jae: (theamericansgecko)
[personal profile] jae posting in [community profile] theamericans
A Forbes interview with the David Madden, president of Fox Television Studios, about an executive's look at producing The Americans.

A Vulture interview with Alison Wright (Martha) on Martha's chances of survival and other matters.

An Esquire interview with South African actor Cliff Simon, who played Yossi-the-Mossad-agent in "The Deal" (episode 205).

A Shape interview with Avital Zeisler, the self-defense expert who trained Keri Russell (Elizabeth) how to fight using something that could pass as systema.

TV Guide's piece "Underneath the Wigs," based on an interview with hair and makeup artist Peg Schierholz.

A Greencastle Echo-Pilot interview with makeup artist Lori Hicks.

An FX-produced mini-documentary takes a look at the KGB Rezidentura and what it took to build the set.

The official description has been released for episode 210.

Columnist Blake Rutherford from Arkansas Business makes a comparison between the show's political stories and the real-life politics of today.

There are some new spoilers from TV Guide's Ask Ausiello column.

The fashion blog Into the Gloss has a piece on how to replicate Elizabeth's early 80s look.

The Americans is now airing in Israel, with each episode airing the Sunday after it aired in the U.S. and Canada.

And there are two new 8tracks.com fanmixes for the show: Sorry I Didn't Kill You and Party At Ground Zero.

Date: 2014-04-01 12:07 am (UTC)
quantumreality: (americans1)
From: [personal profile] quantumreality
Oh lord, if they cancel the show now--! :O

A series like this REALLY needs to at least take us a few more years in. :|

Date: 2014-04-02 01:27 am (UTC)
alisonx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alisonx
I know it's too early but I'm getting fidgety and impatient! March Madness Massacre in TV land and The Americans is my only purely good show left. Just give me a renewal and let me forget about HIMYM and TGW :(

Date: 2014-03-31 06:04 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
Now I want to hear all the reactions from Israel for the last ep!

It looks like the spoilers were for this weeks ep. Oh well!

Date: 2014-03-31 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
It looks like all the reactions from Israel is me ;-) i can't find much discussion of this show, and none of season 2.

Date: 2014-03-31 08:49 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
Yep. Well, in any case, it doesn't look like a very popular show :-(

Though it's also a very hard name to search for.

Date: 2014-03-31 09:00 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
Looks like it's up to you to get the entire country of Israel watching... :-)

Date: 2014-03-31 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
We could all PRETEND to be Americans!

Date: 2014-03-31 11:58 pm (UTC)
quantumreality: (Default)
From: [personal profile] quantumreality
You know, there was actually a newspaper article - I want to say, about 15 years ago now? About "illegal" Canadians in the USA, who were in the US on a combination of overstaying student visas, or just semipermanently staying in the US (in those days US Customs pretty much took you at your word if you said you were making a day trip and didn't bother to check up on you) and working under the table.

Considering many of us speak essentially the same language, albeit with dialectical differences, as English-speaking Americans do, it's not surprising that Canadians got (and still get) a pretty easy ride of it. :P

Date: 2014-04-01 12:08 am (UTC)
quantumreality: (collider)
From: [personal profile] quantumreality
At this point I would totally be unsurprised to hear that CSIS was running some kind of program like that. The cultural adjustment wouldn't even BE that much of one, either. :P

Date: 2014-04-01 05:39 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
I'd be very surprised if the Canadians don't have spies in the US, but this is exactly the issue that's been eating at me from the beginning. What would an illegals program give the Canadians (or anybody else) that a regular spy wouldn't?

It seems to me that everything we see on the show can be done just as well by a regular spy whose family lives back home.

Pretending to have a back story - like when Stan talks about where he was when Kennedy was killed and P&E join in - did they really need to live in the US for 20 years for that?

Date: 2014-04-01 02:24 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
Thank you for that article! It's very interesting. What does he mean by this sentence: "Certainly, the illegals are used in other countries with difficult counterintelligence environments like Britain, for example, but rarely in "soft" countries like Austria or Finland."

I've been thinking about what I wrote.. and I do take some of it back. I can see the advantages to having somebody in the country full time forever. Even if they aren't native-native, they'll still have less chance of getting caught. And if you send in a regular spy, he'll have to rebuild his networks and connections every few years. But I'm still not sure those advantages are worth the effort (both money-wise and psychological). We don't know how many have been turned or caught. I realize the KGB disagrees ;-)
Edited Date: 2014-04-01 02:24 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-04-01 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
Makes sense.

I found this: Inside soviet military intelligence

The basic flow of agent material which is not subject to particular suspicion goes from countries with hard regimes into countries with more soft regimes. In the opinion of the GRU, an opinion fortified by the experience of many years, the hardest country is Great Britain, followed by France, the United States, the Federal Republic of Germany, Belgium and Holland. As soft countries the GRU includes Finland, Ireland and Austria among others.

Date: 2014-04-01 04:41 pm (UTC)
quantumreality: (americans1)
From: [personal profile] quantumreality
There are some unique features of American culture that can only really be appreciated as an American, which is why Philip and Elizabeth were pushed into this program of extensive practice and indoctrination of subsuming their identities as Misha and Nadezhda in favor of Philip and Elizabeth.

Even Canadians, for all that they can take on a veneer of Americanization, are still essentially apart in some undefinable ways from Americans unless they actually live and act as Americans.

Date: 2014-04-01 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
I've already talked Jae's ear off about this, but I'll add a bit more ;-)

There are some unique features of American culture that can only really be appreciated as an American

Right, but I don't think a few years of intense training and then living in the US for 5,10,15 years can give you what growing up in that environment will give you. There will always be that one little thing you didn't think of, or didn't pick up yet. You'll still be different. Add to that the regional differences, in language and attitude.

If I were trying to build a cover, I'd therefore go with somebody who's not American, so any slip will be easily attributed to 'well, she's not from here'.

The illegal option means you put in all that effort and put your people through hell, when they can still slip up and still be caught. There might be less of a chance of that, but there's also less of a chance that when things get hairy, you'll pull them out in time. Because losing an illegal would be much more of a loss than a regular spy.

They do have an advantage of being there, and building long term contacts, but when we're talking about an ideological war like US vs. USSR, why not use a local who supports your cause?

Date: 2014-03-31 11:26 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
If you can believe it, I wasn't even thinking of ratings. I just think everyone should see how great it is!

Date: 2014-03-31 06:27 pm (UTC)
soupytwist: Dude says NO to heterosexuality. (mmm... vice)
From: [personal profile] soupytwist
I love that Alison Wright interview, even if they did call Martha "feisty"! I love that she's really invested in how Martha's view of the situation is really, really, REALLY different than the audience's. It's so true. I love the note that Martha thinks she's in control, that she's the alpha. Cause: YES, omfg, exactly.

Date: 2014-03-31 08:59 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
I'm so glad we've now got "Simple Jenny" for that character.

But yeah, Martha really isn't a sad character. A lot of people I've seen try to read a pathetic-ness to her that isn't there. I mean, there's something sad about her situation, sure, but there's no indication that she's in the mess because she's so starved for attention and nobody else would ever want her. Clark just presented himself as a good candidate and, as I love that she points out, Martha thinks she's the alpha in this situation because that's how Clark's been created. (And God knows Philip has plenty of practice being the adaptive husband...) I love that he's possibly going to have to adapt more and focus.

I feel like this past ep might have been sort of a turning point that way, actually. That Elizabeth and Philip have now both done the first stage of their processing over the Emmett Leanne tragedy and now they're going to get more focused on work so Clark will be more focused with Martha and Elizabeth less frazzled in general.

Date: 2014-03-31 09:35 pm (UTC)
soupytwist: Dude says NO to heterosexuality. (mmm... vice)
From: [personal profile] soupytwist
YES! She's tragic, in my opinion - because we know she's in constant danger that she doesn't know, it's very traditionally Epic Tragedy sort of tragic - but not pathetic.

(Actually, Clark seems such a doof in some respects that I think that's not helped the impression of Martha as pathetic, like, what sort of woman would go for him? But the answer is, a woman who wants to be the one making decisions and feeling like she's loved and important!)

I think you are probably right about the latest ep being a turning point, and I am super excited to see how that goes. Martha wanting to put him on an application form is a big step, he has tor espond to it somehow, and as long as Martha doesn't end up in a dumpster or something I am super excited to find out how! I think Elizabeth is going to be where the conjunction of work and family stuff happens though, I kind of suspect her work energy is suddenly going to be going into looking into Paige...

Date: 2014-03-31 07:59 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
In that Cliff Simon interview there's a point where he crosses the char-actor lines: "Matthew was never aggressive toward me.. But that's how he's been trained."

Um.. he means Philip, I hope.

Date: 2014-06-30 09:09 am (UTC)
misaffection: (Baal: Disappoint)
From: [personal profile] misaffection
I think it's hard to play a one-off character in such emotional scenes with already established characters. The Mossad agent doesn't even have a name. In that situation, you have to go off the other actor for cues, so it's natural for Cliff to be thinking of Matthew and not Philip.

For me, being a fan of Cliff's, The Deal was amazing. It was bloody hard to watch - he's not the only one claustrophobic! - but it was interesting to see Philip come up against someone so similar, who wasn't the enemy but still stood in his way. There was an understanding between them, and we've not really seen anything like that so far.

I hope he'll be back. I want more of that. And yeah, I'm not going to complain about having more Cliff Simon on my screen. *laughs*

Date: 2014-07-02 09:57 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treonb
Though we don't know if he had a name from the actor's pov. It was only used by the other guy.

Date: 2014-04-01 12:00 am (UTC)
quantumreality: (arkady)
From: [personal profile] quantumreality
I love those tidbits about Arkady and how he's decorated his office :D The way he collects memorabilia that has roots in older times than the USSR, has unusual working hours, doesn't mind knocking back a tumbler of vodka while he works - all that says something about the kind of man he is and it's not a one-dimensional The Villain kind of portrait.


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