My dearest TV3,
Hello. How are you? My name is Chris. I've been writing stuff about television shows for a little while. Sometimes I write about your shows. I wrote about Sons of Anarchy yesterday. And The Blue Rose. I like lots of your shows. I watch Modern Family and 7 Days and Bones every week. I even love some of them, like Go On.
You've been playing this one show for the past few months which I love more than any of the others. In fact, it is one of my favourite shows. It's called The Americans. You've been playing it late on Monday nights. I hope you stayed up for it, because it was a delight. And I'm writing in the hope that I can persuade you to bring it back next year.
The Americans is about this married couple named Philip and Elizabeth, who have two kids and live in the suburbs of Washington DC. It's set in 1984. Philip works as a travel agent. Elizabeth is a housewife, and helps Philip sometimes. They're friends with their neighbour Stan, who is an FBI agent and a heckuva nice guy. I reckon you'd like him.
Did I mention that Philip and Elizabeth are undercover KGB agents posing as a married couple so they can spy on American intelligence agencies, that their kids have no idea, and that FBI agent-neighbour Stan doesn't realise they are the main targets of his large-scale investigation? Oh, I forgot to bring that up?! Oops. Sorry, TV3.
The first series ended last night (duh, as if I need to tell you) with one of its best episodes yet (spoilers ahead): Elizabeth walked into an FBI trap and got shot by Stan, even though she managed to escape with the help of Philip. They reconciled at the end. It was cute. Stan is in trouble though, because the Russian lady he's been pumping for information (pun intended) has turned on him. Also, his wife wants to leave. She didn't really say that. I can just tell.
We also got a glimpse at how vicious Claudia really is, after she shocked a guy (pun intended) then cut his throat. "You'll be paralysed for 20 minutes," she said. "But you'll bleed out in 10." It was a pretty damn exciting finale, very intense - even more intense than an X Factor audition - and things look very interesting for next season.
Now, this is where you come in: please bring The Americans back again next year. I want to watch it. Pretty please?
Look, you know, and I know, that The Americans didn't really rate very well. To be honest, it didn't do much better in America; it rated lower than its channel-mates Sons of Anarchy and Justified. But it did well enough that FX have already green-lit a second season, coming in January 2014. And I reckon you should too. Y'know, if you could be so kind.
For a start, TV3, this show is not really like anything else on you. Homeland is probably the closest comparison, with its intelligence agencies and spy games. Sons of Anarchy has a similar feel. The Americans, though, is one of a kind. A romantic drama set against the mid-1980s backdrop of Soviet Russia and the Cold War. Who thinks up this stuff?!*
The cast is fantastic. Have you ever seen Felicity? Well, the lead lady from that - Keri Russell - plays Elizabeth, while this pretty much unknown guy named Matthew Rhys plays her husband Philip, and they are both brilliant. Then there's ole' Noah Emmerich as Stan; he's one of those actors that makes you yelp "hey, it's that guy!" even though you can't name a single thing he starred in. Margo Martindale, from the second season of Justified, plays Claudia. You could say she's trading moonshine for vodka! Seriously though, she's great in everything.
The music is great too. The first episode opened with a chase scene set to Fleetwood Mac's Tusk. I think I might have been hooked from that very moment. Last night's finale closed with a montage set to Peter Gabriel's Games Without Frontiers. Have you heard Gabriel's third self-titled album? It's not too bad. You should check it out. I'm not sure why Peter Gabriel has four self-titled albums though. He is eccentric, I guess.
Besides, The Americans might do better in season two. Some shows do. And some of The Americans' success was dependent on The Blue Rose, which didn't reeeally provide a good lead-in. In a different time slot, on a different day, maybe The Americans could hold its own in the ratings. Besides, isn't it nice to be able to say "we have a show on the air that is better than anything on TV2 right now"?
(You have some good shows too, TV2, if you're reading this. I just don't think any are as good as The Americans. Sorry.)
Anyway, that's all I wanted to say. Please bring The Americans back next year, because the first season you just finished playing was great. Hope everything is going well at work and all that. I saw the Comedy Gala last week. You did a great job on that one. Harry looks pretty damn good, too. And I thought Oscar Kightley was just a comedian!** Pass on my love to the kids (especially Four; I love that little guy), and say hi to your mum for me.
If you'd like to beg TV3 to bring The Americans back next year, please feel free to do so in the comments.
(*) This guy. He does.
(**) I'm not into previews, but I've seen an advance copy of Harry and can tell you that it is definitely worth tuning in for: Kightley is locked in on the lead role, Sam Neill is always great, and the first episode is completely different from anything I've seen out of this country before. I'll have a full review on Thursday morning.