Reviews of Movies, TV shows & metro Detroit Restaurants

Short movie & TV show reviews and metro Detroit restaurant reviews

Thursday, June 13, 2013

TV Show Review: "The Americans"

I wrote a review recently about the TV show "The Following" and bashed it pretty good because it was pretty lousy. Around the same time that "The Following" premiered on Fox, its sister TV network FX premiered "The Americans" which was a much better show by leaps & bounds.

It's the early 1980s and the U.S. is deeply embroiled in the Cold War with the U.S.S.R. The CIA, FBI and Russian KGB are operating at a very high level. The KGB even has spies living in the U.S. disguised as American citizens...they are "The Americans." In this particular instance, the KGB agents are Elizabeth & Phillip Jennings (played terrifically by Keri Russell & Matthew Rhys). They look just like a normal American couple as they live in suburbia, have a couple of kids, work together at a travel agency and seem to be the perfect couple. But...they are far from the perfect American couple. They are spies. And they are damn good spies.

The show follows the Jennings' attempts at infiltrating the U.S. Government. They do this by donning disguises, taking on lovers, lying & cheating and doing whatever it takes to get inside the U.S. Government. All of this is very fascinating & intriguing. They also have to contend with a nosy neighbor who just happens to work for the FBI (Stan Beeman played excellently by Noah Emmerich) specializing in KGB infiltration! Yet this is no modern spy game as it is the 80s, therefore there is no internet, no cell phones, no GPS, etc. and thus the spy work is done mostly "on the ground." It's is intriguing how this version of the spy game was done without modern technology.

The plot twists & turns, the in-depth storylines, the sweet 80s clothing & music, the acting performances, the excellent writing and the deception & tension make this one of the better shows to come out in the last few years. It is very well made and I look forward to more seasons of this show.

"The Americans" is an excellent TV show...8.0/10 stars

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