Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You…

It’s nice when we see a new show created, and made to look as if it were made years ago, for example, The Americans is set 1981 and really, it looks great. If it were made in 1981, I’m not so sure it would look as good, but it would most certainly look dated. It isn’t simply down to modern filming techniques, take The Godfather. It was made in 1972 and looks as fresh as a daisy, and you can’t fault a thing about it. This isn’t in that league but it does look good enough to last.

A couple of deep cover agents from mother Russia, have been living as a normal married couple, and even have a pair of kids. Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) find it hard to keep up their identities and loyalties after living undercover in America for almost 20 years. They have been ordered to take on an extremely risky set of missions, one of which is bugging the Secretary of Defense’s home, to keep tabs as the Cold War heats up. Enter the new neighbor, Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich), he is an FBI agent running the counterintelligence operation designed to catch them. Sounds exiting doesn’t it? All the episodes have a mission, a moral qualm, and some form of resolution so we can watch the next one unencumbered with cliffhanger tension.

The acting is pretty solid, the direction wasn’t too bad either, but the writing was a bit rough at times. It could have been a little more consistent, but this is a TV show, with a smallish budget, comparatively speaking, and better than a lot that get put out these days. I enjoyed all of the episodes, however, the quality did sway a little here and there. Even so, I was delighted at the news of a second season, but lets hope the writing remains at least as good, if not better than season one. Certainly one to watch.

Ed’s Grade: B+

Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment Writer

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