The American's just premiered last week on FX, and I missed it. I remember liking the advertising, and thinking it was an interesting idea, so I recorded it late last night and intend to watch it tonight when I get home from work.
I spoke to a couple people about it, and one is very excited after the pilot, while the other is very hopefull, but is afraid it could get too convoluted for his taste, but he intends to watch at least a couple more episodes.
It's about a couple of Russian Spies living in the US in the early 80s, toward the tail end of the cold war.
Banshee is Cinemax's foray into the prestige cable series business. With things like Hulu and Netflix, shows like this are really the only shot these pay cable networks have of keeping their subscribers.
Anyway, it's produced by Alan Ball, the guy behind True Blood. It's about a master thief who's spent 15 years in prison for a diamond heist he did without his mobster boss' permission. He's tracking down his former partner/girlfriend/boss' daughter, who's living under an assumed name, married to a local DA, in a small Pennsylvania town called Banshee, that's is home to a Dutch Amish comunity.
The thief shows up, goes into a small bar, where the new local sheriff happens in. The old one died, and the town's new wunderkid mayor decided to hire from outside, because the entire town is corrupt. A couple local jagoffs come in to rob the place, and the sheriff is killed, and the thief helps the bar owner clean things up, and decides to take the sheriff's identity, with the help of his other former partner, a computer hacking transvestite asian guy named Jobe. (Bear with it)
The town is run by a former Amish guy, who is apparently in charge of every criminal operation in the town.
It reminds me a lot of road house in it's big corrupt town structure. It's aired five episodes so far, which I knew nothing about, but it got a big ad push over Super Bowl week, and I caught up on all of them over the weekend.
It is without question, completely rediculous in it's premise. But if you can stomach the setup, it becomes pretty interesting. It's a nice unfolding of this landscape. A lot of secrets, meaning the characters can kind of unfold for you as you watch. And a broad community, so the town can keep surprising you. It's quality is certainly not on the HBO level, but it's being done well enough. And it's extremely graphic in both it's sexuality and violence, if that's a help.
The Americans was pretty good. I feel like they're trying to capitalize on Homeland's success, but I'll definitely be watching Season 1.
It has a solid premise....except one thing bothers me. I don't feel like the 2 lead characters are truly Soviet spies. Know what I mean? It's like, I know they're actors. I mean, it's Felicity for pete's sake.... They don't look Russian, they don't speak Russian (that's explained, of course), and even the flashbacks scenes in Russia...they STILL don't speak Russian. I mean, c'mon....are they so afraid the masses won't take to a few scenes in Russian with subtitles? Then I would feel they truly work for the KGB....
That's the only problem in the pilot. Otherwise, solidly done, and willing to watch more.