Update EDIT (5 Nov 2014): A multifaceted and complex plot with a dark soul that will seduce you with its promise of truth and leave you willing to sell your soul to the devil to get a glimpse of what may be a mere lie. The more I watch it the more I like it. All of the characters are developing as layered and flawed. Also, just as I think I know where a plot thread is going, it surprises me. If you are wanting to watch a courtroom based drama where the main thrust is just each case as it comes up, this may not be for you.
**** Shonda has done it again! Gripping, suspenseful and off-beat. All of the characters were interesting, I want to know more about them. Already we have enough twists and turns to keep a country lane happy for several miles. I cannot wait to watch the next episode. This is one of the best pilot episodes I have seen in a long time. There isn't much I can say about the plot without giving spoilers, so I just encourage anyone who likes a twisty thriller to give it a go!
Ahhh, there's nothing quite like the smell of fresh Cold War espionage in the morning. I've been a fan of The Americans since the first episode. Being of a certain age... (ahem, you know around 29 and a half), I remember the era depicted vividly. There was a desperation, a paranoia about the late '70s/early '80s that was unique to that time. The threat of annihilation by nuclear holocaust was a vivid horror etched into everyone's minds. Propaganda and misinformation was disseminated the world over to control what the general public thought. Popular culture depicted the spies of the time as glamorous, dangerous and sexy. The reality, I'm sure was a lot more brutal.
The Americans does a great job of authentically bringing the atmosphere of the era to life. Following what to all appearances is a normal all-American married couple who are, in fact, Russian spies the show draws us into the darkness of the Cold War. The brutality, the double dealing on both sides, the emotional cost, these are all dealt with. On one hand you feel that you should hate the main protagonists for their subterfuge and crimes. But, this is where the show is a cut above many others. The Americans makes all of the characters sympathetic in some way.
Each episode is over far too quickly and each season has flown by. Watch it: you will find yourself rooting for the most unexpected characters; you will hold your breath as you sit on the edge of your seat; you will be glued to the screen as you feel tears forming after a particularly brutal scene. It is probably the best drama on TV at the moment, in my opinion.
This was a joy to watch. Funny, irreverent, silly. I must admit that when I heard the theme of the show I wasn't sure it would work, but I was wrong. Netflix managed to make fun of so many things in 13 short half-hour episodes and they got the tone spot on. It dealt with religious cults, small town hicks, racism, sexism, and class-ism. If you had told me that I was going to find a story about an ex-member of an apocalyptic religious cult's life in New York with her gay, black room-mate, her murdering, drug dealing landlady and her racist Native American employer, I would have told you that you were out of your mind! But it was the funniest thing I've watched in a while. All of the negative traits were dealt with in an intelligent and insightful way. The main characters learn a lot about themselves and it is touching and funny in the process. I really hope that Netflix does a second season.