The Americans


The Americans Information

The Americans is an American television drama series created and produced by Joe Weisberg. Set during the Cold War period in the 1980s, The Americans is the story of Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys), two Soviet KGB officers posing as American citizens and a married couple. The series premiered in the United States on January 30, 2013, on the FX network. The series has been renewed for a second season.

Cast

Main

  • Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings (Nadezhda), a KGB agent
  • Matthew Rhys as Phillip Jennings (Mischa), a KGB agent
  • Maximiliano Hernández as FBI Agent Chris Amador
  • Holly Taylor as Paige Jennings
  • Keidrich Sellati as Henry Jennings
  • Noah Emmerich as FBI Agent Stan Beeman

Supporting

  • Richard Thomas as Agent Gaad, an FBI supervisor.
  • Margo Martindale as Claudia, the Jennings' KGB supervisor.
  • Annet Mahendru as Nina, Agent Beeman's Soviet mole.
  • Susan Misner as Sandra Beeman, Stan's wife.
  • Daniel Flaherty as Matthew Beeman, Stan's son and Paige's romantic interest.

Production

Filming began for the first season in November 2012 in the area of New York City. The production utilizes location shots to simulate a dramatic setting of Washington, D.C. Its early filming was notably delayed by flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Conception

In 2010, Weisberg was inspired by the events of the Illegals Program to write a script about a family of Russian spies. His research material included notes on the KGB's Cold War left by Vasili Mitrokhin and conversations with some of his former colleagues. In an interview with Time, Weisberg explained that, unlike the circumstances involving the 2010 Russian spy ring, he had opted to set the story in the early 1980s because "a modern day [setting] didn't seem like a good idea", he said, adding, "People were both shocked and simultaneously shrugged at the [2010] scandal because it didn't seem like we were really enemies with Russia anymore. An obvious way to remedy that for television was to stick it back in the Cold War. At first, the '70s appealed to me just because I loved the hair and the music. But can you think of a better time than the '80s with Ronald Reagan yelling about the evil empire?"

Weisberg continued, speaking of the show's origins, "I wanted to do a show about a husband and a wife and their children who don't know and how it affects the kids. We always conceived of The Americans as a show about a marriage, more than espionage, that shows how, even under the craziest circumstances, the marriage still looks and feels like any other marriage."

Development

After reading and enjoying a novel by Weisberg, the show's executive producer Graham Yost discovered that Weisberg had also written a pilot for a possible spy series. Yost read the pilot and discovered that it was "annoyingly good", which led to the beginning of motions to develop the show. Shooting of the pilot began in May 2012 and lasted until mid-June. The show received an order for a second season of 13 episodes on February 21, 2013.

Casting

Series stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys were interviewed in January 2013 by The Huffington Post and gave the following comments about their respective characters:

Former Felicity star Russell spoke about the decision to work on another television series: "I thought the pilot script was just so interesting. It was so far from a procedural. And [originally,] I didn't know that I wanted to do it. I always say no to everything. I never want to do anything. [Laughs.] But I just couldn't stop thinking about it. I read it...and I kept trying to figure it out, because it's so not clear. It's still not clear to me. But there's so many different levels to it."

Rhys spoke about what attracted him to the role of Phillip: "He's a sort of gift of a part in that he's very sort of layered and multi-faceted. And when you meet him, he's at this great turning point in his life where everything's changing for him. You just get to do everything. You get to do the kung fu, and you get to do the emotional scenes, you get to do the disguises. It's the full package for an actor. It's a dream."

Susan Misner, who plays Sandra Beeman, will be promoted to a series regular beginning with season two.

Series overview

Main article: List of The Americans episodes
Season Episodes Originally aired DVD and Blu-ray release date
Season premiere Season finale Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 13
2 13

Reception

The series has received critical acclaim. On Metacritic, it has received "generally favorable reviews", reflected by a Metascore of 77 out of 100, based on 35 reviews. Many critics commended the plot and performance of the leads. Rob Brunner of Entertainment Weekly described it as "an absorbing spy thriller" while David Hinkley of the New York Daily News praised the pace, noting that "It's a premise that requires as much clever dramatic footwork as you might expect, and creator Joe Weisberg, a former CIA agent, handles the challenge". Verne Gay of Newsday called it a "smart newcomer with a pair of leads that turns The Americans into a likely winner" and gave it a grade of an "A-".

Gail Pennington, television critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch gave The Americans a rating of three out of four stars. In her review of the debut episode, Pennington stated "The Americans isn't just a heart-pounding action drama; by presenting heroes that are also villains, it also confronts viewers with TV's deepest moral dilemma since The Sopranos". Said Glenn Garvin of The Miami Herald about the lead characters: "If the Russians had agents this convincing the Cold War might have turned out differently".

A few reviewers had criticisms for the series. Kyle Smith of the New York Post said of the pilot episode that "The Americans at the moment seems to fall uneasily between the methodical and the campy". Hank Stuever of The Washington Post observed that "The Americans struggles to crack a certain code; the concept is tantalizing, but the follow-through lacks the momentum that gets viewers to commit". He described it, however, as "another well-made, provocative TV drama" and suggested that it "could benefit from having the finite boundaries of being a miniseries rather than launching itself into the ambitious realm of an ongoing series."

See also

  • Little Nikita
  • Sleepers
  • Telefon



This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "The_Americans_%282013_TV_series%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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