I can’t really read your thoughts on the show,for now. I would love to but I’m still in the middle of season 5 and afraid of spoilers
Of course, nobody on earth would be able to run a travel agency, raise two kids and manage several spy operations in the same time. It seems even less believable than a fireproof princess who rides dragons.
I started to watch it again after a long pause (had left it at season 3) and I think I really liked it and I still do. I might be weird but this show made me think in way other shows did not. About identity, idealism, choices in a life…
I empathized a lot with Elizabeth. Not that I’m a spy, but when I started watching it I was engaged with a foreign woman, living in her country and talking seriously of having a child and raising it there, in a culture which I felt quite incompatible with and didn’t want to be a part of (I also admired many of this culture’s endemic qualities, don’t take me wrong, it wasn’t a question of better or worse ; just a question of sensitivity). So, yes, this made me feel for Elisabeth’s character.
One of the question I often asked myself during the show : do people like Elisabeth makes this world a worse or a better place. She is so committed to the bigger picture, fighting for a better world, but you often feel like in order to, she’s disconnecting herself from her own humanity. Or is it what brought her there in the first place ?
I like to think that both Elizabeth and Philip, do have dissociative disorders. But they also happen to be army material, and one of the strongest psychological technique to make soldiers is to destroy layers of their personality, one after the other, to rebuild anew.
This show also reminded how some of the people with the most “exotic” way of thinking I know, have been raised in a socialist country i.e DDR. Not quite far from my own country, compared to what I would call the usual exotic cultures. They were raised in a society that, and even if it was often for the worse, was built on top of an idealistic philosophy, still and pursuing this utopia, while stomping in the mud. And this make their way of thinking very alien to me. Even if I myself, living in a comfortable world always saw myself as a leftist.
Two of them, the oldest, were even involved in some dissident political action as teenagers, and punished for it. And yet, even if they are now parents, and, happily blending in a different system, their criticism is refreshing and unusual. Far from the leftist/libertarian western doxy.
I sometimes find a bit of this while watching the Americans, even if it really stays on the surface and barely scratch it, you can see the writers did put some thoughts in it.
The Americans is a great title, actually, because (and it might be part of the magic of this country), to me, from the first episode, Elizabeth and Philip were definitely Americans.
A few other things I like :
The humor in this show reminds me a lot of eastern/central Europe humor.
I like how the colors are suddenly washed out, almost disappearing from the screen, the moment the action takes place in USSR. No needs for a panoramic view on the Kremlin ; we all know that Russian people were living in black and white world.
The numerous recalls of the times of the war and the after war from the older generation of spies. And how they , when they are so highly placed in the hierarchy have absolutely no understanding of the world as it changed.
I find Oleg’s dad, and the officer of the PGU in season 5 are really great actors. I love their mannerism, how they use the most trivial gestures to inhabit a character. Well, there probably would have been no actor studio without Stanislavski.
I must remember to reread your post when I finish the show. I’m really curious about it. Especially when I on the other hand haven’t found Mr Robots first season that good. Too many things seemed directly borrowed from Fight Club, and I find the idea of making a revolution from behind a screen much too convenient. I don’t know much about hacking though, I just spent a few praxis points in it, in DXHR.