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  1. albaniantv

    The Bold Type

    This was an ok opening episode. I'm glad to see them all back at the magazine, but found some developments a bit off-putting: Characters have to grate on each other, and plot and plan or there's no fun (I'm thinking of Younger which seems like a similar show to me in many ways), but the writers might be having trouble handling the friction with enough nuance; The guys seem less real to me than the women -- maybe they are written with fewer characteristics? Sutton's boss seamed real to me last year --where's he?; I suppose it's on purpose that boss Jacqueline seems to have little to do, but it makes me nervous because she's my favorite character; It genuinely touched me how Kat was, finally, allowed to just be sad, missing her ex, but agree she should not be pressed to expose her personal life to company social media -- yecch!
  2. albaniantv

    S08.E15: Finale Reunion

    Unless they do a lot of work behind the scenes, I found the professionals or the counselors or whatever their titles to be pretty useless. In a few cases where it seemed obvious that couples really needed some help, they were out to lunch, although the guys (including the host of the reunion show) were better than the women counselors at saying something useful and sharply to the point. In the reunion show, for example, consisting of a bunch of short scenes constantly interrupted for commercials, they needed to know how to communicate better, as they kept repeating all season to all the couples ad nauseum. The cases where i thought there were some serious flags up: Luke and Kate brought out the worst in each other and sank quickly to a sick dependence. The red flag was Luke asking her to lie about their sex life so that he could stay in control of all the information circulating. Everything went south from there with Kate too willing to believe his rejection was because she wasn't good enough and his delight in finding someone who believed his fiction. A decent counselor would have recognized this dynamic before it got so destructive. Jasmine's expectations or demands of a husband were frozen in a 1950's frame, yet I never heard her clarify what exactly she would do to merit someone paying all her bills. Who's your daddy? And I agree with above comments that Will did not seem aware of the difference between dating and an adult relationship, let alone marriage. Not sure he is "on the spectrum," but he did seem to have checked out and the counselors should have caught and derailed this mismatch before the wedding! Hoping those counselors make minimum wage or are paid in cheap champagne which seem to be flowing freely everywhere. (Insert giggling emoji)
  3. albaniantv

    S08.E13: Doomed or Devoted

    This episode did not do much for me -- they all seem a bit depressed. Like the air has slowly gone out of the balloons. Maybe because all the glitter stuff is over: wedding, honeymoon, sexercises, new apartment, organize party to meet friends, 1 month weekender, boys and girls nites out. A couple of you mentioned that all 8 have had trouble connecting with relationships and that's presumably why they agreed to Married at First Sight. So, we do know, I guess, that's a reason to keep hanging on to something that does not seem like a great relationship, or even a good relationship from our point of view. It could be that all 4 couples are actually experiencing the best adult relationship they have had so far. I would love to know if that's the case -- it would make me way less judgemental. Maybe the professionals will fill us in a bit on the backstories--God knows they haven't done much else this season. Ok -- they looked stern about Luke, but that was ages ago.
  4. albaniantv

    S08.E12: You Give Love A Bad Name

    Agree generally with this, including how little we actually know about Kate's drinking and how lacking in credibility Luke is about anything. But I have noticed that none of the professionals on the show and none of the other newlyweds seem to like Luke. Most either narrow their eyes and question him closely (the professionals), ignore him or take him on with challenging insults (AJ). Not sure about the newlyweds --can't tell if any of them have 1 to 1 time with Luke--but the professionals have presumably spent intensive time with all 8 and it's clear they are not liking this man. That tells me we are right to be suspicious of Luke; whether it's just that he has never had an adult relationship with anyone and so blames Kate for anything that she finds amiss, or whether something more pathological (he's mostly sexually dysfunctional or gay) is going on is not clear. The women seem to feel bad for or pity Kate, especially Jasmine, who might be feeling empathy. They have seen her in social drinking situations a few times. If they thought Kate's drinking made her unattractive, I think at least one of them would have said something??? So, again, we don't have a lot of information but the 3 women seem warm towards Kate and not judgemental --that says something positive to me about her personality.
  5. albaniantv

    S03.E16: Don't Take My Sunshine Away

    Yes, I agree they are both smothering and, at the same time, childish or maybe just too insecure to let their bosses know that sometimes they will be putting their spouses or families first. By insecure, I mean that in both cases their jobs are new and quite precious to them and they haven't yet been clear about where their work/home boundaries are. Not something to resolve or even rehearse on cell phones!!
  6. albaniantv

    S03.E15: The Waiting Room

    Toby is a comedian so of course he has to try out a line when he has the attention of the whole room. I thought it was clever, actually, mocking both Miguel and himself for their shared outsider status. Miguel, I think, took it as intended and the others weren't going to get any humor that day anyway, so why worry about them. Good job, writers! Hey, I loved the writers' sense of black humor --I mean, c'mon, a bottle in a bottle episode???!! I even ended up feeling sorry for Kevin who obviously did not intend to have his relapse in view of the entire Pearson clan. Also commend the writers for not giving us a dose of Kate until, all of a sudden, we really needed to see her as a mom. She was the only one who behaved for the episode, just rode out the waves until Jack arrived. She looked beatific in that last segment, i thought, so welcoming to that tiny little baby. I didn't mind the battling Pearsons -- it seemed pretty real to me that this family, with its long established pattern of withholding and dumping, withholding and lying or evading. would spend the hour sniping, avoiding, retreating and escaping. Loved this episode, but not sure i want to go through the realism of up, down, down, downer, up, ???? of a preemie with this group. Although i don't think the writers would kill Jack twice.
  7. albaniantv

    S06.E05: The Great Patriotic War

    Wow, we really are 5 episodes away from the end. Can't imagine not wondering about, worrying about the Americans. Still love this show and most of the characters, and glad to have spent the time with them. I say that because many shows I spent this many years with, looking back I did not feel so kindly about and actually wanted to reclaim the time spent. (Lost, I am thinking about you especially.) That said, I have one point to make that is tangential to plot, USSR-USA war and cold war history, FBI (and KGB and CIA) competence or incompetence and whether any of my favorite characters will survive the summit. Just because the several shows I have watched intently over the last several years also include Breaking Bad and Homeland, it's been hard to ignore that both adult and adolescent female characters seem to provoke anger and even hatred among quite a number of viewers. Here's an article I found interesting on this topic: https://www.thedailybeast.com/homeland-star-morgan-saylor-tvs-most-hated-character-talks-back I don't want to focus unduly on this, but I think the ire towards and hatred of Holly Taylor and her portrayal of Paige parallels the red-hot negativity towards Anna Gunn's presentation of Skylar White in Breaking Bad and Morgan Saylor's interpretation of Dana Brody in Homeland. In my view, Anna Gunn is a powerful and accomplished actress, while both Morgan Saylor and Holly Taylor are quite talented young women, hitting all their marks in these demanding roles. Somehow, though, they seem to provoke irrational and disproportionate reactions to their craft, even to their presence. Concerning The Americans, I read a discussion by the showrunners and producers recently where they were horrified by the number of viewers who had requested that Paige be killed! A commenter on this site recently expressed the wish that Phillip had knocked his daughter unconscious to show Paige she was overestimating her combat readiness. Because they love them, most fathers would not want to knock their daughters out, regardless of the intended lesson. The writers have been careful to differentiate the parenting approaches of Phillip and Elizabeth, but there seems to be love on all sides of the equations. Of course, I want the whole family --Henry and Paige and Phillip and Elizabeth-- to survive, even though every episode makes me less certain that any of them will.
  8. albaniantv

    S02.E08: The Luxury of Conscience

    Since there doesn't seem to be any historical information about Drummond being gay, and it seems he was actually shot before the vote on the Corn Laws, this looks like a case of inventing a gay "rise and demise" story just for drama and advancing the plot. Drummond's death led smoothly to: Peel's quiet exit stage left, a crack in the icy mien of the Duchesse of Buccleuch (sp) and a place for us and several of the characters to spill the tears readied for the fevered death of the young princess. So for the St. Valentine's episode, Cupid was stopped mid-flight at least twice (I am also counting the reappearance of the Rash), while the Angel of Death (thanks, Penge) seems sated for now.
  9. albaniantv

    S02.E12: Live in the All Along

    Nova did seem inflexible with Robert while they were together, but then back home, when Charley pointed out to her that the seeming conflict produced "good tv," she seemed to reconsider. So, I was not expecting Nova to completely finish the relationship off when he came to the Brown Sugar Festival just to find her. That was good tv! Also found Nova a bit less Know-it-All when she made Vi go back over the history of her father and mother's breakups so she could form her own opinions about Charley's mother. She's impassioned and can be harsh, but now we have seen her flexibility. I love this show!
  10. albaniantv

    Predictions for the FINAL Season

    In 2010 the Russian spies whose story seeded the Americans (pretty sure the writers have stated this more or less) were discovered and sent home to Russia. At the same time, there was an exchange for US spies living in Russia. This Wikipedia entry is regularly updated: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegals_Program and details a variety of experiences of couples and a few with kids. I'm guessing that the Americans might end in a similar fashion because it would let the writers develop some bloodless and nonviolent outcomes, unlike the show itself, but in line with our affections for many of the key actors. I also predict that Henry gets to go to his boarding school and just basically miss out on the whole drama --he has been off in his own world for years, why upend him now. Agree with others that it would be creepy for him to copy Paige and run to Stan for protection -- I'm guessing he has made many observations since his crush on Stan's wife and his experiences breaking and entering others' houses. I think we have learned the background and contemporary realities about Philip's son and brother because they will make it possible emotionally for the family to move to Russia --I really don't want them dependent on Gabriel's limited social network and cooking skills. On the other hand, not everyone can get off scot-free --this is The Americans. So how about Stan, Renee and the FBI guys? And lonely Oleg? Are they going to be sacrificed? We know there have to be sacrifices beyond Tuan and Kimmy's folks who we don't care about. So, I envision Philip, Elizabeth and Paige somehow surviving a massive exposure and starting anew in Moscow or even St. Petersbourg, with the Center's help. Henry has agreed to visit but no one is sure when and the Center doesn't really want him in Russia anyway. Endnote: Oh and Martha won't let Gabriel near her little family unit, but somehow she is drawn to the brusque, soon to be retired Claudia, who wants to be a grandmother but whose neglected Russian family has turned their backs on her.
  11. albaniantv

    S05.E12: The World Council of Churches

    This season wasn't like any other season of the Americans, it did work its way subtly and without major payoffs but some of what I learned and am really hoping it will matter for next season: the Moscow situation was revealing of the system breakdown in both political beliefs and in the national food production and delivery system and gets us ready to move quickly to Gorbachov Oleg and his father and mother have been riven to the core by the brother/son's death, but they are all trying in their own ways to sustain the family as they recalculate what their lives mean similarly Philip and Elizabeth are enduring unwanted relationships and travel to help solve Russia's food crisis, even though each seem to have reached the end of their capacity to "suspend disbelief" our favorite FBI guys are overwhelmed by the possibility that this Russian "couple" are offering them intelligence - while Stan reminds the boss how closely their spiel matches their training about how to recognize Boris and Natasha Henry, my favorite character, has figured out what he wants for the next few years of his life and I for one, am hoping his parents and TPTB let him have it, somehow, yet to be defined! Philip's brother and son are now together -- looks suspiciously like a happy ending awaiting Philip when he comes home--I want to but can't believe that's going to be Philip's reality. One more episode to wrap up this season--
  12. albaniantv

    S05.E10: Darkroom

    Agree Paige has a lot of story line invested in her, which has made me increasingly nervous about how much she knows and how easily she could blow the show up at any minute. That Lady Macbeth cleaning in the middle of the night (out damned spot, out) routine is not a good sign. But it's too early for the show to explode, so looks like we are doomed to more and more wheat (is this a gluten free joke?) research, hazing of children, sad glimpses of silent Russians in yellow light, maybe lightened by a few more morbid flashbacks and scary est meetings. Will the Jennings book themselves a honeymoon? Will Paige find a spy boyfriend (remember all those interns Elizabeth used to train?) and forget about Pastor Tim and nighttime photo labs? I love that Henry is the only one who figured out his own exit ticket from SpyWorld-- hoping that works out. We'll need him safely stowed away, so when everything blows up, there's someone to answer questions. (Yes, officer, I was 6 when I looked out my window late at night and first saw my parents driving away in funny wigs and hats...)
  13. albaniantv

    S05.E08: Immersion

    This show appeals to viewers for an array of different reasons, something that the writers probably can't let themselves get distracted by. I love all the glimpses of Russia, Russians, the language, as well as the KGB and Rezidentura characters and angles. Always wish I knew what was real and which details about 1980's life in Soviet Russia are adapted for sake of plot or streamlining. I don't much like Gabriel but that doesn't stop me from wanting to attach a camera-bug to his collar so i can watch him adjust to life back home after so many years away.
  14. albaniantv

    S05.E08: Immersion

    Paige doesn't get off the couch or bed much since she ditched Matthew, and seems almost paralyzed with depression and fears. Reminds me of when the hormonal Dana Brody of Homeland also became depressed as she figured out her father was not who he pretended to be. Maybe the writers like the extra danger a teenager represents with uncertain loyalties, unknown emotional and behavioral limits and untested tolerance for stress and fears. It's definitely making me nervous...especially since I have moody teenagers in my life right now and would not want to have to depend on them to decompress in a safe way, keep my secrets or stay alive. What bothered me even more this episode though was that Elizabeth and Matthew were opposite in almost every issue or skill that came up. Summing up Gabriel, hard ass Elizabeth went all wobbly, admitting she would miss him and stating firmly he was a good person, while for the first time I could recall, Philip was misanthropic, stressing only the negative aspects of the man and doubting that they were more than an assignment to him. Usually the more skilled one with technology, Philip acted like he lost his nerve and know-how with the large camera Elizabeth grabbed and shot effortlessly undercover of the thicket near to the motel. Needing Elizabeth's suave suggestions to get back in the game after being dumped by a mark, Philip is suddenly as clumsy in faux affection as his wife is in the real thing. (That was a terrible sentence but I am in a rush to get somewhere, sorry.) Similarly, as Paige's depression deepens, Philip appears to recede from her. It's not just that he can't come up with any relevant stories (like from his past the way Elizabeth does, ever since she started talking about her own mother to Paige), he seems as horrified by Paige's outlined future as she does and can offer no alternative vision or distraction. We have not seen him buddy up to Henry since became an adolescent ( which may be why realistic Henry has consistently searched out Stan) but we have seen him try to engage or mollify or even distract Paige. But no more; Philip seems overcome by what they have done to their daughter. Somehow, Elizabeth does not seem to take any responsibility for Paige's situation (teenage secretkeeper and spy in training for a country and philosophy she has been raised to fear and loathe). This may change as the dangers loom larger (we are definitely inching up some magnum gauge roller coaster) but right now, Elizabeth seems oblivious to the dark future Philip sees and Gabriel glimpsed as he made his hurried exit from the (no longer safe ?) house.
  15. albaniantv

    Famous In Love

    After 4 episodes, FIA is holding my attention more than Riverdale, which I just dropped out of boredom. First few of Riverdale, way upriver from Manhattan, were fun but everyone is a diva or a lowlife. (Archie wears way more makeup than most of the girls and Jughead whines about everything. The parents rehash drama from 25 years ago and the high school kids all wish they were on Glee.) On FIA, set in LA, everyone is a diva and wants to be in, produce,do the music for or direct a movie. Not sure if it's better for the dynamics of a show to be based on an old comic strip or a new book, but for me FIA has more going for it in diversity, intrigue and dialogue. Interestingly, both shows involve some of the parents of the main characters, perhaps as a reference point for evolution of mores, styles, beliefs etc.