After the premiere of The Americans last week on FX, I was cautiously optimistic that we could have something great on our hands. After tonight’s episode, I’m throwing caution to the wind. The Americans is the best new show on FX and it’s one of the best new shows we’ve had on TV in a long long time.
Set in America in 1981 just after the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan, during the height of the cold war, The Americans follows two KGB agents who have been living in America for twenty years as deep cover Soviet spies. The couple, played by Keri Russell (Felicity) and Matthew Rhys (Brothers and Sisters), have been living a double life in the United States. They were brought together in the 60s and trained to be Americans. They became a married couple and have even had two children while living in the U.S. One of them, Russell, is a hard-core committed Communist. The other, Rhys, is committed to his wife and kids and has lost some of his commitment to the mother land. He has found America to not be such a bad place and seems to be questioning his mission.
My favorite person on the show so far is Keri Russell. If you are thinking of her as the sugary sweet Felicity who is nothing but a good girl who might cut her hair short at any time, don’t. Get those images out of your head right now because her character is not sweet or kind in any way. Russell is amazing as KGB agent Elizabeth Jennings. As if to reinforce the fact that Jennings is not to be confused with Felicity in any way, the writers go out of their way in the opening of the first episode to tell you just how committed to the Communist cause Jennings is and just how willing Russell is to play her character just as darkly as needed. When I do another hottest women on TV list, Russell is going to be on there. Her character is one of my favorite female characters on TV right now and it’s just been two episodes.
I really can’t say enough about The Americans. This is a show people should be watching. With the news today that MTV renewed Buckwild for another season, we need this show now more than ever. I’m slightly worried because the show is smart and intriguing, two things that don’t appeal to most American TV watchers. I’m optimistic though because The Americans airs on the fantastic FX Network and if there is one thing FX knows, its good programming. FX has more patience than a network like ABC who will cancel a good show if they even suspect slightly that ratings might take time to build. FX will give this show a chance. If you are not watching it, you should give it a chance too.
After two episodes, The Americans is now one of my favorite shows on TV and is a must-watch. You can watch the first two episodes online at FX so you can catch up. When you are caught up, you can watch The Americans on FX Wednesdays at 9:00. Don’t miss it.