Today, ‘The Americans’ Would Be Ordinary In Their Un-Americanness


“A simple morality tale—and one conservatives should especially relish. … an unalloyed cheer for America … hagiography of the Gipper … Paranoid thriller … a staple of the Cold War and War on Terror life. …” That’s the left’s take on “The Americans,” a new “FX anti-Soviet drama.”

Writes National Journal’s Matthew Cooper:

In The Americans, there’s none of that, just a celebration of American values. Phil considers defecting to America, which he lauds in cheeky but sincere tones. “The food’s pretty terrific. There’s plenty of closet space.” We like the Soviet spies only because they were created by a monstrous totalitarian system and are struggling to break out. (Elizabeth was not only programmed to be a spy but was raped during her training.) Keri Russell was given her start in the chick drama Felicity by J.J. Abrams, and he cast her Mission: Impossible III, where she showed her high-kick bona fides.
By contrast, the America of the Gipper is free, recognizes the Soviet threat, and is even progressive. Beeman has a minority FBI agent partner, Chris Amador (Maximiliano Hernandez), who offers proof that the FBI is dropping is crew-cut ways and becoming less cloistered, and the show notes that “there are only like two or three of them so they can’t get fired.”

As readers know, not for me are today’s chick-centric action dramas, where, “With enough will-power, an 80-pound waif will wallop a 200-pound gangster, sustaining no punctures to the silicone sacks. Her hulking cop partner is made to trot after the Great Woman obediently, stepping in to save the day only when crime and firefighting are impeded by stilettoes on the job, and a lack of physical prowess .. all in the tradition of the men-are-buffoons; women-are-brawny-and-brainy narrative…”

I am unable to become engrossed in such a parallel universe.

Hollywood had its Golden Age, back when well-written scripts reflected well-developed, multi-faceted characters. Today, Tinseltown is a monolithic, left-liberal automaton, marching in thematic unison, and subjecting the viewer to the same impoverished, error-riddled, preachy themes.
The evidence is in. Activism and abreaction have replaced acting, and sermons have supplanted stories in the repertoire of the pretty, pea-brained community.
A giant digit wagging above a captive audience: that’s Hollywood.

While, National Journal is correct that the series is “cartoony and a bit cheap,” and, “In its Manichaean view of the world, more like World War II movies than the nuanced thrillers of the postwar era”—it’ll hold the attention of conservatives, more so because it depicts a much happier America, one (oddly, apparently, to NJ) still dominated by the much-maligned (small “m”) moral majority.

However cute, Keri Russell, however, has an all-American look. She does not resemble a Russian beauty. The Slavic women—perhaps the most beautiful in the world—look nothing like the all-American Russell.

Milla Jovovich would have fit the mold.