Monday 27 June 2016

Recently I've been watching... THE AMERICANS and more

My occasional telly round-up :)  Click the series name for more info.

I so looked forward to this, and it lived up to my expectations: series 4 of
The Americans.  It's set in the 1980s, and stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as two Russian spies who live in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC, posing as a normal American couple with two children.  One of their close neighbours is an FBI agent...

I watched the whole series over a period of 2 evenings, but you need to start at the beginning.  It's quite low key for series these days, a proper old fashioned spy drama/thriller without a ridiculous amount of car chases, etc; it's just brilliant scripted and acted.  Keri Russell as Elizabeth is fab, another fictional woman I want to be (after Lagertha in Vikings and Michonne in The Walking Dead).  Highly recommended!

*****Five Stars***** 

I just watched the first series of Alone, which is a reality show in which ten men are dropped onto Vancouver Island in British Columbia to survive alone, in winter, amongst cougars, bears and wolves, for 90 days.  I loved this, as I'm fascinated by survival in adverse circumstances.  It's good because there's no annoying presenter; it's all filmed by the contestants themselves.  They have an emergency phone to ring if they want to 'tap out' (ie, if they've had enough).  One wimped out in 12 hours, another on the 2nd day (okay, they did have bears and wolves outside their tents...), but four of them kept going for nearly two months.  One guy made a yurt and a canoe - the difference in their capabilities was amazing.  Definitely watching the next series.  Only downside was that you don't find out what happened afterwards; it would have been nice hearing what the four who really made a go of it thought of it all, and how it affected them when they got home.  You get to see this about the winner, but not the others.

****Four and a half stars**** 

I quite liked The Whispers, about an alien race who invade the minds of the children of important people in the government, etc, in order to manipulate their parents, because the aliens want to take over the planet.  Yes, it sounds pretty silly, but it's good.  The main problem is that so many of the cast are kind of irritating, especially the main female character, Clare, and some of the children are a bit ghastly (though others are very good, in particular Henry, a little sweetie), but I watched a whole series without being made to!

***Three and a half stars*** 

I've watched the first three episodes of New Blood, a new BBC detective show.  It's fairly entertaining and the plot of the first story was good, but it's a bit too self consciously 'twenty-somethings in 21st century London' for me.  A tad lighter than I like, too.  Familiar faces are Mark Addy (Robert Baratheon in GoT) playing the sterotypical old school detective who resents the 'new blood' and wants everything done his way, but then looks an idiot when aforementioned New Blood solves the case, and Anna Chancellor (Duckface in Four Weddings and a Funeral).

***Three Stars*** 

More coming soon.... 


  1. Love this round-up. I watch almost no television, so I'm really picky about committing to any series, but, too, love watching ordinary people trying to survive in very adverse circumstances, so "Alone" sounds like a series for me!

    1. IN that case you'd love it. I never watch TV 'live', but am addicted to good drama series via Netflix, etc. Alone is on The History Channel, btw.

  2. And the Americans have been watching you, my friend. As have our stock markets. And just when I thought I might have the courage to look at my retirement fund... ;-)

    1. I'm relying on inheritance. Trouble is, they stay alive so darned long these days! ;)