Posted by: Patrick Allen Foster | May 21, 2013

Links for Tuesday: Mad Men, The Americans, Twilight, and Other Assorted Links

1. Tyler Cowen reviews The Americans: “I am pleased to report it is one of the few TV series I like. It pretends to be about ‘two Soviet KGB officers posing as an American married couple in the suburbs of Washington D.C. in order to spy on the United States.’ But it’s actually about a) Russian mothers having to raise their children in the United States, b) what a marriage actually consists of (spoilers in that link), and c) to what are we loyal? It captures the 1980s uncannily well.”

The Americans is probably my favorite new series this year (and the only one I stuck with after a few episodes, to be honest). I previously noted a commentary on the series by Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy.

2. What hard-to-adapt novels should filmmakers attempt to adapt next? “Something is clearly changing, at least for adventurous auteurs, raising the question of whether any books still remain off-limits. The same daredevil spirit has informed many an apparently insane film or TV version over the past decade, which has seen adaptations of literary novels (Cloud Atlas, Life of Pi, Midnight’s Children, Tristram Shandy) and epic fantasy works (The Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire, AKA A Game of Thrones) that would previously have been written off as impossible. Vast classic novels or sequences – A la recherche du temps perdu (on French TV), Parade’s End, Les Misérables – have all been ticked off. With adapters no longer inhibited or intimidated, works totalling over 1,000 pages are tamed by gleefully drastic slashing and/or exploiting the ampler air-time available in TV series. CGI technology means that magical happenings, supernatural beings, wild creatures or crowd scenes have ceased to be either avoided or introduced nervously. Taboos – against adapting short story collections, or first-person novels, or multi-stranded narratives – have been defied.”

3. Mad Men review by Hanna Rosin, “Don Draper turns into Christian Grey.” (I know, this is over a week old by now–but still worth posting, I think.)

4. “Game of Thrones: NFL Style.”

5. Why Twilight Sucks: A Comprehensive Analysis.



  1. I liked the first two episodes of “Americans” but am simply incompetent to get myself in front of a TV at a set time each week. Hoping the DVD package of the 1st season comes out soon.

  2. It’s a pretty short first season (only 13 episodes, I think), and the storyline does lend itself to binge watching. I think you’ll enjoy the season 1 DVD set.

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