The Americans: The Complete First Season

GameStop, Inc.

The Cold War era in the United States of America was not a happy time. With Russia and the USA locked in a series of international relation nightmares and spy drama, things were bleak. The United States saw Russia as the enemy and vice versa. This is the setting for FX’s popular drama, The Americans. Elizabeth and Phillip Jennings (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) are not the normal suburban couple they appear to be. As two officials for the KGB, the two have infiltrated the United States. Further complicating their lives is the fact that they are a married couple with two children. They attempt to blend in with American culture while still helping to carry out risky missions. Things get even more difficult when an FBI agent moves across the street.

Americans Logo

Along with all the episodes for season one, The Americans box set also includes many special features. Deleted scenes accompany all the discs to show what was left on the cutting room floor. Some of this work is explanatory to the show, so a great added bonus. In addition, show creators Joseph Weisberg, Joel Fields and Noah Emmerich offer commentary on the episode The Colonel. Joseph Weisberg is very interesting to listen to, especially in the special feature Executive Order 2579: Exposing the Americans. This segment discusses his time in the CIA, how he joined and why the show focuses on relations between the United States and Russia. Perfecting the Art of Espionage covers more of the spy features. Perhaps the most interesting special feature is Ingenuity Over Technology. This segment covers the lack of technology in the 1980’s and why Weisberg decided to set the show in that time period.  Also included is a Gag Reel to break the seriousness after watching so much on the historical and scientific aspects of the show.

Season one of The Americans is strangely easy to get into. Though as residents of the United States many of us were taught as children to fear Russian intrigue, it’s nearly impossible for the viewer to not find themselves rooting for Elizabeth and Phillip.  It also helps watching Keri Russell push a former defecting KGB agent’s head through some drywall.

 

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