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realclearworld

“The Americans” Meet Colonel Nathan R. Jessep

theamericanslogo

I haven't yet decided if I will give FX's "The Americans" any full attention. I have a hard enough time remembering to watch the one or two shows I do watch, and often times need to either wait for a re-showing on the network schedule, or find them on my cable company's "On Demand" or on Hulu.com (if carried there). I will look for the pilot first episode of "The Americans" on one of my go-tos this weekend and watch it.

However, apparently the series has already had what I like to call a "Colonel Jessep Moment" (a few of them in the first episode alone), in that the writer and director (with "A Few Good Men" it was Aaron Sorkin and Rob Reiner) craft a scene intended to make someone or something look negative or bad in order to intentionally damage it or damage what it represents, but an opposite viewer reaction and perception negates that intent.

Brent Baker MRC: FX’s new series which debuted Wednesday night, The Americans, is centered around husband and wife KGB sleeper agents who live with their kids as ordinary Americans in suburban Washington, DC when Ronald Reagan becomes President. Joe Weisberg, the creator and executive producer conceded to TV Guide that “this series, to a large extent, is told from the perspective of the KGB and the Soviets. We’re making them the sympathetic characters. I’d go so far as to say they’re the heroes.”

Yet, in the 95-minute pilot aired January 30, there were scenes which should hearten conservatives who believe in Reagan’s righteousness and the superiority of the United States.

(Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell play “Philip and Elizabeth Jennings,” Soviet agents who speak perfect English without hint of an accent.)

[...]

Colonel Nathan R. Jessep's boisterous "You Can't Handle The Truth" speech in a murder trial testimony told the cold hard truth and reality of unflinching duty in a dangerous world filled with enemies and critics in the face of the writer/director trying to make him, and by that the whole of the U.S. Marine Corps, look and sound barbaric and insane. Most people I know who have seen the movie feel that Jessep scene was written with that intention, but find it one of the best pro-military scenes ever in a movie. Jessep knew, in the end, he was going to be nailed for his personal involvement and guilt in the murder, but he would not be taking the Corps down with him.

If the series "The Americans" succeeds it will be due to good writing and acting, and not in making us commiserate with and cheer for the anti-American/pro-communist aspects of it ... or the attempts to make a strong and resolute anti-communist/pro-American Pres. Ronald Reagan look and sound like a paranoid lunatic that instigated the Soviet's defensive and offensive actions on our soil. Remember, Progressives/liberals in this country credit Soviet Pres. Gorbachev for ending the Cold War, not Reagan. I imagine that will be an underlying set-up within this series. As a matter of fact, I suspect the series will inadvertently fall into a few more "Colonel Jessep Moments" before all is said and done. Nice try...

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