I was wrong. “The Americans,” a period drama from the FX network, is not trite TV. I should not have fallen so fast into dismissive mode—but, then, can you blame me? Hollywood’s record of producing abysmally acted, amateurish, sub-intelligent scripts is solid. It speaks for itself.
In “The Americans,” Keri Russell kicks more than corporeal ass as a complex, introverted (now that’s novel), and most interesting character.
Matthew Rhys as her spook husband is magnificent; intense, authentic and manifestly conflicted.
The plot, script and attention to detail deserve high marks too.
And lo and behold, the Russian characters in the series are not just American extras with bad accents; they’re for real, accent and all.
So good is “The Americans” that Holly Taylor and her slightly less offensive brother, as the spy couples’ horrid kids, do not spoil the viewing experience. The children are straight out of 2013, down to their awful vernacular (lots of “like” to preface every sentence), and the staccato tart tones of Taylor’s voice.
“The Americans,” as I see it, is better entertainment than “Justified,” whose protagonist is well-acted (but I don’t like him one bit; I like the “Drew Thompson” outlaw and the prostitute he rescues from a sure death).
It’s all good TV courtesy of Sony Pictures Television and FX Productions.
UPDATE I: From the Facebook thread. “Nicki Fellenzer: Tell me more. I can’t get enough of this series. I’m a fan. Good, fun TV, harking back to a better time in our American history. The fact that Keri Russell looks so all-American works in her favor and with the script: Of course her Russian handlers would have chosen an American-looking Russian girl to be the spy next door. More Nicki.
UPDATED II: We were cheated out of the new episode tonight. Sorrows were duly drowned in the delights of the Sheldon Cooper character from The Big Bang Theory. Cooper is an animated, wonderful creation (which Wikipedia delights in maligning as a sicko. What’s new?).