The Americans and Their Lack of Popularity

2-18-2014 2-39-11 PM

Granted, there are a lot of popular TV shows out there but I’ve seen some of them and I can confidently say that they are not even as half as good as The Americans. It breaks my heart to say that a show that I really adore doesn’t get the ratings and the buzz it truly deserves.

The 2nd season premiere was seen by 1.9 million people, a very low number if you compare it to FX’s other hit shows like Justified or American Horror Story. The number only rose when the Live+3 was added up and it totaled to 3.2 million viewers (which was actually VERY good according to FX) but in my opinion, the show should be more popular than that, it should get I Love Lucy numbers!

Now, to the question, why isn’t it more popular? Well, I have a couple of guesses why and don’t worry, “because people are stupid” is not included.

The Premise is Kind of Hard to Understand, But it Shouldn’t Be

If you ask someone, like me, what The Americans is all about, short answer is, it’s about a Russian spy couple who are sleeper cells that infiltrate America and is posing as a real American couple and they are now actually a couple and they have kids and are now all in danger. Want the long answer? I thought so.

If you are an avid viewer of the show and someone asks you about it, how many words can you say until you finally give up and just tell the asker to watch the damn pilot.

It’s Not What People Expect

I didn’t expect The Americans to be what it really is the first time I saw it. I was blown away by what was happening in the pilot but it was just something that I hadn’t expected. The first thing that I knew about the show was that it was about spies. The pop cultural mindset brought to us by Mission Impossible and James Bond have given us a very different idea of what spies really are. And when you see a show like The Americans, so deeply rooted from the creator’s own experiences as a CIA officer and pieces of history, you get a completely different thing. It should be a good thing, that we see some realism in our spy shows but people are not ready for their spies to not have exploding cell phones and fancy futuristic gadgets.

It’s an Action Drama with a Female Lead

FX hasn’t really been known to produce action dramas with female leads. FX is known for Justified and Sons of Anarchy, shows that highlight violence that can sometimes go over the top. In The Americans, there is restraint, even when the scene gets too crazy. Plus, Keri Russell is in The Americans, which shouldn’t be a bad thing. It’s not that she’s a woman which causes the ratings to be just so-so, it just happens to be that she is in action drama in a network known for producing male leads.

Whatever the reason is, I hope the ratings gets better and better. Don’t forget to tune in on The Americans , Wednesdays, 10 PM on FX.

  1. I think it’s a little like the old tv show Mission Impossible, except it’s the bad guys who wear the disguises and pull off the mission rather than the good guys.

  2. I enjoyed this article and agree with it. The Americans developed (and still developing) into one of the best shows on Television recently. Many new(er) programs are enjoyable, don’t get me wrong. However, the depth of the plot, character development,authenticity, and using the mysterious “Cold War” era (which unless you really study/look into the Cold War, it can appear very mysterious) really push this show above many others. Like the author said, it’s difficult to describe this show in a mere few words, just watch it and see for yourself!

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