To paraphrase Philip and Elizabeth Jennings’ new/old handler Gabriel, “Podcasting and timeliness in many ways are antithetical.” After a series of delays, Paul and Arlo are back with guest of honor Wesley “Wezzo” Mead to continue their discussion of Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields’ modern classic spy drama The Americans. This time, they’re taking a look at season 3, a masterclass in thematic cohesion. Everything, more or less, comes back to the challenge of parenthood: on a micro level, how the Jennings plan on guiding Paige into the world of spycraft; on a macro level, how they can act as individuals under the forceful hand of the Centre. The gang talks self-actualization, bone-crunching, necklacing, and Frank motherfucking Langella. Plus, a detour into the “wholesomeness discourse” raging around Ted Lasso.
NEXT: John Cusack and Paul Dano take on John C. Reilly and Jenna Fischer in a Geek Challenge. It’s the very real music biopic Love & Mercy versus the parody music biopic Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.
Gobbledygeek episode 441, “The Americans: Season 2 (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here, on Spotify, and on Apple Podcasts.
You know what they say: Parenting is hard, especially when you’re undercover KGB operatives masquerading as a suburban American couple. As Paul, Arlo, and special guest Wesley “Wezzo” Mead dive into season 2 of Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields’ modern classic The Americans, they discover all the ways child-rearing is difficult for Philip and Elizabeth Jennings. This includes concealing your secret identity; setting up a decoy aunt; keeping your kids out of the church; and shielding them from the dreaded “spurtsposition.” Plus, Paul and Wezzo rock out to the new Fratellis album and share some nice words about Ted Lasso.
NEXT: it’s My Favorite Year to take a stroll down Sunset Blvd. on a new Geek Challenge.
00:01:16 – Intro / Guest
00:14:17 – Main Topic
01:51:00 – Outro / Next
“Twilight Zone” by Golden Earring, Cut (1982)
“Here Comes the Flood” by Peter Gabriel, Peter Gabriel (1977)
Gobbledygeek episode 436, “The Americans: Season 1 (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here, on Spotify, and on Apple Podcasts.
Deception is as American as apple pie. Elizabeth and Philip Jennings are well aware of this–they’re Russian spies under deep cover as a suburban couple in the U.S., after all. Their new next door neighbor, FBI Agent Stan Beeman, threatens to throw a wrench into their long con. Over the course of The Americans season 1, there are plenty of twists, turns, betrayals, and confessions. Wesley “Wezzo” Mead has infiltrated the podcast to join Paul and Arlo as they begin a retrospective on Joe Weisberg’s critically acclaimed but criminally underseen FX series. The gang discusses the tremendous work by leads Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys; how the show is a little pulpier and faster moving than they remembered; the characters’ vacillating beliefs in each other and the systems they move within; and, of course, all those wigs.
NEXT: Hollywood post-production supervisor Michael Holland flies in for a look at The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Take note, Jennings–Soviet agents can be reformed!
00:00:51 – Intro / Guest
00:03:45 – Main Topic
01:50:05 – Outro / Next
“Tusk” by Fleetwood Mac, Tusk (1979)
“Games Without Frontiers” by Peter Gabriel, Peter Gabriel (1980)
Last week, we brought you our favorite movies of last year (finally saw Inside Llewyn Davis, by the way, and yes, it would have made the cut). This week, we change channels to focus on TV. We’re doing things a little differently this time out, with separate top 10 lists for new shows and returning favorites. Though there were a lot of new shows I enjoyed over the past year, I’ll admit I couldn’t stretch them to 10; instead, I’ve got 8, while Paul’s just crazy enough to have a full 10.
As always, there are shows we couldn’t get around to: I haven’t seen Rectify, Top of the Lake, Broadchurch, or The Wrong Mans, all of which I’d hoped to see in time for this list. Oh, and to absolve him of all guilt, I should mention that Paul has never seen Breaking Bad. Wait, I don’t think that absolves him.
PAUL: 10. HANNIBAL (NBC)
I wasn’t particularly interested in a television adaptation of the Thomas Harris characters. But names like Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, and Bryan Fuller pulled me in. It’s one of the most visually stunning and hauntingly…haunting shows ever to make it to network television. It’s also one of the most shockingly violent and grotesque. All positives in my book. But I can’t put it any higher on my list because it’s crushingly depressing.