Thought on FX’s ‘The Americans,’ Pt. 2

Although I have chosen to pursue writing, I hold a college degree in political science and a minor in intelligence and national security. While in school, I learned about the intelligence community (especially through a short stint in an open-source researching group) and I grew to like it. There was a time when I thought for sure that I would hold a government job one day, possibly as a lawyer specializing in international law.

But, to get to the point, I was required to write a final paper in my intelligence history class on spies. More specifically on Soviet spies. Let me tell you, it was very interesting. My paper dealt with Robert Hanssen, a former FBI agent arrested in 2001 for espionage, and his progression as a Soviet spy. All the lies he told and lives he sold were very interesting.

Not that I would want to be a spy or anything. Well, it depends on what you’re payin’?

That’s what brings me to The FX’s show ‘The Americans’. Everything about it seemed to be something that I would love. It had sex, lies, murder and cleaver espionage. It draws from real life events, like the 1978 assassination of a Bulgarian dissident writer named Georgi Markov through a ricin injection from the tip of an umbrella. For a Soviet spy junkie like myself, it is pure gold.

If you haven’t seen the show yet, the premise is pretty simple:

  • The Jennings’ are a suburban Virginia family.
  • They are loving parents.
  • They have a good social standing in the community.
  • Surprise, they are actually Soviet spies.
  • They have killed dozens of people.
  • Phillip wears fake mustaches.

Got it?

No, seriously, if you haven’t seen the show yet, you should. You can catch some of the first episodes on The FX’s website here. You wanna talk about a show that pushes the censors? It would be this one. But, there’s more to this show than the occasional side boob and blowjob joke. There’s an actual story, unlike some shows on TV today.

Are spy dramas not your thing? Underneath all of the killing and deception is, believe it or not, a love story. Phillip and Elizabeth, the show’s main characters, have been deep undercover as a couple for about twenty years. While living their lie, they became married and had two children. But, in all the time they’ve been together, they’ve never even though about trying to actually love one another. Until now, that is. Not to sound cheesy, but this quest for love may be their hardest mission yet.

Okay, I meant it.

Unfortunately, I’ve fallen too far behind with posts about this show to even begin an episode-by-episode review. But, I promise I will when season two, which was green-lit back in February, premieres. I’m writing this, because I don’t want you to scoff at what I’m about to type. I don’t want you to think, “He didn’t even take the time to write about it constantly, so why should I believe his opinion now?”

Please, trust me when I say that this show is probably one of the best and most interesting shows on television right now. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if ‘The Americans’ was nominated for a Golden Globe next award cycle. With that being said, if Matthew Rhys or Keri Russell doesn’t walk away from that thing with an award, I think I’ll have something to say to those on the awards staff.

Maybe an umbrella blow to the knee, perhaps?

Have you every strapped on a greasy mustache for anyone, let alone Mother Russia?

Again with the greasy ‘stache?


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