Try getting this song out of your head. It’s been following us around for days. Of course we still have the Fleetwood Mac cassette in a bin somewhere. This was the cut we played over and over again, which was unnecessary because you only have to hear it once and that drum riff will take over your brain. Who gets the USC Trojans Marching Band to play on a song about a disintegrating relationship?! Fleetwood Mac did. That’s why we don’t mind growing old—the stuff from our childhood was so weird.
Our ancient iPod crashed some weeks ago, and as we were reloading music the other day, this suddenly played on our computer. The following day we hitched a ride with our friend, and this was playing in the car.
This afternoon we watched a screener from Jack City for their new series, The Americans, and this figures prominently in the premiere episode. It starts playing two minutes into the show, and that’s when we realized that any TV show that involves Tusk automatically wins our approval. And that every time we hear this song we have to shout the chorus: “You don’t say that you love me!”
In The Americans, Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Phillip Jennings (Matthew Rhys) appear to be an ordinary middle-class couple living in the suburbs with their two kids. Wrong on all counts: they’re Soviet spies, they’re not married, those kids are part of the charade. It’s 1981 and US counterintelligence is hot on the trail of Russian agents.
The series was inspired by the unmasking of several KGB sleeper agents living in the US in 2010. It’s like Mr and Mrs Smith plus Salt, with Felicity instead of Angelina Jolie, doing stuff Felicity would never do.
In the premiere, Mr and Mrs Jennings are assigned to kidnap a KGB colonel who has defected to the US. The mission does not go as planned. The colonel triggers Elizabeth’s buried memories and Phillip’s secret aspirations…turns out he wants to be an American for real. Years of pretending have gotten to him. Elizabeth is committed to the mission, but her resolve is undermined by her unacknowledged feelings for her fake husband.
To ratchet up the tension, an American counterintelligence officer (Noah Emmerich) moves in next door. Yeah, that’s a bit much, but the series looks promising. Authentic period feel (See All the Wigs Worn on The Americans So Far), Keri Russell being a badass, geopolitical And marital tensions, and plenty of hand-to-hand combat. Okay, you’ve got our attention, we’ll watch the next episodes.
The Americans premieres on Saturday, 13 April on JackCity (UHF Channel 31, SkyCable Ch. 72, Destiny Ch. 60, Cablelink Ch. 40).
We’re addicted to House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey as a scheming United States Congressman. Quick pegs: Evil West Wing, Game of Thrones in DC, Richard III (a Spacey specialty). Never play nice people again, Kevin, we don’t buy it. Robin Wright is terrific; every time we see her we want to punch Sean Penn in the face.
Yeah it’s a remake of a British series and the Brit original is better blah blah blah. But House of Cards is more than an addictive series. It didn’t originate on TV or cable; it’s produced by Netflix. The delivery system now produces its own content. We’re seeing the beginning of a great shift here.