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Podcasts TV Series

TV Series: ‘The Americans’

There aren’t many TV shows I miss long after they end. The Americans is one of them. Even though the series ended in 2018, I still miss the anticipation of the next episode.

The Americans is an American television period drama series created and produced by former CIA officer Joe Weisberg. It premiered in the United States in 2013 on the FX network and concluded after six seasons and 75 wonderful episodes.

The Americans is about the marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C. shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President. The series centers around the arranged marriage of Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell), who have two children – 14-year-old Paige (Holly Taylor) and 12-year-old Henry (Keidrich Sellati). The children don’t know about the true identity of their parents. The spies live next door to Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich), an FBI agent working in counterintelligence. From there it gets complicated.

This is one of the best TV shows I’ve ever seen. What makes it special is the interplay between the spying and what’s going in the family of the Russian spies and the family of the FBI agent next door. In the end, I was more interested in the personal relationships than I was the spying. I easily connected with the relationship issues.

The relationship between the more practical Philip and the rule-following Elizabeth makes for some fascinating issues. Keri Russell’s beauty enters the plot in many different ways. The spying was just plain fun to watch, partly because of the now dated technology of the the era (the 1980s) in which the series takes place.

The New York Times said “The Americans” is “one of those rare series that actually has gotten better every season.”

If you want insider information about the show, Slate has a podcast about the show featuring cast, crew and creators.

Categories
Movies

‘Möbius’

I loved the French TV series “The Bureau” (“Le Bureau des Légendes”) created by Éric Rochant. I’ve started exploring Rochant’s other work hoping for similar entertainment.

Rochant wrote and directed a 2013 spy film called “Möbius” starring Jean Dujardin and the stunningly beautiful Belgian actress Cécile de France.

Dujardin portrayed George Valentin in the 2011 award-winning silent movie “The Artist”. Dujardin won numerous awards for that work including the Academy Award for Best Actor. That was the first time a French actor won that award.

Rochant relies on familiar actors in both “The Bureau” and “Möbius.” Brad Leland portrays a senior CIA official both in both pieces. And the wonderful Ukrainian actor Aleksey Gorbunov, who plays Karlov in seasons 4 and 5 of “The Bureau,” plays a similar role in “Möbius.”

So if you can’t get enough of “The Bureau”, check out Möbius. “Möbius” isn’t in the same league as “The Bureau” but it’s an enjoyable spy story filled with intrigue and romance.

Categories
TV Series

‘The Honourable Woman’

The Honourable Woman’ is a 2014 British political spy thriller miniseries in eight parts. It was directed and written by Hugo Blick for the BBC and SundanceTV.

Maggie Gyllenhaal is the beautiful, immaculately dressed star of the series. She portrays Nessa Stein, a London heiress whose father was a big-time arms manufacturer and Zionist. Gyllenhaal, an American, does a convincing job of portraying an English woman.

Most of Nessa’s family perished in the Holocaust. She and her older brother, Ephra (Andrew Buchan), are dual citizens of Israel and Britain. On top of this, their mother died in childbirth and their father was murdered in front of their eyes in Jerusalem when they were young children.

The story includes the Holocaust, the Arab-Israeli conflict, kidnapping, rape, chronic trauma and high stakes philanthropy and investment.

The New York Times called the series a “smart, moodily complex thriller” and a “lavish homage to John le Carré.”

I had to watch the series more than once to follow all the twists and turns and loved every minute.