The Americans premiered on FX tonight and let me just say, wow. FX continues to deliver proving time and again that they are one of the best networks on TV. After the premiere of The Americans tonight, I can say that this show is now on the top of my list of must watch shows.
Set in Washington, D.C. in 1981, The Americans follows what appears to be a typical American family with mom and dad and two kids living the American dream. They are anything but a typical American family however. Mom Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and dad Phillip (Matthew Rhys) are under-cover KGB spies who have been living in the U.S. for the last 20 years.
We see early on in the show that the spy couple has differing levels of commitment to the mother country. Even after 20 years away living in the capital of the imperialist capitalist dog American’s, Elizabeth is still a hard-core communist dedicated to mother Russia. Phillip’s loyalty however does not match Elizabeth’s. When dealing with a sticky issue in the premiere episode (I won’t spoil it for you), Phillips suggests that it’s time for their family to disappear. We see the rift in the relationship as Elizabeth still believes that despite her kids knowing nothing about Russia and having grown up in America that she could turn them in to Socialists at the drop of a hat. Philip informs her that their kids are Americans and he knows she hates it. This is very obviously going to be a big theme of this series and I’m sure the differing levels of commitment to the cause will cause much more tension in their relationship.
The main characters:
Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell)
FX gave us a preview of her character:
Phillip Jennings (Matthew Rhys)
Phillip Jennings is married to Elizabeth. He has been living in the U.S. for 20 years as a secret agent for the KGB. His commitment to the cause is not as strong as his wife’s and he seems to be looking for a way out. With his wife being so committed to the cause, an easy exit seems to be unlikely. He loves his wife and he loves his kids and he seems to have fallen in love with America.
Agent Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich)
Stan Beeman is an FBI agent that happens to live next door to the Jennings family. He happens to be working in the section of the FBI that has been tasked by President Reagan to uncover and destroy the KBG sleeper cells that are known to live in the U.S. Phillip believes that Stan’s presence next door to them is not a coincidence but instead thinks that this is a sign that the FBI is closing in on them.
The Americans airs on FX on Wednesdays at 9:00. If you missed the premiere, check your guide because FX will be airing it again I’m sure. I can’t stress enough the need for you to watch the premiere and then add this show to your DVR. Do not miss this show.