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The Americans..  
30th-Mar-2014 02:47 pm
the americans
.. Not trying to be mean about this show. I've desperately tried to like it, because Matthew likes working on this show so much. But I just don't like  this show. And I don't know what it is.

I think I can compare watching this show with a comedy with a 'laugh-tape' underneath. I don't need to hear the laughter to get that there's a joke, but I won't laugh at the joke if the joke isn't funny. With "The Americans" I can see it, but not 'feel' it.

Maybe that a lot of that feeling is due to Elizabeth. This is by no means some dig at Keri's acting. I think she's doing a good job, I get where Elizabeth is coming from, I can understand her worries for her kids etc, but I don't give a sh**. If she is concerned/worried/scared about something, I just end up rolling my eyes and think 'get over yourself, drama-queen'. I think it's because Elizabeth has been an ice-berg for too long, that her about-turn just feels incredibly fake to me. I'm more concerned/have more compassion for Sandra, Nina or Martha.

Maybe it's knowing that Philip/Elizabeth will always get out of it alive, is what takes the sting out of these episodes as well. Like watching an episode of the A-team, you just know that, regardless how well the trap, they will get out of it. No worries. (Unfortunately the 'ways out' for P/E aren't half as entertaining as the A-team's. :S)

I think that Matthew is doing an phenomenal job in showing off his acting talents, he makes each character a different one and I watch in awe of his subtlety, the nuances on his face, the way that he uses his body and everything, but I'm not engaged in Philip at all. Again, there's no need to be worried about him either.

If Matthew hadn't been in it, I would stop watching this show. And though I know that Matthew likes this role, because he does get to slip in all these different disguises and I want him to be happy and with a steady job and such, a part of me wouldn't shed a tear if this show got cancelled tomorrow.
30th-Mar-2014 12:57 pm (UTC)
Oh Dear!! In all honestly I tried my best to watch it ONLY for Matthew now for some reason it does not excite me.. I do not get/connect with Lizy at all she is very Passive Aggressive for my liking. I also think people over selling that they have a Smoking Chemistry just kills it for me.. Storylines are tiresome and getting almost a procedural twist.. I have taken a break from this show for now will go back sometime later ...
30th-Mar-2014 02:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, God, yes, the 'chemistry'. I guess I still have a trauma from Justin/Rebecca and their 'chemistry'. :D The word has gotten a icky feeling to it (for me).
I'd like to quit too, but, like B&S's season 5, I keep hoping that the show will pull me (back) in 'next episode...'.
30th-Mar-2014 02:15 pm (UTC)
I suppose I shouldn't comment about "The Americans" because I dislike it so much. But well, lately I have been commenting about it a lot with my friends in real life so I suppose I can share my thoughts in the virtual world too :)

For starting I hate violence in TV if it is not clearly stated that the show is against violence. In The Americans like in Homeland there is a lot of characters who are clearly psycophats who use gratuitous violence constantly and kill people without a second thought and we are supposed to like them WTF? But this is my problem with a lot of Americans tv shows, I can't even saw CSI or shows like that.

Anyway, I had great expectations before the show was premiered. I didn't think it will be so much violent, secret agents in real life are about intelligence and looking for secrets and not killing people, so I thought it would have been more like that. And I think it's so from the US point of view, it's amazing how they are showing lead characters who are soviet spies and there is not one word about what is communism. We know that even the soviet characters can see the benefits of capitalism but what about communism ideology? I'm not taking parts here but the show is so biased. And reading the imdb boards is clear that the viewers are mostly right wings males.

And I don't like the portrayal of women and how sexually exploited they are for the benefit of the male audience. What is worse they use violence and sex and even rape or phedophilia in a way that it sickens me. There is nothing that can scandalize me in terms of sex portrayal in tv, I love when the shows push boundaries about it, but the way it's used in shows like The Americans or Homeland is very misogynist.

I haven't been following the second season, I only watched some Matthew's scenes, so maybe I've been unfair. But a lot of my friends share my thoughts so I suppose I'm not the only one I feel like that. I'm looking forward to the sandinist character and how they would explain the sandinist revolution but I fear that they will not explain her motivations or ideology either. We'll see.

In a positive way, I think the actors are very good and I like Martha's SL even if they show her as kind of silly.

But yes, I would prefer to see Matthew in another show, I would love to see him in a British show in the ITV or the BBC. Fingers crossed :)
31st-Mar-2014 11:04 am (UTC)
I have to say that I don't like the sexual exploit much either, but I do believe that it's true to how it is/used to be/always will be. Sex is a weapon. I don't have to like though.
30th-Mar-2014 09:36 pm (UTC)
Awe, I'm sorry that you don't like the show. I wish you did, since I know how huge a fan you are. I don't think its a fantastic show by any means, yet I find myself looking forward to it regardless and the whole 'looking forward', - that feeling of waiting to open a present, seems to be enough for me....

What you do about this is your decision of course, but if it were me, I wouldn't keep watching something that I received no enjoyment out of. I've been in this spot a few times, and have reluctantly parted ways with a show that wasn't 'for me'. You can still support Matthew by watching back to back episodes of brothers and sisters, integrating House of America on occasion, ;)
30th-Mar-2014 09:56 pm (UTC)
I'm finding it difficult to enjoy this season. I think that the switch over from it being about a couple of spies living out their lives under the umbrella of an 'all-American family' to it being about a family where the parents have unusual jobs has pretty much killed it for me. I didn't want a family drama, I wanted espionage, the thrill of the chase, the living life on the edge and I feel as though it's been taken away.

I don't like what they've done with Elizabeth: keep her in the mindset that she's in now and she'd be done for inside of 12 months...if she lasted that long. I much preferred her when she'd get all fired up over nothing and the war between the Jennings' was probably more true to RL.

I'm not as hooked on Philip as I was last season; the acting's great, I love the characters, but sometimes the storylines fall flat and are less than believable (particularly between the Jennings) and time frames seem to be 'out'. IDK, maybe it's me and knowing that they have more use of body doubles kind of puts me off - it's not as though there are any potentially lethal scenes being executed of late.

I will, however, say that I DID enjoy the last episode; it was more along the lines of Season One...though some scenes, whilst humourous, were decidedly out of place and the Jennings new 'handler' isn't a patch on Claudia and in real life would probably get them shot.

All in all I'm not entirely sure where they're heading with this show anymore. I'll continue to watch it as Matthew's in it but one viewing of each episode is more than enough time to give over to a show that has gone from 'I can't get enough of it' to 'what's the weather doing? Raining again. I'll watch The Americans!'
31st-Mar-2014 12:38 am (UTC)
Interesting, I was excited for it last season, though I did find it a bit more challenging to sit through. It somehow became more palatable for me this season. I guess no one likes this show? Well,I take that back. Apparently there's a bunch of odd balls posting on the gossip columns that seem to like it well enough, but clearly those folks aren't posting here.... :)
31st-Mar-2014 06:04 am (UTC)
It's not so much that I don't like it, I'm just not as keen as I was last season, it doesn't meet the expectations I had for it...whether that's because they've taken a side-step and changed the theme instead of improving on what they'd already given us IDK.
31st-Mar-2014 06:29 am (UTC)
I hadn't considered it much, but you're right it is different. I rather like the role reversal with Philip being the more domineering agent and even showing that strength with a stronger hand when it comes to parenting. With Liz wearing the pants in the family last season, he came off as the weaker of the two somehow. Well, that's no longer the case, by a mile. I suppose I like that shift in dynamics... I wish it was more popular, but that probably stems from looking for that commonality among MRO members we all had way back when, more than actual surprise about how this particular show has been received, if that makes any sense...
31st-Mar-2014 10:55 am (UTC)
I do like that the dynamics seem more equal and that Philip is more often 'taking charge', rather than trudging after Elizabeth, but 'emotional Elizabeth' is just as annoying as 'iceberg Elizabeth'.

I had high hopes for this show, I liked the pilot despite some 'things'.

I'm sure that I'm just in a minority, because plenty of people DO seem to like the show and it's frustrating, because I want to be able to like it too.
31st-Mar-2014 02:23 pm (UTC)
You're not in the minority, your reaction is completely normal. You can tell just by the comments you've received. That doesn't mean that I don't have my fingers crossed that you'll find a way to like it one day (or parts of it) If you stick with it, just focus on how hot Matthew is looking and maybe you'll enjoy it a little better :)
31st-Mar-2014 05:38 pm (UTC)
I am compared to the board on IMDB and reactions that I read in other places, such as recaps, interviews and such.

I love Matthew's acting, but with my head and not heart. I see how well played the character is and the many layers that are to Philip and I see how well Matthew manages all those different emotions, I almost study it, :) but unlike his parts in for instance B&S, Drood, Death comes to Pemberly or House of America I don't get drawn in, I don't FEEL it.
Maybe it's indeed, as Laira says, that I can't bring up much empathy for the characters aside from Martha and the kids. This doesn't mean that the acting isn't good, because it is.
31st-Mar-2014 04:17 pm (UTC)
I like the show. A lot. I feel very lonely in this, at least here among my fellow MR fans. Other people seem to like the show too and for all the actors and characters, from what I understand.

There's definitely change in this season compared to he previous one. I still feel that Keri is the weak part and some scenes stand and fall with her lack in the acting department. But in the US she is the big star, so they're sort of stuck with her...
31st-Mar-2014 05:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, don't feel lonely. I don't mind if you love the show. I'm perhaps more envious of that feeling than you can imagine. :)

I agree that Keri/Elizabeth is the weaker part in this, I guess that is where I have the most issues as well. I feel, as a woman, I SHOULD feel some sympathy for her, especially knowing about her past and the fact that she got raped (always traumatic) and all the emotions that she can't deal with and all that stuff with Gregory, I think it SHOULD have driven me to tears, create emotion, but it just doesn't.

But, please, continue to love the show, sometimes reading what someone else is saying can change your own perspective on something.
31st-Mar-2014 07:46 pm (UTC)
Don't feel lonely. I'll watch it with you. I suspect I don't like it quite as much as you. It's a little bit tailored to intelligent minds and I'd like to think I'm reasonably so, but it has complex story lines, an awful lot of reading of captions and requires more thought/analysis/ remembering of details to follow it than I usually care to invest in a show. So my 'beef' with it is entirely different than the other commentators. That said, it seems I like it much more than the average poster, and I absolutely intend to continue watching...
31st-Mar-2014 09:33 pm (UTC)
Don't feel lonely. The show is critically acclaimed. All the critics love it. So, we are the weird ones :) It's so great to love a show, so enjoy it and don't let our comments to spoil your fun :)
31st-Mar-2014 11:00 am (UTC)
I'm not a quitter. :) And I just ran into my words on MRO that "I've sat through season 5 of B&S, how bad can the Americans be?" And, no, the show is NOT as bad as season 5 of B&S, with all it's inconsistencies, bad story-lines and too much Suc. But the Americans is becoming too predictable. It is time for another near-hit on Philip/Elizabeth by Beeman & Co, or at least 'something' like that.
31st-Mar-2014 11:18 am (UTC)
lol! Season 5 of B&S, that was a really crazy time :D

I think the difference with the Americans is that even if season 5 of B&S was really bad, we still loved the characters. They were different from the previous seasons but I loved the Walkers and they were people with real feelings very easy to identify with them.

I think that self-identification and empathy with the characters is one of the reasons that keep people watching a TV show every week. In the case of "The Americans" it's almost impossible to feel something for these characters, they are mostly a group of assassins, so except for the children and maybe Martha there is nobody that people can feel anything for them. IMO this is the reason of the bad ratings, even if the show is very well written and with great acting.
31st-Mar-2014 05:31 pm (UTC)
and empathy with the characters is one of the reasons that keep people watching a TV show every week. In the case of "The Americans" it's almost impossible to feel something for these characters,

I completely agree with this. :)
31st-Mar-2014 11:07 pm (UTC)
Interesting comment, I hardly never watch shows where I feel empathy for characters. I avoid chick flicks like the plague. I am drawn to action, fantasy, sci-fi and generally speaking genre's that are not based on any form of reality. I get a kick out of The Following with James Purefoy and he's a psychopath that makes The Americans look like they're playing patty cake. My point being this, if you are looking to empathize, then I can see why this show is frustrating. In my case, since I don't typically watch shows with empathetic characters, that aspect doesn't phase me, which explains a little more why some are responding to it, while others don't.
1st-Apr-2014 07:31 am (UTC)
I see what you mean. I prefer to watch shows with people that I find 'interesting', the character has to 'grab my attention and hold it' and I don't care if it's a psychopath or a house-wife.

Of course a lot depends on the sort of show/movie. I love slasher-movies and horror-movies that doesn't have vampires or zombies or aren't devil-related.

I don't watch a movie like "Conan, the Barbarian" to feel empathy for Arnold Schwarzenegger. I just want him to slice his opponents to bits. :) I usualy don't care much about the big-boobed 'virgins' that end up being killed by Jason Voorhees or Freddie Krueger or some chainsaw carrying madman. I'm watching for HOW they get killed, not IF they killed.

However, I also like shows like Criminal Minds where I love to get a view into the mind of the serial killer and his/her reasoning of being/becoming a serial killer. I can realize that they have their own demons and I can still be glad that the murderer gets shot in the end, or feel sorry that they get shot in the end.

I enjoy my psychopats like crazy, but there has to be 'that certain something' that drives me to watch them. I don't like to watch a show about some killer, who does it for the killing only and doesn't offer anything to sink my teeth in.

Which is why I do tend to not look at romantic movies or comedies, because those characters usually have as much depth as a piece of paper.

I think that 'The Americans' wants (nearly insists) me to feel for the characters. Yet, all I can do is roll my eyes and be annoyed with how I cannot 'feel' them, even when I recognize that it's all well-filmed, fairly well-written and well-acted...
1st-Apr-2014 08:54 am (UTC)
Oh no, (the last bit). Well, I didn't think this would happen but you've finally convinced me.....I suppose this show is just not for you. I'm not one to change people's minds. I really wasn't trying to. Just pointing out a few positives and possible reasons why some dislike it....well, I tried anyway....
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