TONIGHT: The Americans

The Americans premiere tonight at 10 p.m. ET on FX and FX Canada. I find the series takes a while to find its stride but that’s typical of pilot episodes, especially one where so much has to be explained at the start. There’s too much exposition, with scenes flashing back and forth. It gets better when the focus stays on the two main husband and wife Russian spy characters (played by Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell) in the time the series is set, 1981, struggling with an assignment that doesn’t seem like it could have a happy ending. Not pretending to be Americans; pretending to be married.
I was on the set in Brooklyn last week and interviewed the stars. Rhys, who previously was among the ensemble on Brothers & Sisters, already feels like he’s undercover. The Welsh actor is pretending to be a Russian pretending to be an American. He was very funny during the interview, suggesting co-star Russell was, “fine when she was sober.” The two apparently tease each other incessantly on the set.
For more on this series, check  out this feature I wrote on The Americans for The Canadian Press.

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