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The Americans

I can’t get no satisfaction: lament of the pissed off moviegoer

Lately, I can’t get much satisfaction from Hollywood films. And I mean big, fat, Oscar contenders films.

I read the reviews, I enter the movie theatre with great expectations, I come out disappointed. There’s more: I feel guilty for making my husband go through such pain. I assure him that friends and critics loved it and it looked like a safe bet. I come back home angry and incredulous, wondering how can I be the only one disliking so much films that seem to please everyone else. Didn’t they notice the lack of character development, the misogynist clichés, uninspired direction, stiff acting, out of focus close shots, poor audio quality, plot holes…? I go to IMDB to find like-minded opinions, I express my disappointment leaving a 4 star rating on the film page, I snark at the 10 stars reviews and read only the ones that start with “Two hours of my life I will never get back” and “I opened an account just to write this negative review”. But that only makes me angrier. I change my rating to 3 stars. I realize, once again, that I take films, maybe life, too seriously.

Then I save the night with a good TV series. And the magic happens. Continue reading “I can’t get no satisfaction: lament of the pissed off moviegoer”

Sex, lies and microfilms: what the spies in The Americans tell us about our lives

If you think your life is complicated because everyday you struggle to balance work, family and quality time with your partner, then find an extra hour per week to take a look at The Americans and you’ll think it twice.

The TV series, whose fourth season premieres today on FX, transports us back in the eighties to follow the life of Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings, two undercover Soviet spies trained and paired by KGB to live in Washington DC and play the role of the perfect suburban American family. They work as travel agents by day and secret agents by night. They even had two kids together, now in their teens, who offer the perfect cover. Nobody suspects that when mum and dad leave them with a babysitter for the evening, usually it’s not for dinner and a movie but for some dangerous secret mission to collect strategic government datas and transmit them to their motherland. Phillip and Elizabeth’s worst enemy is Stan Beeman, a FBI agent dedicated to find the Russian spies living on US soil and arrest them. Coincidence, he’s also their neighbor. And seems determined to become their best friend.

Now that is a complicated life. Continue reading “Sex, lies and microfilms: what the spies in The Americans tell us about our lives”

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