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  1. Gene speculation thread

    Go watch Justified on Amazon. I can imagine conversations between characters on that show, and characters on this show, which would be hilarious. .
  2. Gene speculation thread

    Tell me you wouldn't want Boyd Crowder to break out of prison, so he could have a scene with Jimmy/Saul/Gene. Shame Dewey Crowe is departed, precluding Badger and Skinny Pete from getting a new partner.
  3. Gene speculation thread

    I was thinking about a Vince Gilligan/Elmore Leonard mash-up, where a Kentucky organized crime figure, with a penchant for traveling by rv, fresh off a major score that caused him to leave Kentucky, stops in Omaha, when he has a Cinnabon craving. He strikes up a conversation with the manager, who lets slip that he lived for a time in New Mexico, and the Kentucky criminal says, "Hey, I have a twin brother who works as a drug counselor in New Mexico!" Just then, a Jesse Pinkman walks into the Cinnabon, looks at Wynn Duffy, and gets very confused. Meanwhile, a U.S. Marshal who wears a distinctive hat, recently transferred to the Albuquerque office, gets the Pinkman file! Hijinks ensue!
  4. The Americans Retrospective

    I am now watching Breaking Bad for the 2nd time (I prefer to wait a few years before a re-watch), and I was again struck by the fullness and consistency in character in Hank's portrayal, in contrast to Stan's in The Americans. Hank is never used as a plot advancement device. He is a complex human being whose behavior is consistent with his life. I just wish the writing for Stan had been better. I don't root for characters. I just want them to be interesting as human beings. That's why pure sociopaths bore me as central characters; they just aren't interesting. Tony Soprano, as awful as he was, was capable of shame, remorse, loyalty, and empathy, and was definitely not a sociopath. Bobby Quarles was the least interesting seasonal villain to me, in Justified, because he was a nearly pure sociopath. None of the major characters for more than a season in Breaking Bad were pure sociopaths, but I'll give Jesse Plemens credit for his portrayal of a neo-Nazi in the last season, for coming about as close as possible to making such a character compelling. Fortunately, The Americans never went the full sociopath route for any major character, and the closest they came, when they put off, until the very end, showing Liz having notable psychological deterioration, in response to having murdered so many people, was kind of a writing mistake.
  5. S06.E10: START

    Oh, I don't think they resorted to that cheat once they burned themselves out. I think they decided they wanted that scene (very unwisely, imho) early on, and wrote backwards from there. There is so little I find remotely plausible about Stan's development, whether it be his murder of Vlad, or his relationship with Nina. It was one of the major weaknesses in the show.
  6. Stan: The Patriot

    For the actor to say that, about a character who volunteered for a job that would entail him having no communication with his family for years, indicates to me that neither he or the writers researched the character at all. I do not understand it.
  7. S06.E10: START

    I tend to agree with you that just sticking to what is on screen is advisable, although I will say that an interview I read with Emmerich was very revealing. I read Emmerich talking about Stan's first marriage ending in divorce being a shocker, because it was such a happy marriage, and it became painfully obvious to me that either nobody had researched this character at all, or the research was done, and then totally ignored. It really explained to me how some mistakes were made. It also reminded be of a decade old interview done with the recently deceased Tom Wolfe. He described the most common failing of fiction writers being a failure to really research the sort of characters that were being created, a failure to employ basic reporting techniques in descrbing the world they inhabit.
  8. Oh, I certainly didn't mean to imply that they could. "Collaborate" is probably the wrong word. There were Jews who were forced to participate in their own destruction, and Benda strikes me as one who would have refused to do so, and thus would have been murdered very early on.
  9. S06.E10: START

    Nah, Liz immediately flys to Berlin, and stabs 25% of the city's population to death. When Paige spots her while watching the evening news for the first time in her life, and calls to express her horror, Liz says "The people of Berlin are VERY troubled, Paige!" Paige replies, "I GET it, Mom!". Stan, also watching the Liz carnage on the news, says "Hey, isn't that the mother of the girl who may have given my son an inauthentic dating experience!? Man, does that ever make me mad!" Henry, sitting in the room with Stan, says, "For fuck's sake, living with this lackwit is worse than being with the homicidal creeps I grew up with! I might stab myself!" Renee says, "Honey, I think I want to be President of the United States! Do ya' think I have a chance?" Stan replies "Honey, this is the bestest, superduperest country in the Milky Way Galaxy probably in all galaxies! OF COURSE, a woman who might be a KGB illegal and no discernable history for the past 20 years, despite supposedly being born in 1947, can become President of the United States!" Henry gets out a hockey skate, and presses the edge of the blade against his jugular........
  10. S06.E10: START

    Well, having a KGB Rezidentura assassinated, as she tries to assassinate Gorbachev's START negotiator in D.C. is pretty ahistorical, so I'd say that ship sailed. Gorbachev would hardly be the first political leader to survive a 1st coup attempt, only to lose power in a 2nd.
  11. S06.E10: START

    I think you could have wriiten a very plausible story, especially absent the final season murderpalooza, where Liz and Phil get arrested, but are immediately deported, in the interests of maintaining momentum for disarmament, especially if Liz and Phil were central to stopping an anti-Gorbachev coup. Like I've noted before, if somebody has value, the Federal Government has a history of letting the somebody walk, even if the somebody has double digit murders on their sheet. A confrontation between Stan and Liz and Phil about the years of deceit, and the fates of their children, in an interrogation room, no weapons drawn, Liz and Phil knowing they are going back to the USSR, could have been one great great, great, organically developed scenes in all of television history. The writers would have had to trust the audience, however, to simply be drawn to these characters, with none of the cheesy, melodramatic, crap. More LeCarre, less Ludlum. These writers, ultimately, never fully trusted the audience. (Edit) To add on, for this alternate ending to work, it has to be explained how the pro Gorbachev forces quickly round up the coup plotters. Claudia, back in Moscow, getting the .22 caliber scalp massage would have worked.
  12. S06.E10: START

    I could never figure out what ground Stan was on, because the writers kept changing it depending on where they wanted the story to go. I never bought the revenge murder committed by Stan, but there was very little I bought in how he was written. My least favorite scene in the entire show was when Stan and Phil find out their respective son and daughter may be making out behind a closed door, and Stan starts getting humorous about it. These writers made Stan such a moron that a guy, whose profession, and sometimes his life, has depended on being very perceptive to how people are likely to react to situations, is completely clueless about not joking, with the father of a teenage daughter, about the daughter getting sexual with your older teenage son. WTF?
  13. S06.E10: START

    Oh, I really do agree with you. If you had told me, beginning of the final season "Stan will discover Liz and Phil's true identities, and will decide to allow them to flee" , I could have imagined a number of ways it could have been very well done although it would be easier absent a sketch of Clark being provided to Stan. As written, however? Just a massive fail. I understand that not everyone hates gun pointing extended dialogue scenes as much as I do . I kind of liked how Justified usually wrote these scenes, with a U.S Marshall stating, in a very matter of fact tone, that he or she was going to shoot the suspect dead in 3 seconds, absent immediate compliance, and then doing so. The U.S. Marshalls in my city killed a suspect two days ago in exactly this fashion. The FBI isn't quite as likely to have these sorts of confrontations as The Marshall's Service, but the training is very similar, and far more extensive than what local and state police forces receive. If the weapon is drawn, the time for talking is ending, and the time for killing starts. Even allowing for more tolerance of such a scene however, I frankly would have preferred a confrontational conversation between Stan and the Jennings family that didn't involve a drawn weapon, because that dialogue could have been much, much much, more authentic, and thus more interesting. There were ways to write such a story, even with Phil and Liz getting away. Once again, the writers didn't trust the audience enough to refrain from writing a story without an extra heavy layer of cheese, so we get the parody worthy scene in the garage. It's regrettable.
  14. S06.E10: START

    Not to go too far astray, but which conversation in The Crown? I find so many of the portrayals of Churchill in various shows and movies border on ridiculous one note caricature that it becomes a real problem. The recent movie with Gary Oldman as Churchill was one of the few portrayals where the writing began to afford this historical figure some of the needed complexity.
  15. S06.E10: START

    I tried to watch Dexter, found it too ridiculous, so I stopped after a few episodes. I think my issues with The Americans, which I am glad to have watched to the end, are closely related to how high my expectations were. "Not as good as The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, or Deadwood" is hardly blistering criticism.