Season two of the award-winning, much acclaimed FX cold war series The Americans kicks off this week, proving that Americans were ready to embrace a television series about appealing KGB operatives: Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell. Without giving away too much of a sensational first episode, at one point the couple is caught in flagrante delicto by Paige, their teenaged daughter. What follows the next morning over breakfast is a by-the-book conversation about privacy and closed doors. When they are not shuttling family around to carnivals, where son Henry comes close to inadvertently joining the family business, the couple, wearing an assortment of guises, take out whom they must, and the scenes are often bloody.
A clever satire of "normal" suburban life is as much a part of the show's subtext as a nod to popular culture, and the mores of the times, particularly some pre-women's movement attitudes. There's a very funny bit involving Meryl Streep in The French Lieutenant's Woman, all the rage as she spouts wisdom about women's roles in society if they dare to love outside of marriage. Imagine watching that with both your mistress, and your wife.
The Palm Court at the Plaza was packed for a sumptuous after party. Many boogied well into the night. When I asked Keri Russell if she is anything like her character, Keri Russell said, Elizabeth's much cooler, while Matthew Rhys quipped we are exactly the same: "duplicitous, psychotic, and, I love my wife." His answer perhaps demonstrated the lying he's learned playing the role of Philip Jennings: the actor's not married.
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