Monday, August 2, 2021

The "As If" Lives of Americans

The power of The Americans, the FX series, is that it plays off a sense of unreality that many people feel. It’s the idea of the false self. "Just tell me one thing?" asks an FBI secretary who's being seduced by a KGB agent. "Is this real?" The story is based on cells of "deep cover" Russian agents which actually were discovered by the FBI. In the series, the plants, the Jennings, fall into a “real” relationship characterized by possessiveness and jealousy—thereby endangering a mission where the mother land was supposed to come first. To make matters more complicated the two leads Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys actually fell in love during the course of production and eventually married. So imagine this scenario. Keri and Matthew are now successful stars. However, one day they begin to realize that they're simply the creations of Joe Weisberg, a former CIA operative, who developed the show for television. The Americans could very well be an episode of The Twilight Zone. In a way it must have been easier for the real KGB agents since there was only one degree of separation from the lie on which their lives were based. 

Read "Can An 'As If' Peronality Act 'As If'?" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

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