In the US: Wednesdays, 10/9c, FX
In Canada: Wednesdays,10pm ET/PT 8pm MT, FX Canada
In the UK: Acquired by ITV
There's a lot of nostalgia for the 80s at the moment. Okay, so the 60s and 70s have largely been done to death on TV now thanks to Mad Men, That 70s Show et al and the population is ageing, but right now, it's the 80s that have all the buzz. Maybe it's those conservatives and their love of Ronald Reagan. Maybe it's the fashionistas. Certainly, The Carrie Diaries is giving teenagers who weren't even alive back then a chance to indulge in the decade of crazy fashions, MTV and Ferris Bueller.
What The Carrie Diaries doesn't give anyone is a good old nostalgic feeling for the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the possible imminent death of everyone on the planet in a nuclear war. It won't even include the Twin Towers in the Manhattan skyline in case it bums anyone out.
But The Americans, FX's latest wander down the path of darkness, dares to love the Cold War, when times were simpler and you largely knew where the enemy was: either the Soviet Union or the Soviet embassy down the block - certainly not in a cave somewhere. Well, except for those sleeper agents, of course
But it goes one step further still and dares to love the Soviets. Because The Americans, set in 1981, follows Keri Russell (last seen on Running Wilde) and Wales' own Matthew Rhys (a Brothers and Sisters alum, so well versed in the art of faking an American accent) as a pair of Soviet sleeper agents who have spent 15 years in the US pretending to be an everyday couple next door. Trained to blend in with suburbia, they even have two kids, although whether those kids were conceived out of love or a desire to convert the American populace to socialism is a thorny subject.
Yes, after 15 years of living like Americans, our undercover couple - who are still spying, seducing and killing for the Soviets - are starting to wonder if the Yanks are really as bad as all that. Have they been changed? Is their will breaking? Or are they still good comrades? At the very least, they're hoping that the FBI agent who's moved in next door doesn't discover who they are before they've decided for themselves
Here's a trailer: