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Tag Archives: Costa Ronin

The Americans 5.09 “IHOP” Review: Secrets and Spies

3 May

Keeping secrets is a big part of being a spy and on The Americans there is always a thin line between someone speaking the truth while wearing a wig and hiding everything in plain sight. Secrets have power and the ability to destroy as well as protect and the person who knows the most tends to be the one in control. Our parents keep things from us even if they aren’t international super spies and I think we can all relate to finding out something later in life about our families that is surprising.

No, not all of us will learn our mother was in a Soviet prison camp or that both parents were born in a different country and are only part time travel agents. And yet there is a time when we find out something from the past that will open our eyes to why our parents are the way they are; suddenly they become people and not just your parents. Season 5 continues to take note of how much of a toll this life is taking on everyone and “IHOP” took a break from Paige to shift focus onto the other teens that know varying degrees of what a covert life entails. Kicking off with a returning face and Kimmy is back to emphasize just how much Philip has on his plate and he is still maintaining this relationship so he get the tapes from her father’s briefcase.

When Kimmy was introduced she was acting out against her father’s emotional neglect in a way that would be considered pretty typical; drinking, drugs and hooking up with older guys. This could also just be explained as typical teen behavior, but the death of her mother when she was younger and her father always being at work definitely contributed to her desire to connect and this was something Philip could exploit.Luckily for Philip he came up with an excuse to not sleep with a story about religion and a made up son; ah yes the made up son that was based on the real son that Philip still hasn’t met. It is hard to keep track of the different incarnations of sons on this show and Mischa Jr. provided the backstory for Philip’s lack of sexual interest in Kimmy. This story is of course born out of real feelings and when Kimmy talks to Philip (as Jim) about how he wishes he could do the family stuff gain, but right this time she astutely says “I don’t think anybody does it right.”

And in fact if it wasn’t for the KGB then Philip wouldn’t have the family/house he does, which on the outside looks like picture perfect suburban living and yet there is a strong undercurrent of wanting the spy part of his life to be over. He rectifies his original statement changing it to ‘not wanting to screw things up’ and this wistful tone applies to his real life. As with most interactions Philip and Elizabeth have when in disguise reality and fiction blend.

What about Henry? The neglected Jennings child who is thriving without any help from his parents. It is a smart and unexpected move by the writers to have Henry excel at school rather than bottoming out; it would be far easier to have him lean into delinquency. As with Paige and her religious rebellion it makes for far more interesting storytelling and now they have to decide whether to send Henry to the boarding school he has already applied for. In another great move they set up Henry’s pitch in the same way Paige asked for the truth in “Stingers.” He stands waiting for them to come home in the same position at the kitchen island all nervous and when Philip and Elizabeth initially walk in they can be forgiven for thinking “Oh fuck. Not this again.” Instead Henry has a whole speech planned about his future and again Philip and Elizabeth can’t hide their confusion (and initial waves of nausea this time) when it comes to Henry’s education.

Time for my weekly “give all the Emmys to Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell” comments and again they are very good in their lack of poker faces here. They just can’t quite understand what is going on or why he might want to study away from home.

Circling back to this discussion later when it is just the two of them and perhaps surprisingly Elizabeth takes the pro boarding school stance. And it would be good for Henry to get him out of this environment so he doesn’t get sucked into this business or just further neglected.

You would think Philip would be for this as he’s all about getting people out of this spy orbit and yet it bothers him how this boarding school looks quipping that it is a “fancy orphanage” while pointing to how much they already have in comparison to what they did have when they were Henry’s age. As with all discussions like this they get interrupted by the phone and no decision is made about Henry’s education. They have their other son to go check in on.After noting that Tuan seemed lonely last week, Elizabeth has also picked up on this vibe and decided to make a surprise visit with a fast food care parcel. Except Tuan isn’t home and Tuan doesn’t come home prompting a strong amount of concern from Philip and Elizabeth. Getting the team on Tuan’s trail they track him out of the state and see him going into an IHOP. Confronting him in the dark of their house in the middle of night they are very much not in parental mood with Philip shoving him up against the wall as Elizabeth holds a gun on him. Tuan explains that his adopted brother from the family who took him in has leukemia and he’s been going out of state to check in on him. So while he answered the call to work for his country he still cares about those he is effectively working again. They all have attachments.

In a heartbreaking moment he begs Philip and Elizabeth not to write any of this in his report. Elizabeth believes his story and Philip thinks that maybe he wants to get sent back so he can escape this shit. “That’s not who he is” responds Elizabeth and once again we are presented with how they are ultimately diametrically opposed when it comes to how they see the work. It doesn’t matter how in sync or united they are as a couple as this factor always has the power of coming between them. This also mirrors what Philip was about to say about Henry while discussing boarding school as he got cut off saying “He’s not the kind of kid…” But do they even know what kind of kid he really is. Over in Moscow there is another discussion between father and son that informs the arc of this entire season as Oleg confronts his father with what he knows about the past. When he asks why they didn’t tell him sooner Igor responds that every family has a story like this one and they did it so Oleg could have the life he has. It is a heartbreaking scene as Igor explains how Yelena was a changed woman after she came out of the camp after everything she did to survive inferring that she had to sleep with other men as part of this. Again the specter of the past comes back to haunt the present and the fear of history repeating. It isn’t like how it was, but there are figures just as imposing and dangerous that threaten this family and others like them. No matter how powerful a person thinks there father is.

Keeping this secret from Oleg and his brother ensured they didn’t suffer and this mirrors the secret that is being kept from Henry Jennings. It is not like Paige is better off knowing even if it has brought her closer emotionally to her parents; the burden far outweighs the benefits.Also for Oleg there is the matter of the investigation he is leading and the one that is happening on him. He has some success in working his source giving over an apple and healthy dose of emotional manipulation as he talks about his brother being nothing more than a photo on the wall. Saving a son in place of putting yourself in danger is good enough reason for Dimitri to talk. Even if he is clearly incredibly scared of the consequences.

It is unclear what Major Kuznetsov has on Oleg, but they are very keen on hearing all about Stan Beeman. Again Oleg and Stan’s story runs in parallel and now revenge for Gaad is being used to get Stan to consent to the CIA using the tape against Oleg.Picking up the pieces isn’t just a family matter and in Moscow we also get to see a little more from Martha. Her sad looking dinner (I do love a baked potato though) in her sad looking apartment, wearing her sad ensemble is interrupted by a familiar face. This whole apartment is devoid of bright color and neutrals reign.

Martha is not pleased to see Gabriel and her lack of enthusiasm extends to when he takes his coat off implying this will be an extended visit. Not even the mention of Clark can lift her spirits and instead she lets Gabriel know that time has allowed her to process her situation and understand just how much her services are appreciated. She doesn’t want to see Gabriel again and I don’t blame her as he is another reminder of why she is here. Maybe Gabriel will have better luck finding a friend in Mischa Jr.

There are consequences for all their actions and so many lives have been left in ruins because of this work. And now it turns out that maybe the virus William and Hans gave their life for is being used not for protection in case of a nuclear attack, but as a weapon in the war in Afghanistan. Elizabeth doesn’t believe that, but Philip thinks it is too much of a coincidence to not be. If this is the lie they have been told it will be hard for Philip to look beyond this; it is only really his wife that is keeping him tethered to the cause at this point.

In Praise of the Production Team The production team on The Americans continues to give great family photos that don’t look a) badly photoshopped or b) like a production still from an episode. Ivan Mok who plays Tuan mentioned on Instagram that this is a real photo of his as a kid and that family portrait is a delight.

Disguise of the Week 

This is quite possibly the most basic disguise Philip has ever worn that involves fake facial hair; flat cap, mustache, big glasses and a turtleneck. It would only be more Spy 101 if he had a trench coat on and was talking behind a newspaper. And that’s kind of the point. He doesn’t have time to deal with another person to meet with and he gives Gabriel’s source the exact kind of effort with his disguise that he has the energy for. They are stretched too thin and with the return of Kimmy we are reminded just how much they have on. No time for baby sitting someone else.

The comment about praying is an interesting one as a way to deal with this kind of life and at the moment Philip looks willing to try anything for some peace.

 

For more style highlights from Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys check out their fabulous custom Rag & Bone outfits from the Met Gala.

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Bowling at the FX All-Star Event with The Americans, You’re the Worst and Fargo

7 Apr

FX is having quite the year already and what better way to showcase talent than an all-star upfront bowling event. This is now a set annual tradition for FX as this is their 8th bowling outing and at Lucky Strike in New York, casts from shows such as You’re the WorstThe AmericansFargoAtlanta and Legion gathered all in the spirit of FX.

Outfit wise this means a whole lot of casual attire because bowling and then there are some stacked heels that should be going nowhere near these lanes.

The You’re the Worst cast and creator Stephen Falk give great posing with weighty balls.

A post shared by Stephen Falk (@stephenfalk) on

FX knows how to put on a shindig just as well as they make good TV if the size of Aya Cash’s beer is anything to go by.While these shoes might not be the best for this activity and look like they could easily slide off, Aya Cash’s jumpsuit is a great choice. Also her technique is going full Tom Haverford and as I found out when I last went bowling this is hit and miss. My terrible performance might have also been down to the amount of drinks we had while waiting for a lane to free up at The Gutter in Brooklyn. Also I am not a good bowler. Chris Geere gives great bowling stance. Still no bowling shoes though.We’ve seen that this is a favorite activity of the Jennings (and their covers) on The Americans and it is nice to see everyone out of the super tense environment of spy life in 1984. Also just how tall is Costa Ronin? It also looks like Henry found some Sun-In. It is really hard to write about this event without falling down an innuendo spiral (see the first photo). But what I will say is that it is nice to see Matthew Rhys with Costa Ronin as the pair have never shared a scene and probably won’t. But who knows.Great shoes for very different reasons from Margo Martindale and Keri Russell. Those heels are probably way too stacked for me – I can still love from afar – and Russell is leaning into the cool af thing she does so well at events like this mixing casual with some edge. Meanwhile I now very much want some silver Vans in my life.

Hanging at the bar is also my bowling speed (see early mention of my last bowling experience) and they’re with Christine Lahti. Lahti most recently popped up on The Good Fight as one of the many Good Wife actors who have made the jump and the depth of this guest star bench is outstanding.Ewan McGregor gives great bowling technique and he’s wearing bowling shoes. Yes he looks amazing.Jean Smart is doing that thing where you’re willing the ball to hit some pins, but in my case this doesn’t do much to help. Now I’m wondering which FX cast member is the best bowler.A couple from the red carpet and Legion’s Amber Midthunder – what a great name – will definitely need to switch out those amazing silver heels to bowl. Great dress choice that manages to swing between casual and fancy. A hooded henley is not something I’ve encountered a lot (or maybe ever?) and Atlanta’s Keith Stanfield pairs it with a great jacket and some classic Cons. Stanfield is straddling smart and casual in a way that I applaud.

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

21 Oct

Plenty of singing and dancing from this week’s TV Instagram highlights. Plus costuming sneak peeks and more shows going back into production while others are coming to an end. Ah the cycle of TV (and especially cable shows).

My saddle is waiting. 🐎 #bladeordie #kingoftherink #inline #skateland @allanmcleod

A post shared by Ryan Hansen (@hiryanhansen) on

 

Kicking things off this week with a Pony related treat from Ryan Hansen. Yes please.

The last thing you see before you die. @hoblygall

A post shared by Aaron Abrams (@mraaronabrams) on

 

Now for something a little scarier from Team Hannibal.

Mads.

A post shared by Aaron Abrams (@mraaronabrams) on

 

And Mads just being very Mads. Not wearing the mask this time.

 

Queen of Dubsmash Hayley Atwell with co-star Enver Gjokaj doing the impossible and making “Uptown Funk” feel fresh again. She isn’t wrong about those hips.

wowowowowow @thelonelyisland @melissafumero @brooklyn99fox #tableread #bts #brooklyn99

A post shared by Chelsea Peretti (@chelsanity) on

 

Another pair of cuties.

We're on our way #PaleyFest! #OrphanBlack #CloneClub

A post shared by Orphan Black (@orphanblacktv) on

 

This cast is everything. To watch their PaleyFest panel head here.

 

Tatiana Maslany switched out her fantastic ruffled Roksanda ruffled jumpsuit (stay tuned for Look of the Week) for something a little more comfy post panel and Donnie himself, Kristian Bruun captured the look.

 

Jussie Smollett continues his quest to capture Taraji P. Henson in various states of sleeping, singing and dancing.

 

Alison Bennett wrote last week’s episode of You’re the Worst and the end of “Side Bitch” was just as emotionally devastating as the Gretchen’s trip in the middle of night a couple of weeks ago. Luckily for us Paul himself Allan McLeod has a bunch of sweet photos to soften the blow.

#thegoodslide @thegoodwife_cbs #thegoodwife

A post shared by Cush Jumbo (@cushjumbohere) on

 

Of course the ChumHum office has a slide. Cush Jumbo’s video also indicates that Lucca Quinn will be sticking around, much to our delight and one of The Good Wife’s most challenging clients will be making an appearance.

We all went backstage after Dame Judith's preview of Therese Raquin! Brava!

A post shared by Jill Soloway (@jillsoloway) on

 

Family photo time.

She's back #TheAmericans

A post shared by Annet Mahendru (@annetmahendru) on

 

The Americans won’t be back until the start of 2016, but in the meantime the Russian contingent are sharing some set photos and once again Nina has some fantastic knitwear.

#OlegBurov

A post shared by Costa Ronin (@costaronin) on

 

Their characters might be on different continents; however Oleg shares his one-time girlfriend’s love for wool with his choice of tie.

 

It may not be a Mindy Project behind the scenes picture and yet it still makes the TV Insta cut as this scene made me laugh a whole bunch. And I continue to have Mindy pajama envy.

 

More amazing costumes from Salvador Perez and I am so here for this yellow Risto skirt.

 

Even superheroes need to take a break sometimes.

 

I am very excited about the Looking movie and Richie baseball cap sneak peeks. If only this wasn’t the end.

Back at the office. Almost done season 2!! #theaffair

A post shared by Joshua Jackson (@vancityjax) on

 

Joshua Jackson has a pretty wonderful view from his ‘office.’

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

7 Oct

Plenty more returning shows this week offering up behind the scenes treats on TV Instagram. Plus old cast mates hanging out together, Empire style sneak peeks and what some of the stars of The Americans have been up to during its hiatus.

 

Paris Fashion Week delivered a super adorable Game of Thrones reunion complete with super adorable hashtags to boot.

 

They were frenemies on screen, but this Ugly Betty trio looks thrilled to be hanging out together again.

Our first pitch meeting for our #supersecret project! #beckinewton @vwofficial @americaferrera #uglybetty

A post shared by Michael Urie (@michaelurielikesit) on

 

Except when secret projects are being filmed featuring a song by another one of their Ugly Betty co-stars. Whatever Michael Urie and Becki Newton have planned count me in.

Paparazzi's shots from that Oleg and Nina's first date… and the reason it didn't make it into the episode

A post shared by Costa Ronin (@costaronin) on

 

Potential disguises/season 4 storyline ideas for Nina and Oleg on The Americans?

Thank you Alexander Wang for having me walk the @balenciaga show! It was magical!❤️🇫🇷❤️ #PFW

A post shared by Julia Garner 🐰 (@juliagarner94) on

 

Meanwhile Kimmy lost her corkscrew curls and has been busy walking the runway at the Balenciaga Paris Fashion Week show.

 

Bathrooms at fancy pants events seem like they would be the most fascinating and friendly places for dress related problems.

💃💃as well as 👭 w @jennyslate the other nite #sam #susan #bong

A post shared by Chelsea Peretti (@chelsanity) on

 

#NightOutGoals

Yup. It's Britney, Bitch. #janethevirgin

A post shared by Gina Rodriguez (@hereisgina) on

 

Legit screaming about this guest appearance. Gina Rodriguez’s caption says it all really.

 

Each week the Empire costume design team raise their game and tonight’s episode is no different.

Rhonda's fittings are more fun with a baby belly! 👶🏽

A post shared by Kaitlin Doubleday (@kaitlindday) on

 

And now they are getting to show off their ethereal maternity wear style for Rhonda.

Going to miss Ann Dowd tonight! Probably the best person/ actor on the planet.

A post shared by Margaret Qualley (@margaretqualley) on

 

Garvey love for Ann Dowd on the set of The Leftovers.

 

And now I want a project where Liv Tyler and Margaret Qualley play mother and daughter. More evidence to support this notion.

Singularities aren't easy to close. And at what cost? #guesswhosbaaaaack #TheFlashSeason2

A post shared by Grant Gustin (@grantgust) on

 

The Flash and Barry’s fabulous boots are back!

"Eli is really a frustrated hippy." – @alancummingsnaps #TheGoodWife

A post shared by The Good Wife (@thegoodwife_cbs) on

 

Alan Cumming took over the official Good Wife Insta on Sunday to celebrate its premiere and there are plenty of behind the scenes shots including Eli’s secret aspirations and a highly anticipated future guest star.

 

Varying degrees of pouting effort in this Scream Queens photo.

@ilanusglazer at her finest. Video skills @lucyhc silky voice @eeags

A post shared by @abbijacobson on

 

I can see Ilana working this tee paired with some denim shorts on Broad City.

RIP YOU DUM DUM also sorry if this spoiled it for you but I promise it's gonna be hella funny when you see it! 😉👌🏽

A post shared by Stephanie Beatriz (@iamstephbeatz) on

 

The Stephanie Beatriz glasses envy continues this week.

 

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