You've heard of the "cold war," right? Well, I'm currently having a "hot war"—inside my PANTS. Now, I'll admit I've said some disparaging things about Communists in the past... for example, here's what I wrote back in 2009 about how we should probably panic because Commies could be the first humans to bone in space:
"The Russkies already have a leg up on us in sexual exploration (i.e., their brilliantly conceived mail-order-bride program)—so it's just a matter of time before they're circling Earth and making hot commie love... right over our heads! Word of advice, my friends: If the Bolsheviks beat us into space? WEAR A HAT. (Preferably one with a wide brim.)"
Even four years later that's pretty good advice. HOWEVER! Since then I've broadened my horizons quite a bit, and I no longer want to burn Bolsheviks—I want to bang and/or bone them! What changed my mind? Naturally it was my new favorite show The Americans (FX, Wednesdays, 10 p.m.).
Set in the early '80s when then- Prez Ronald Reagan had everyone spooked into thinking a nuclear war with the "evil empire" was imminent, The Americans is about a Soviet sleeper agent program in which KGB agents pose as normal American suburbanites—who, in between barbequing and taking the kids to soccer, steal classified government secrets. Keri Russell (Felicity! SQUEEEEEEEE!!) and Matthew Rhys (super annoying in Brothers & Sisters—really awesome here!!) star as Elizabeth and Phillip Jennings: Commie spies who are so deep undercover, even their own kids don't know their secret!
During the day, Phillip and Elizabeth play the perfect suburban parents—packing lunches, getting the kids off to school, and going to their day job at a travel agency. At night, the pair sneaks off to either steal from, sleep with, or assassinate the enemy... without getting caught and charged with (dunh, dunh, duuuuhhhnn!) TREASON.
But don't worry! The tone never veers toward the campy action of Alias or Chuck—there's a gritty realism here where moral choices are never easy, and their alliances (to Mother Russia or the far more livable America) are constantly being questioned. And it also creates an interesting dynamic for viewers who suddenly find themselves rooting for "the bad guys."
Perhaps most interesting of all is Phillip and Elizabeth's... ummm... "complicated" relationship. While their lives depend on successfully portraying a happily married couple, they were forced into their marital roles at a young age by the KGB—which means their partnership veers wildly between love, loathing, commitment and deadly betrayal. (Or in other words, very similar to my marriage with Mrs. Wm.™ Steven Humphrey #2.)
YES, it has action! YES, it has plenty of sex! And YES, it has comedy (mostly involving hilarious '80s-style technology like Fax machines, ham radios and "mini" tape recorders the size of Thin Mints boxes). But mostly it has plenty of SMARTS. You'll be hard pressed to find any current series that so perfectly combines history, suspense, romance, pathos, and most importantly, STINKING COMMIES in one entertaining show.
So watch or download The Americans (also available on Hulu or iTunes)—and do it for the good of THE PARTY! (And by party, I mean "sex orgy party"... with hot naked sex Commies. Wear a hat!)
Follow me on Twitter, comrades! @WmSteveHumphrey
10 p.m. FX THE AMERICANS
Phillip and Elizabeth must track down a rogue assassin—AND remember to pick up eggs at the store.
10 p.m. TLC MY STRANGE ADDICTION
Season finale! A daughter announces she loves to drink pig's blood. Mom must be so proud! SNIFF.
10 p.m. FX ARCHER
Archer and Lana must extricate an agent from Morocco—which gives them another opportunity to wear funny hats.
Midnight TOON NEWSREADERS
Season finale! The Newsreaders staff is replaced by children, who seriously can't do any worse.
9 p.m. NBC GRIMM
Nick and Hank discover a monster that feeds off human tears. Hey! Just like me!
8 p.m. NICK KIDS' CHOICE AWARDS
The annual kiddie awards show, featuring guests like Christina Aguilera. (Ugh! Can someone slime her??)
9 p.m. SYFY CHUPACABRA VS. THE ALAMO—Movie
(2013) I've got ten bucks on the Alamo... because who's afraid of a deep fried burrito?
9 p.m. HBO PHIL SPECTOR—Movie
(2013) A dramatic retelling of music producer Phil Spector's murder trial starring Al Pacino and his wigs.
9 p.m. AMC THE WALKING DEAD
The Governor wants two things: The head of Michonne, and a suitable eyeball replacement. (Maybe a gumdrop?)
9 p.m. PBS 180 DAYS: A YEAR INSIDE AN AMERICAN SCHOOL
The school reform movement from the perspective of teachers and kids at Washington Met High School.
10 p.m. A&E BATES MOTEL
Norman meets some of the quirky town residents, but doesn't invite them to take a shower—yet.
9 p.m. FOX NEW GIRL
Jess and the gang help Nick plan a funeral. As it turns out, they are not very good at it.
10 p.m. FX JUSTIFIED
The Drew Thompson case becomes a cluster-eff of epic proportion. (That's one big cluster-eff!)