Friday, February 15, 2013

Quick Look - The Americans

We haven't done a "Quick Look" in awhile and the only reason I'm doing one now is so that I have to edit my tirade about this terrible and sorely undeserving show.

As a concept it's brilliant: two Russian sleeper agents during the cold war in 1980's America struggle with their own identities as they try to remain loyal to a foreign power that continues to falter.  The show stars Kerri Russel and Matthew Rhys as KGB operatives sent to America, and is inspired by the Illegals Program which caused a collective shrug in America, circa 2010.  Unfortunately, creator Joe Weisberg pushes too hard in the pilot and with the show airing on FX the overall tone of the program is all off.  Handled with a little more subtlety (a la Homeland) this one could have been a fascinating character story drawn out over several seasons.

It doesn't help that you're nearly twenty minutes into the pilot episode before anything resembling a hook occurs, event though we're supposedly thrown right into the action.  Too much is revealed of the leads' times in Russia in the first episode, and they even go so far as to show Russel doing a fake Russian accent.  Case in point: have her SPEAKING Russian and then have an officer reprimand her to practice her non-accented English but NEVER have an actor doing an accent unless it's convincing.  Oh and I remember the 80's.  These are not the 80's, they might as well have set it in present day for all the effort they're making.

Needless to say, I won't even be giving this one the usual 3 episode salute.  I'm out, and I would advise you to avoid this one too.


  1. Agreed. I was only able to make it 40 minutes through the episode before giving up.

    Keri Russell seemed very miscast to me.

  2. That tagline is awful. All's fair in love and cold war??? Booo