Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Television Review: The Americans
The Americans is about KGB spies in the United States in the eighties. They pose as a married couple (so much so they have children together) who work at a travel agency. But they spend most of their time trying to gather intelligence or turn people to spy for them. Keri Russell, who is always gorgeous, plays the woman and Matthew Ryes plays her "husband."
The show is interesting in that it has you rooting for the bad guys, sort of like The Sopranos and Breaking Bad did. You don't want these Soviet spies to get caught. But then again, you don't want them to succeed. Since it's set in the 80s, you know that they don't.
Their neighbor is an FBI agent who, ironically, is looking for Soviet spies. That adds a bit of tension. He also turns a Russian who works in the Soviet Embassy in D.C. That doesn't go exactly as he planned.
One thing I'm surprised about is how often they use sex to get what they want. But I suspect that's pretty accurate. It's also interesting to see the reactions of the spies to events. For example, when President Reagan was shot, they thought it might be a coup. At times you have to remind yourself that you're watching fiction, not a documentary.
One thing that does bother me is they talk about the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI or "Star Wars") too early, in my opinion. Long before Reagan gave his speech about it, in any case.
The Americans is fast-paced, interesting, and often exciting. If you like watching the cat and mouse games of intelligence rivals (and apparently, I do), you'll enjoy this show. Its final (and sixth) season starts March 28th. I'm really looking forward to watching all of it.