The Americans, an FX drama series about a Russian spy couple posing as seemingly normal suburbanites in Reagan’s America, is the “best show” on television, according to the Washington Post. In 2013 and 2014, it was nominated for Critics Choice TV Awards for best dramatic series, best actor, and best actress. One critic applauded: “Not since The Wire worked its last corner has a drama series been as outright binge-able and richly satisfying.”
Well, cotton candy is outright binge-able and richly satisfying to sugar addicts. But no one would mistake cotton candy for serious food.
No one should mistake The Americans for serious television. Although co-stars Kerri Russell and Rhys Matthews — who are romantically involved in real life — deliver consistently compelling performances, the show is the television equivalent of junk food. Its depiction of the Cold War between East and West is worse than worthless; it is dangerous to the mental health of viewers, particularly the distressingly large number of young viewers who get their history from television. They will learn about as much about the history of the Cold War by watching The Americans as they would learn about the Ice Age by watching The Flintstones. Continue reading