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Winter TCA: 'The Americans' -- From Russia in love?

January 09, 2013|By Greg Braxton
(FX )

FX's "The Americans" was inspired by a true-life incident: The arrest in 2010 of 10 people who allegedly spied for Russia for up to 10 years while posing as ordinary civilians.

The drama stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as Russian spies posing as a suburban Washington couple in 1981.

Joe Weisberg, an executive producer on the show, said Wednesday that the timing of the show was key, that a series like "The Americans'" would not have been possible during the height of the Cold War.

"Trying to tell a story about Al Qaeda now would be pretty much impossible now," he said. "During the Cold War, no one wanted to relate to the enemy."

"The Americans" may pose a bit of an identification dilemma for viewers. The couple played by Russell and Rhys are the theoretical heroes of the show, but they are also on a mission to undermine the U.S. They have a different value system.

Ultimately, producers said, it's the story of a marriage.

"... That marriage is an allegory for international relations," Weisberg said, "and international relations are an allegory for this marriage."

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