russell gregory

iamdeltas  asked:

What is The Americans, anyway? I've heard about it, mostly I've heard that it's good, but what is it about?

Well, “good” is an understatement – this is one of the most critically acclaimed shows on TV, and has been every year since it was created.

Everything I watch tends to have “centered on family relationships” at its heart, and this show is no exception. It’s a period drama about Soviet spies pretending to be American citizens during the Reagan administration – the original premise was based on this real-life case from 2010. The creator/EP, who was an actual CIA officer back in the day, made the call to go historical with the story instead, which means that a) there has been a lot of beautiful metacommentary on how the geopolitical conflicts and technological shifts of the early 80s laid the foundation for the world we presently live in; and b) there is a lot more realism to the spycraft than what you see in other genre shows like Chuck or 24, because some of the historical methods have been declassified or retired now.

That doesn’t sound like it’s about family at all, right?

WRONG. So wrong.

The heart and soul of this show is its SpyFam – a fake-married couple (Phillip and Elizabeth) and their very real American children, whose everyday conflicts about homework and hobbies and whether sixteen pairs of legwarmers is too many ground the otherwise intense absurdity of the world these adults live in. Every season has an overarching theme related to family: season one, for example, explored the depths of what marriage really means; season two looked at how far parents will go to protect their kids; season three focused on the impacts of spiritual and emotional well-being; season four dealt with deceit and disillusionment between people who are supposed to love and trust each other. This season is probing into immigrant narratives and cultural differences between immigrants and their native-born kids.

And every last one of these storylines has you rooting for the anti-heroes … but the narrative never lets you forget that’s what they are. Phillip and Elizabeth do a wide array of morally terrible things, and we are right there being shown how terrible those things are, and what kind of toll their choices take on themselves and the people they hurt.

This is a show that is 100% honest about how life, like politics, is messy and complex and filled with competing truths that you have to validate or discard on your own terms. It’s not a show for the squeamish, or for anyone looking for mindless action entertainment. It is, however, flawlessly paced and well-researched, with a fabulous cast and writing team.

Anyway, 10/10 do recommend – although be prepared if you have trigger issues with certain kinds of violence or emotional manipulation.

5

High Maintenance is a critically acclaimedAmerican web series created by husband and wife team Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld and producer Russell Gregory. The show follows a nameless marijuana deliveryman called The Guy (played by Sinclair) as he delivers his product to clients in New York City. Each episode focuses on a new set of characters as they all procure their cannabis from Sinclair’s character.

4

megawatchathon 2k16 day three: O Captain My Captain

after which Jen said ok you have to vote for your favourite captain and well I’m sorry, Greg, you’re swoony and adorable but Jack Aubrey is always my fave captain. 

Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951), Master and Commander (2003) and Damn The Defiant! (1962). Hornblower is actually really good, with surprising standards of accuracy for 1950s hollywood (except the ladies gowns, obvs, and what are ladies even doing in a Napoleonic Wars Era Naval Drama ffs, I like my NWENDs like I like my WW2 films: homoerotic). Damn the Defiant features another great Dirk-is-a-sadistic-rotter performance. 

We saw at least two amputations, four masts destroyed, four floggings, three boardings, one wet Greg and a billion husbands-at-sea moments.