matters is rooting for Philip and Elizabeth to fulfill their obligations while keeping their family safe in an inherently dangerous business; the political views of their superiors are largely irrelevant and should not make us feel guilty for liking them.

This is why the producers chose to make a show like this today, rather than twenty years ago. Such a show that dared to humanize "the enemy" would have seemed unthinkable when the Cold War was fresh in citizens' minds, but today many of the people watching the show grew up after those events were already over. Enjoying this show requires some objectivity and distance from the events of the time and understanding that the desire to serve one's country and to protect its interests is not a concept unique to the citizens of one nation.
post #312 of 893
^^^^+1000. Very well, and politely, said. Hopefully it ends the discussion but I somehow doubt it.
post #313 of 893
Thing were so much simpler when we were the good guys.
post #314 of 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonwolf615 View Post

^^^^+1000. Very well, and politely, said. Hopefully it ends the discussion but I somehow doubt it.

His was a fine post, certainly, but why would you want to "end the discussion" of this show's merits, challenges, and nature? Is that not a purpose of this thread?
post #315 of 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

This is why the producers chose to make a show like this today, rather than twenty years ago. Such a show that dared to humanize "the enemy" would have seemed unthinkable when the Cold War was fresh in citizens' minds, but today many of the people watching the show grew up after those events were already over. Enjoying this show requires some objectivity and distance from the events of the time and understanding that the desire to serve one's country and to protect its interests is not a concept unique to the citizens of one nation.
If you want another example of this, check out the movie "Tora! Tora! Tora!" which tells the story of Pearl Harbor from the Japanese side. You see that same "call to arms" and loyalty to country, despite what "side" they were on.
post #316 of 893
I find when watching this show I don't root for either side which is rare for me. It's a lot like Breaking Bad in that respect and that's in no way a bad thing.
post #317 of 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonwolf615 View Post

^^^^+1000. Very well, and politely, said. Hopefully it ends the discussion but I somehow doubt it.

Are you implying that my post wasn't *politely* said?
post #318 of 893
бодаться больно.
post #319 of 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by darthrsg View Post

бодаться больно.

^^^ Darth's a spy! I knew it!!
post #320 of 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

This is why the producers chose to make a show like this today, rather than twenty years ago. Such a show that dared to humanize "the enemy" would have seemed unthinkable when the Cold War was fresh in citizens' minds, but today many of the people watching the show grew up after those events were already over. Enjoying this show requires some objectivity and distance from the events of the time and understanding that the desire to serve one's country and to protect its interests is not a concept unique to the citizens of one nation.

Again, let me state [emphatically] that I agree with the majority of the points you raised and as I've said in several posts, "I'm thoroughly enjoying the series and find it to be my favorite show currently." I find the show to be captivating and have been drawn deeply into the characters of Philip and Elizabeth (and even their children, especially after the last episode), as well as others. So, as you stated, "this story exists on a personal level, not a national one," and I'm focusing mainly on that level.

Having said that, the storyline still depicts the Cold War between America and the Soviet Union and one simply can't ignore that aspect of the show. You make an excellent point in saying, "today many of the people watching the show grew up after those events were already over." For those viewers it is relatively easy to be objective. But for those, like me, that lived through that era, it is impossible to be completely objective. Going back 20 years prior to the Reagan adminisration, we had the Kennedy years and the Cuban Missile crisis. I was just entering my teens at that time and I will NEVER forget the fear instilled in me and most of my peers/fellow-Americans as we considered the very real possibility of a nuclear war. Some may recall the threatening words of Nikita Khrushchev who vowed to destroy America with his infamous words, "We will bury you!" Those words struck terror into my young heart and when the Cuban Missile crisis took place most of America was in a state of shock, hoping for the best. When the Russian fleet, carrying nuclear missiles to Cuban launching sites, retreated back to the Soviet Union there was a collective sigh of relief, yet the Cold War raged on until that fateful day when the Berlin Wall came down. One who lived through these times would find it impossible to completely dismiss the national element of the show and the two very diverse ideologies.
post #321 of 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by darthrsg View Post

бодаться больно.

Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

^^^ Darth's a spy! I knew it!!

Nah, he's complaining about sitting too long... wink.gifbiggrin.gif
post #322 of 893
The vast Military Industrial Complex demands a fearsome enemy, lest we suddenly wake up and realize spending more on "defense" then the next 25 countries in the world combined (24 of which are our allies), might not be the best use of our limited resources. That's the beauty of the GWOT. As long as there's one dirty, bearded fanatic living in a cave shouting "Death to America", we're told we can never really feel "safe". So the threat is built up far more than it deserves. Fear is a great motivator, and the M.I.C. has a voracious appetite.

There's a certain nostalgia involved in the Cold War though, the stuff of thousands of filmed and literary thrillers. We viewed the Soviets as kind of our equals militarily. Their troops wore uniforms, drove tanks, flew jets, and had ICBM's. Their spies and our spies played the espionage game under a certain set of rules, dramatized here in this series. Seems almost quaint now.

But, strange as it may sound, there was a certain comfort level there when we knew what we were dealing with. And a certain justification to having a giant military machine. Now? Well, opinions vary. Showtime's 'Sleeper Cell' and 'Homeland' have tried to dramatize a similar threat for modern audiences, but somehow it just doesn't feel authentic. These new evildoers have demonstrated over and over they just aren't that smart, cool, or good-looking. wink.gif
Edited by archiguy - 3/10/13 at 10:07am
post #323 of 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

The vast Military Industrial Complex demands a fearsome enemy, lest we suddenly wake up and realize spending more on "defense" then the next 25 countries in the world combined (24 of which are our allies), might not be the best use of our limited resources. That's the beauty of the GWOT. As long as there's one dirty, bearded fanatic living in a cave shouting "Death to America", we're told we can never really feel "safe". So the threat is built up far more than it deserves. Fear is a great motivator, and the M.I.C. has a voracious appetite.

There's a certain nostalgia involved in the Cold War though, the stuff of thousands of filmed and literary thrillers. We viewed the Soviets as kind of our equals militarily. Their troops wore uniforms, drove tanks, flew jets, and had ICBM's. Their spies and our spies played the espionage game under a certain set of rules, dramatized here in this series. Seems almost quaint now.

But, strange as it may sound, there was a certain comfort level there when we knew what we were dealing with. And a certain justification to having a giant military machine. Now? Well, opinions vary. Showtime's 'Sleeper Cell' and 'Homeland' have tried to dramatize a similar threat for modern audiences, but somehow it just doesn't feel authentic. These new evildoers have demonstrated over and over they just aren't that smart, cool, or good-looking. wink.gif

Agree.
post #324 of 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by IAM4UK View Post

His was a fine post, certainly, but why would you want to "end the discussion" of this show's merits, challenges, and nature? Is that not a purpose of this thread?
My instincts were right....you were trying to be naughty.
Do we have to do this again????

I am surprised you believe people around here have short memories....
post #325 of 893
I don't worry at all about the underlying politics of The Americans. Its magic to me is that Philip and Elizabeth are spies in America posing as Americans, right down to their children who really are Americans. On one side against them is the FBI's large and well funded counterintelligence operations and on the other a paranoid KGB made more paranoid by the US's massively increased defense spending, including the development of an antimissile defense system. Poor Philip and Elizabeth don't know which way to jump and watching them try to navigate the treacherous waters they are in is never less than fascinating.
post #326 of 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

I don't worry at all about the underlying politics of The Americans. Its magic to me is that Philip and Elizabeth are spies in America posing as Americans, right down to their children who really are Americans. On one side against them is the FBI's large and well funded counterintelligence operations and on the other a paranoid KGB made more paranoid by the US's massively increased defense spending, including the development of an antimissile defense system. Poor Philip and Elizabeth don't know which way to jump and watching them try to navigate the treacherous waters they are in is never less than fascinating.
Exactly. I don't root for Philip and Elizabeth as Russian spies. I root for Philip and Elizabeth as Russian spies who MAY someday "see the light" and become as American as their kids.
post #327 of 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoilerJim View Post

Exactly. I don't root for Philip and Elizabeth as Russian spies. I root for Philip and Elizabeth as Russian spies who MAY someday "see the light" and become as American as their kids.

Ditto!

My thoughts exactly, though I would qualify them by saying America was far from perfect back then (and now), so "seeing the light" would basically be interpreted as "realizing the freedoms America offers" in contrast to the dictatorial regime of Russia that offered them little or no opportunity to experience "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
post #328 of 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

Ditto!

My thoughts exactly, though I would qualify them by saying America was far from perfect back then (and now), so "seeing the light" would basically be interpreted as "realizing the freedoms America offers" in contrast to the dictatorial regime of Russia that offered them little or no opportunity to experience "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Then as now America had its drawbacks. But Philip and Elizabeth Jennings are real Americans in the eyes of everybody but their KGB masters. The Jennings' children really are real Americans. Now, the KGB is worried about the Jennings' loyalty. What all this adds up to to me is that the Jennings have a vested interest in finding a way to keep the family together and in America and avoid returning to the USSR, a country in which their children would be foreigners. That's not a pleasant prospect but the prospect of defection has to be nearly as distasteful to them. Is it any wonder that Philip and Elizabeth are stressed nearly to the breaking point.?
post #329 of 893
Regarding last week's episode, I was half expecting the guy who picked the kids up to be a KGB agent sent to monitor them during the interrogation process and to "dispatch" them if their parents didn't perform adequately. Maybe I'm getting as paranoid as Philip and Elizabeth. wink.gif
post #330 of 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

Regarding last week's episode, I was half expecting the guy who picked the kids up to be a KGB agent sent to monitor them during the interrogation process and to "dispatch" them if their parents didn't perform adequately. Maybe I'm getting as paranoid as Philip and Elizabeth. wink.gif

Those scenes with the hitchhiker-ride guy were kind of weird. I couldn't quite figure out what his deal was. Either it was just a throw-away scene designed to ratchet up tension by putting the kids in a perilous situation, or it was meant to show that Henry is a budding chip off the ol' block. A kid who can do what's necessary, even at his age.

Remember the scene where Elizabeth was telling Philip that if anything happened to them, Paige was going to be all right? She could make it without them. But she was worried about Henry, not sure he'd be able to cope with the loss of his parents and the shocking realization of who they really were. Looks like she may have underestimated the lad.
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