I believe that one of my blog followers (Rick or Jon perhaps?) suggested a new FX series to me a few months back, but I only got around to it last week and now I am hooked! The Americans airs on FX on Wednesday nights and has had 8 episodes (out of 13) to date. There is a hiatus this week (strange!) so I figured I could take a few minutes of your reading time and give you some impressions while avoiding spoilers as much as possible. The show features a married couple – Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip (Matthew Rhys) who are actually a KGB sleeper cell living in the DS burbs with their two kids, Paige and Henry, and a stockpile of weapons. They are both extremely intelligent and highly trained. Across the street (in perhaps too unbelievable a coincidence but, hey, this is TV right?) lives an FBI counter-intelligence agent Stan (Noah Emmerich who also did a great job as Dr Jenner in Walking Dead S01!), his wife, and their son Matthew. I feel that a comparison that has been overlooked in many of the articles I have read and podcasts (primarily Afterbuzz) I have heard, is the budding relationship between Paige and Matthew which echoes the relationship between Dana and Xander on Homeland. The appearance of Claudia (played by Margo Martindale – one of Justified’s best bad guys when she was Mags Bennett!) as the handler was a pleasant surprise. What makes this show so good is the evolving relationship between Elizabeth and Philip (are they really in love? will he defect? how much is real and how much is façade?) and how we get the back story by bits and pieces. That and the various historical events of the period (where were you when Reagan was shot? I was playing basketball I think) That over the backdrop of the 80’s (complete with Fleetwood Mac songs and 80s gadgets, cars, and hairdos) takes me back to that period which lies for me between junior high and high school. I suppose it is a similar feeling that my dad has when he watches Magic City. In any case, I think this show is quite original and certainly grabbed my attention and has held it spell-bound for a week as I caught up on all the episodes. Can’t wait for next week to see how the rest of the season unfolds. And, good news!, they were renewed for a second season!
- FX Renews Spy Drama THE AMERICANS for a Second Season (collider.com)
- Communism, The Americans, and the Nature of Evil (volokh.com)
- TV: The Americans: “Trust Me” (avclub.com)