the americans

I watched a new show on FX last night called The Americans. As someone who grew up on Cold War spy novels and movies, I found the premise intriguing: Two KGB sleeper agents live a quiet life in surburbia while conducting covert operations against the United States. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys play Elizabeth and Phillip Jennings, an apparently typical American couple who are anything but typical. Noah Emmerich plays Stan Beeman, their new neighbor. And just to make things interesting, Beeman is an FBI agent, newly assigned to the Bureau’s Counterintelligence Division.

The pilot episode impressed me. The leads were all solid. The three main characters have good dramatic potential. Elizabeth is the true believer who is dedicated to carrying out her mission, no questions asked. Phillip is the pragmatist who likes his life in the US, and is not above trying to talk Elizabeth into defecting and giving up their secret double life. Stan is clever and dogged. He likes his new neighbors, but is suspicious of them from the beginning. His previous assignment, a three year stint working undercover in a white supremacist group, gives him a unique perspective on the people he is pursuing.

The Americans takes place in the early 1980s. The producers have (so far) made pretty good use of period music. It’s also kind of cool seeing the cars and clothes from “back in the day.” I’ll be tuning in next week to see if the show can continue to hold my interest.

4 thoughts on “the americans

  1. My wife wanted to see this so I thought I would tag along. I’m always trying to find a show that we can watch together. However she fell asleep promptly as it came on. I stuck around though and I have to say I was wowed! The premise, although interesting, I just didn’t think would make interesting episodic television. However after seeing the pilot I’m sold! This was great action, great we-can-be-found-out-any-second thrills, and pretty interesting characters. Usually in an action show children are a waste of time. Or hostages. In this show, they are a vital part of the main character’s motivations. Long story short: I love the show!


    • Most of the reviews I’ve seen so far have been positive, and it has a rating of 8.0 on IMDb. The ratings were pretty good too, so there’s a good chance the show will be around for a while. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.


  2. John D.:
    I found this a wonderfully EERIE representation of what went on IN our country (we would have to be THAT stupid to think it could NEVER or HAS NEVER happened).
    The flashbacks were intriguing as well.
    Nice to know HOW they were recruited and trained.
    Sleeper cells…wonder if any Manchurian Candidates will surface as well?

    I give it 2 thumbs up.
    Good show.
    Stay safe out there.


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