If it were anyone other than FX doing this, I’d say The Americans is likely the first attempt to try to catch a little of Homeland‘s Emmy afterglow; since it is FX, and since they have such an excellent track record for cutting edge drama, my expectations are insanely higher. Truth be known, I’ve been a little disenchanted by Homeland‘s break from human drama to anti-terrorist procedural, and with what I’m seeing here it seems like The Americans could fill that void.
Set in the early 80’s, The Americans focuses on KGB agents living in the USA and posing as, well, Americans. Sounds easy enough, right? Now consider this family arrangement: Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell), are the spies, married via an arranged marriage, and they have two children – 13-year-old Paige (Holly Taylor) and 10-year-old Henry (Keidrich Sellati)—who have NO idea their parents are Russian spies. Here’s the official description from FX.
The Americans is a period drama about the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C. shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President. The arranged marriage of Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell), who have two children – 13-year-old Paige (Holly Taylor) and 10-year-old Henry (Keidrich Sellati), who know nothing about their parents’ true identity – grows more passionate and genuine by the day, but is constantly tested by the escalation of the Cold War and the intimate, dangerous and darkly funny relationships they must maintain with a network of spies and informants under their control. Complicating their relationship further is Philip’s growing sense of affinity for America’s values and way of life. Tensions also heighten upon the arrival of a new neighbor, Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich), an FBI agent. Stan and his partner, Agent Chris Amador (Maximiliano Hernández), are members of a new division of Counterintelligence tasked with fighting against foreign agents on U.S. soil, including KGB Directorate S illegals, Russian spies posing as Americans.