The Americans (FX)
Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings are small-business owners, travel agents, raising two all-American children, 14-year-old Paige and 11-year-old Henry, in a pleasant, tree-lined suburb of Washington, D.C. Neither the kids nor the FBI agent who lives across the street realizes that the Jennings are also deeply embedded KGB agents whose real enterprise is spying on President Ronald Reagan’s government. Their covert missions can be as tense and nail-biting as anything ever imagined by Ian Fleming or John LeCarre, but what makes this parallax period piece more than an addictive cliffhanger – what in fact intensifies every mission – is how creator Joe Weisberg and his team shrewdly use the Jennings’ double lives to contemplate duty, honor, parental responsibility, fidelity, both nationalistic and marital, and what it means to be an American. Their jobs sometimes require that they be promiscuous, and it takes a toll. They preach integrity to their kids, but they’re dishonest. They are as righteous about their country and their cause as the FBI neighbor is about his, but the perks of capitalism are not lost on them. For its fresh, ingenious, philosophical take on spy-versus-spy, The Americans receives a Peabody Award.
Executive Producers: Joe Weisberg, Joel Fields, Graham Yost, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, Daniel Sackheim. Producers: Mary Rae Thewlis. Consulting Producers: Joshua Brand, Stuart Zicherman, Stephen Schiff. Co-Producer: Angelina Burnett. Directors: Thomas Schlamme, Daniel Sackheim, Constantine Makris, Lodge Kerrigan, Dan Attias, Charlotte Sieling, Kevin Dowling, John Dahl, Alik Sakharov, Stefan Schwartz, Gregory Hoblit, Andrew Bernstein. Writers: Joel Fields, Joe Weisberg, Stuart Zicherman, Stephen Schiff, Angelina Burnett, Melissa James Gibson, Joshua Brand, Peter Ackerman, Tracey Scott Wilson, Oliver North. Actors: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, Annet Mahendru, Holly Taylor, Alison Wright, Susan Misner, Richard Thomas, Costa Ronin, Lev Gorn, Keidrich Sellati.
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