In a recent conversation about various television shows, my editor for the Stark Trilogy (Release Me is now 12 weeks on the USA Today list and Claim Me is entering its fourth!! But I digress …) told me about a relatively new show called The Americans. It is, she assured me, fantastic.
Now, I don’t watch a ton of television. I usually have a maximum of three shows that I’m following at once, and they’re often seasons ahead of me. But we’ve been becoming less enamored with a few standbys (cough—Mad Men – cough) and wanted to try something new. (The other show I recently started watching is White Collar – a totally different feel, but also loads of fun!)
We’ve only just finished episode two of The Americans, but I am hooked! Why? For the same reasons that make any fiction compelling: great characters and a great story.
Let’s start with the characters. In this case, our hero and heroine are also an anti-hero and heroine. They are, for all intents and purposes, the bad guys. The KGB. The spies who infiltrated during the Cold War (and can I just say – the eighties? I mean, the sound track alone is a hoot!). And yet less than two hours of air time in and I absolutely love these people. I’m rooting for them and curious about what happens and on desperately curious about where they started and where they are going to go. (And it doesn’t hurt that the more bad-ass of the two is the woman, though that tends to be a trend in my favorite shows. I’m thinking of Alias and Buffy.)
As for the story, the individual plots that I’ve seen so far have been limited, but the overarching story just screams drama. A secret war against deep-cover agents during a volatile time in history. That’s going to be either awesome or cheesy. So far, The Americans seems to be leaning toward awesome.
And the really cool thing: there are still about a dozen episodes on iTunes that we haven’t watched. Which means that I see a glom-fest ahead of me. And, yes, I should be writing. I mean, I actually owe my editor some pages. I wonder if I can claim television glomming as an excuse? Especially since she’s the one who turned me on to the show …
What’s your favorite television show? Do you watch as episodes air, or do you glom a season after the fact?
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J. Kenner has written over 40 books under multiple names including Julie Kenner and J.K. Beck. Her newest release, CLAIM ME, is the second book in the bestselling Stark Trilogy, which began with RELEASE ME, a multi-week NYT and USA today bestseller, continues with CLAIM ME, and which will conclude in July with COMPLETE ME.