My Take On….THE AMERICANS on FX
Keri Russell has long been a favorite of mine, from her days spent on THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB and MALIBU SHORES (worth nothing to mention her long relationship with another favorite, Tony Lucca). I followed her to FELICITY (one of my favorite shows of all time) loved her in WAITRESS (her movie with Nathan Fillion), and sat through every episode of RUNNING WILDE. In short, I would do anything for Keri Russell, and that includes, it would appear, rooting for the Russians.
You see, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys star in FX’s latest drama series offering, THE AMERICANS, premiering January 30 at 10/9c, which follows the lives of married Russian spies trying their hardest to bring down the “corrupt” American government in Cold War-era (read: 1980s Reagan-era) Washington, D.C. Elizabeth and Philip Jennings are the epitome of the American dream – young, charming, upwardly-mobile parents with an affinity for baking brownies for the neighbors and ribbing each other over back yard basketball games. You would never guess that under the surface lie calculating and ruthless spies on a mission from their homeland. With the FBI literally living one house over, their lives just got 100% more complicated.
Keri Russell is fantastic – cold, strong, determined, and, while I expected her to be heartbreaking, because when isn’t she (can you tell I’m a fan), her portrayal of this damaged Russian holding on to her old beliefs surprised me and evoked an empathy for the “enemy” that I wasn’t prepared to feel. Her husband on the show, Matthew Rhys, is playing tortured and unsure so well that I want to just reach through the screen to shake him, then hug him, then tell him to get it together, but then also tell him that everything will be okay. His Philip is strong on the surface but once the layers start to get peeled away, you realize he’s not exactly as confident in his mission as he once was, and from that turmoil comes great drama. The supporting cast is rounded out by fresh faces Keidrich Sellati and Holly Taylor (as Henry and Paige Jennings, both great) in addition to Maximiliano Hernandez, while familiar faces Noah Emmerich (the new next door neighbor – one of the most underrated actors in recent memory and one of my favorites) and Margo Martindale deliver fantastic performances!
In short, you should be watching THE AMERICANS (Wednesdays, 10/9c on FX) – and don’t worry about that sense of loyalty to the Russians. It is equal parts unsettling and exciting to root for the antihero!