Friday, 22 January 2016
The Americans, Season 2 (2014)
I rarely give flat out recommendations, but I gave one to the first season of this show. It was expertly-crafted TV, with smoothly executed narrative twists and strong performances from the cast.
Despite the qualification added to the recommendation for this season, the show continues to deliver the goods here. The qualification is wholly and entirely "provided you've watched and enjoyed the first season, you should check this out".
Elizabeth and Philip Jennings are continuing their double lives as real estate agents and KGB agents. With Reaganomics gathering steam, the stakes are mounting for both the US and the USSR. The Nicaraguan conflict, the birth of the internet, and the development of the stealth bomber all play significant roles in the progress of the season.
But perhaps more immediately pressing than even these potentially world-changing political and technological struggles are the issues which strike much closer to home: the murder of two fellow agents with whom they were close friends; a dangerous new contact whom they must blackmail into aiding them; and the growing independence of their eldest child.
There are plenty of other plots and schemes afoot with other characters, as well, and you'll probably find yourself alternately cheering them on and biting your nails over their potential fates. You may even find yourself cheering on one character even as their actions put another character into fingernail-chewing territory.
Really good stuff.