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What is the plot of the FX series "The Americans"?

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Quick Answer

The FX series "The Americans" is about a pair of Reagan-era Soviet KGB spies living as a married couple in the United States during the Cold War. Agents Philip and Elizabeth Jennings reside in Washington, D.C., and have two children who are unaware of their parents’ true identities. Philip takes on a number of different identities while he and Elizabeth attempt to deal with Russian contacts, American colleagues, and their personal conflicts, according to FXNow.

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Full Answer

Although Philip and Elizabeth are spies, the most intriguing aspect of the show is how they juggle raising a family and their relationships with each other and a variety of characters who enter their lives. The viewers' ability to identify with the everyday human struggles of the characters has made the show successful, notes the show’s creator, Joe Weisberg.

One example of the tension created within the family unit develops in season three after the KGB decides to recruit and train the couple’s daughter, Paige, as a spy. This requires Philip and Elizabeth to reveal their true identities to the teenager, which results in Paige sharing the family secret with a close confidant.

The series, which won a 2014 Peabody Award, stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as the lead characters. Despite moderate popularity, the show has received critical acclaim and a 92 rating on Metacritic.

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