Coming so soon after the release of the new “House of Cards”’ season, this feels like a necessary corrective to that show’s hollow cynicism. This lying, scheming Washington couple are no less amoral than Frank and Claire Underwood—they’ve certainly killed more people, and their goals are far more destructive to the United States. But while “The Americans” doesn’t downplay the Jennings’ misdeeds (or the Soviet Union’s crimes), it foregrounds their motivations: not naked self-interest but devotion—to their children, their homeland, their ideals.
“No vagina-clapping at ‘The View’!” he said, opening and closing his legs to the beat of the music. I looked around to see if anyone else found this to be an astounding thing to say, but the ladies were loving it. “I’m doing Kegels right now!” Tom hollered. “Did I mention the vice president is here today?”
I’m wondering if this type of “feminism”—the kind where women twist “small, maybe irrelevant falsehoods” to expose “greater, far more important truths”—will sit well with many feminist women out there. Claire Underwood isn’t intended to be a sympathetic character on “House of Cards”; she is supposed to be right up there with Frank in terms of ruthless, self-serving, amoral ambition—the Lady MacBeth to his Iago.
To turn history into TV, producers everywhere make the past tidy and simple and sympathetic. But when it’s Germans presenting WWII, middlebrow conventions are no excuse.
'Masters of Sex' captures the atmosphere of its era better than all of 'Mad Men'’s exquisite costumes and scrupulous sets: the sense of being on the brink of a seismic shift in the zeitgeist, as well as the particular courage required to be a sexually liberated woman in the baffling, buttoned-up years after Alfred Kinsey’s ground-breaking studies but before the sexual revolution.
In the CIA, if you’re crazy, if you’re sleeping with the enemy, if you’re whatever, you’re out. You’ve got the FBI all over you.
Tinker, Tailor, Boredom, Why?
The first season of Showtime’s suspenseful television series “Homeland” came to a controversial close this past Sunday evening, and Tomas Alfredson’s film “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” has been released recently to lukewarm praise.
Both, are recent successful, high-profile spy thrillers. But do their portrayals of intelligence communities really get spy games right?
Read TNR film critic David Thomson on why so much is lost in translation in Hollywood’s attempts to depict intelligence communities, here.
Photo courtesy of USA Weekend.