Having jumped on “The Americans” bandwagon last year, I can only watch the current fifth season unfold at the glacial pace of one-hour episodes each week. The noirish FX television series set in the early 1980s of the Reagan presidency focuses on two embedded KGB agents, Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, played by Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell. Their agency-arranged cover marriage has become real to them as they parent two children along with handling the pressures and constant danger of undercover espionage.
There’s an ironic brilliance in showing America as seen from the other side and making these enemy agents the heroes. They’re Russians, for goodness’ sake! Noah Emmerich co-stars as their moody neighbor, Stan Beeman, who happens to be a top-tier FBI agent investigating KGB operatives in the U.S. The supporting cast includes Costa Ronin as Oleg Burov, a disenchanted KGB official, and the always-brilliant Frank Langella, as Gabriel, the Jennings’ circumspect KGB handler. There will be a final 10-episode sixth season next year.
10 p.m. Tuesdays on FX. Seasons 1-4 of “The Americans” is available On Demand and through Prime Video.