The Americans, Espionage in the Last Decade of the Cold War

After three years and five seasons, The Americans has finally been nominated for the 2016 Emmy’s Best Drama Series. The show depicts the life and operations of two covert Soviet agents in the U.S in the 1980s. Members of the K.G.B ‘Directorate S’, the agents live as a married American couple, with a perfect accent and two children.

The 1980s was the last decade of the cold war. It was one of the most agitated periods of the 20th century. It started with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, then the Iranian revolution, Iraq-Iran war, the attempted assassination of President Reagan, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, UK-Argentina war, and counting.

The show crosses these events in a smart way, putting them as background contextual ornaments. Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elisabeth Jennings (Keri Russel) are torn between their cause and their daily life and family. The dichotomy intensifies as their son and daughter grow closer to the age of adolescence. They get so immersed in the American way of life that they consider to end their mission and collaborate with the F.B.I. But those moments of hesitation are always shadowed by a new tricky and brutal mission that reminds them the imminent aspect of the ’cause’.

The Americans is a very attractive and well decorated series. It gets you into a fast pace of stories and events, going quickly from romance to action to drama. Keri Russel’s astonishing resemblance with Michelle Pfeiffer is the icing on the cake. It gives the show another magic anchor to the 1980s.

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