There aren’t many TV shows I miss long after they end. The Americans is one of them. Even though the series ended almost two years ago, I still miss the anticipation of the next episode.
The Americans is an American television period drama series created and produced by former CIA officer Joe Weisberg. It premiered in the United States in 2013 on the FX network and concluded after six seasons and 75 wonderful episodes in 2018.
The Americans is about the marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C. shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President. The series centers around the arranged marriage of Philip (Matthew Rhys1 and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell), who have two children – 14-year-old Paige (Holly Taylor) and 12-year-old Henry (Keidrich Sellati). The children don’t know about their parents’ true identity. The spies live next door to Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich), an FBI agent working in counterintelligence. From there it gets complicated.
This is one of the best TV shows I’ve ever seen. What makes it special is the interplay between the spying and what’s going in the family of the Russian spies and the family of the FBI agent next door. In the end, I am interested in the personal relationships more than I am the spying. The spy stuff added intrigue to what would otherwise be normal relationship issues. I can relate quite easily to the relationship issues. The spying is just plain fun to watch, partly because of the now dated technology of the the era (the 1980s) in which the series takes place. The relationship between the more practical Philip and the rule-following Elizabeth makes for some fascinating issues. Keri Russell’s beauty enters the plot in many different ways.
The New York Times said “The Americans” is “one of those rare series that actually has gotten better every season.”
If you want insider information about the show, Slate has a podcast about the show featuring cast, crew and creators.
- Rhys is Welsh but plays a very convincing American — or more accurately plays a Russian pretending to be an American. ↩