It’s not often that a brand new TV show is renewed only four shows into its first season, but that has just happened to the new FX spy thriller, The Americans, and I can understand why. This is the freshest show I have seen in a long time.
The premise is complicated. Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell star as Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, KGB sleeper spies who live in suburban Washington, D.C., during the Reagan era. They own and run a travel agency and raise an ordinary family to complete their cover (shades of Alias).
Things become complicated when Philip and Elizabeth start to value their family more than their missions. Then an FBI agent who is more interested in other people’s families than his own moves in next door. And despite her grandmotherly tone and appearance, the KGB handler assigned to Philip and Elizabeth makes it clear that she considers them to be expendable in the name of a mission. Any mission.