9 items from 2015
This review is based on the first three episodes of season one, which were provided to us for review purposes prior to broadcast.
The word that comes to mind most when considering NBC’s latest dramatic venture, Allegiance, is potential. Boasting a stellar Hope Davis, an intriguing set-up and (at least three episodes in) surprisingly slick scripts, it has all the trappings of a new hit for the network – but more than that, if it stays true to its characters and time-bomb narrative, Allegiance feels like it could turn into must-watch television somewhere down the line.
It’s not quite there yet. Like FX’s The Americans (a show it has been inevitably but not entirely fairly accused of ripping off), Allegiance mixes the espionage thriller with the family drama, with an increased emphasis on the former. That’s about where comparisons to that brilliant series end, though. Whereas The Americans is a rich, »
- Isaac Feldberg
For the past few weeks, my Twitter mentions have been filled with indignation over the existence of "Allegiance," the new NBC drama starring Hope Davis and Scott Cohen as Russian deep cover agents who are pressured to recruit one of their kids to the cause. Most of them go something like this: @sepinwall The NBC promo for Allegiance might as well say, "We literally just ripped off The Americans from FX." — Clint Ward (@BTR331) January 12, 2015 And I get it. Yes, "Allegiance" (which debuts tonight at 10) is based on an Israeli series, and there are some notable differences from the FX drama: it's set in present-day, the parents are retired spies reluctantly forced back into active service, they have two adult kids (one of whom, played by Gavin Stenhouse, works for the CIA), etc. But the premise is so similar to "The Americans" — and particularly to recent plot developments on that »
- Alan Sepinwall
To get the obvious out of the way, the new NBC drama “Allegiance” clearly suffers from cable envy. Like “Homeland,” this spy thriller was adapted from an Israeli series, and the basic Russian-moles-among-us plot sounds an awful lot like FX’s Cold War homage “The Americans,” merely relocated into a contemporary setting. Putting those concerns aside, what emerges proves fast-paced and enjoyable in a check-your-brain-at-the-door kind of way, with the disclaimer that the perilous premise can take a left turn from amusingly silly to distractingly ridiculous at any moment. In terms of capitalism, while “The Blacklist” lead-in might help, ABC’s “Murder”-ous competition won’t.
Written and directed by George Nolfi (“The Adjustment Bureau”), the premiere opens with the brutal execution of a former Soviet operative on U.S. soil. That event hints at a larger plot, with a Russian go-between, Victor (Morgan Spector), approaching the seemingly idyllic couple »
- Brian Lowry
A lot of people are likely to look down on Allegiance before it even starts, and only because The Americans isn’t that old. I have to give them that, if I’m really being honest, but this one is quite a different spin on things, and I’m a lot more intrigued by the possibilities.
In this telling of the Russian agents living as American citizens story, Mark and Katya O’Connor (Scott Cohen and Hope Davis) have a complicated backstory. They fell in love when Katya was still working for the Kgb, and a deal was ultimately made that allowed the couple to marry and live in America, but with a vague understanding that one is never really out of the Kgb… or whatever.
Fast-forward a lot of years, and their son, Alex (Gavin Stenhouse), has started working as analyst for the CIA. He also rather a sharp cookie, »
- Marc Eastman
Director/writer/showrunner George Nolfi and stars Hope Davis, Scott Cohen, Gavin Stenhouse and Margarita Levieva made that clear about NBC’s new spy drama during today’s TCA panel. Allegiance centers around a young CIA analyst (Stenhouse) specializing in Russian affairs, who discovers that his parents are former Russian spies that have been re-enlisted to plan a terrorist attack against the United States. A family of spies in the USA? It's no surprise that Nolfi was asked… »
- Denise Petski
NBC’s upcoming drama “Allegiance” — which premieres Feb. 5 — centers around a seemingly normal American family whose parents are secretly Russian spies. If that sounds a lot like FX’s “The Americans” to you, you’re not alone. But the cast of the show and executive producer George Nolfi did their best to distance their show from the FX offering during the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena on Friday.
“Watch one or two episodes, and I think it’s pretty clear that we’re going in a very different direction,” Nolfi offered. “This is fundamentally a family drama about »
- Tim Kenneally
They're both spy dramas about a secret Russian cell living undercover in the U.S. who are caught between the demands of their motherland's intelligence agency while trying to avoid being discovered by the FBI. And FX's The Americans came first. So why wouldn't viewers think NBC's Allegiance is ripping off the cable drama? "Watch one or two episodes ands it's pretty clear we’re going in a different direction," said executive producer and director George Nolfi at the TCA press tour on Friday. "This is fundamentally a family drama who do not want to be spies. They face the »
- James Hibberd
NBC’s TCA panel for upcoming spy drama Allegiance (Thursdays beginning FEb. 5), starring Hope Davis, Scott Cohen, Gavin Stenhouse and Margarita Levieva, didn’t do much to quell the notion that the show is too similar to FX’s The Americans. Given the lukewarm reception to NBC’s other spy drama, State of Affairs, we’re thinking Allegiance‘s cover will get blown quickly. Now onstage at #TCA: cast of upcoming NBC spy thriller series #Allegiance, Israeli import with similarities to FX’s The Americans. — Channel Guide (@ChannelGuide) January 16, 2015 “Allegiance” Ep George Nolfi says difference between this show and FX’s “The Americans” will … Continue reading →
The post TCA: NBC’s “Allegiance” is not “The Americans” … maybe appeared first on Channel Guide Magazine. »
- Ryan Berenz
Is NBC’s upcoming Allegiance just a contemporary, broadcast TV take on The Americans?
Nyet, says the executive producer of the new drama, which centers around a young, idealistic CIA analyst (played by Gavin Stenhouse of the UK’s Iconicles) who is unaware that his parents (Gilmore Girls‘ Scott Cohen and The Newsroom‘s Hope Davis) as well as his sister (Revenge‘s Margarita Levieva) are part of a dormant Russian sleeper cell that has just been reactivated.
“Watch one or two episodes [of Allegiance] and I think it’s pretty clear that we’re going in a different direction,” Ep »
9 items from 2015
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