Premiere date: Jan. 30
Stars: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich
What it’s about: Part family drama, part spy thriller, lots of 1980s clothes as Russell and Rhys play married KGB spies in America during the Reagan era. ”The show has such a weird perspective because the whole concept is told from the ‘other side,”’ says creator Joe Weisberg (Falling Skies). ”We think of the KGB as the enemy but on this show the enemy is the good guys. It changes how you come at the stories and the emotion. But at the end of the day, you’re watching a marriage that’s like any other marriage, albeit in a crazy situation.
The Americans (FX)
You know how US TV always turns Russians into terrorists? Well, prepare to feel a hint of sorrow for two Russians sleeper agents turned real Americans in FX’s latest hour-long drama. The Americans stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, two seemingly ordinary American parents. They have two kids and a house with a white-picket fence. It would be the American dream, if only they were Americans.
The series jumps back-and-forth between the present, the 80s Reagan years, and the 60s, where Philip and Elizabeth were trained to be KGB operatives. While the small bits of action sequences could use an upgrade, the series is all about the internal struggle of this seemingly normal American family. Philip and Elizabeth have been living in America for almost 20 years, as such they have become the people they once were only pretending to be. They remain loyal to their mother Russia (they even call it the Motherland), but their children have been raised American. When FBI agent Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich) moves in next door, the couple must decide where their true allegiances lie.
Although the Pilot started with a cluttered action sequence, I was full invested in this new series about twenty minutes in. Russell and Rhys do an amazing job as two conflicted spies, torn between family and country. There are also some comedic moments in Episode 2, “The Clock,” as well as spy cos-play throughout.
Premieres: Wednesday, January 30 at 10PM
The Americans (FX)
Premieres: Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 10/9c
What if Mr. and Mrs. Smith were Russian spies? This 1980s-set drama tells the story of Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell), two KGB spies posing as Americans in Washington, D.C., shortly after Ronald Reagan’s election. The longer they stay on assignment, their arranged marriage — complete with completely clueless kids! — becomes more and more real. But with the Cold War heating up and a FBI agent neighbor (Noah Emmerich), things could get messy quickly. Justified’s Margo Martindale will recur.