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Customer Review

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Cold War chunters on but things are heating up for The Illegals, 1 Jun. 2014
This review is from: The Americans - Season 2 [DVD] (DVD)
Season 2 builds on the tangle of relationships left over from last year, straightening some out while others get more knotted and confused. Elizabeth returns from convalescence and is joyfully reunited with Phillip and the kids. Then something horrible happens. I won't say what, obviously, because it's very dramatic. I'm not even going to outline any of the missions they undertake because they're not that interesting. The show's real fascination is with identity. Who are you and how does that change when you're lying to those close to you? What happens when you put ideology or a prior commitment before family, before happiness? Really, The Americans is a kitchen-sink drama full of simmering tension. If you have freedom, what should you do with it?

Don't worry, there's plenty of violence and nudity to keep you stoked.

Everybody's being watched and it's surely no accident Noah Emmerich got the part of FBI man Stan. Truman's friend with the six-pack, remember? The Truman Show [DVD] Here's my theory for the next twist (a big-one comes at the end of S.2): the Jennings' family think that they are spies but actually, actually they're the stars of an immersive TV show and everyone else is watching them.

Personally, I'd like the writers to paint a bigger canvas, give a bolder and more wide-ranging history of the Cold War. To begin with, it seems they're trying to soften Elizabeth, make her nicer and more sympathetic, but pretty soon she's her old self. It's hard to comprehend her enthusiasm for a country which has afforded her so many harsh memories and her distaste for her adopted country where she can more or less go and do what she likes. Having said that, all the characters are shot through with a rich and rewarding ambiguity. Will they heal or will they crack?

It's compelling telly and can only get better next year. If you've missed out so far, jump in.
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