The Americans aired in 2013, it was written by the ex CIA officer turned writer Joseph “Joe” Weisberg, it has currently 5 seasons out, the 6th and final season with 10 episodes has been set for 2018 but in this post I’m going to review just the 1st season.
The show it’s about the illegal program of Russia, which was the name given to the sleeper Russian agents posing as normal citizens of the states with the purpose of building relationships with politicians, officers and academics so they could gain insider knowledge about American operations and political changes. In our show the program was set in the early 1980s in Reagan’s administration and is centered around the Jennings family, with KGB agents Philip Jennings and Elizabeth Jennings as parents and their two unsuspecting children who are being raised as normal American kids.
Through Weisberg’s experience as a former CIA officer, countless conversations with former CIA colleagues and doing his research on the KGB notes from the cold war left by Vasili Mitrokhin later known as the Mitrokhin archives, he was able to recreate a thrilling version of the KGB spy network with their captivating espionage craftsmanship, which utterly fitted in the timeline of early 1980s with the venomous relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.
There are many critics asking why the show didn’t show more about Reagan’s persona and character, while others were expecting to see more about the international politics and my personal opinion to those statements is that the show has already enough political topics, by adding more in that cup The Americans would lose its main core which stated by the writer himself Weisberg is marriage. The main direction of the show is to represent the relationship between Philip and Elizabeth through the escapades they face on fulfilling the spontaneous missions from Moscow that seem impossible from time to time and their everyday responsibilities as parents, also the endless efforts to keep those two lives separately so their children won’t be affected.
To me the show is a homogeneous mixture of a political spy thriller and a family drama, combining various elements of those fields and making them collaborate with each other gives us a dynamic and thrilling espionage story with adding the marriage of two adults who keep trying to work things out while clashing on another because of the different paths that they want their family to follow.