“Just Being Us”—Secrecy, Authenticity and Identity in The Americans

Alberto N. García, Pablo Castrillo
  • Quarterly Review of Film and Video, April 2020, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/10509208.2020.1747354

Aesthetic and cultural analysis of the television series "The Americans"

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

What is it about?

This article offers an aesthetic and cultural analysis of 'The Americans', a spy-thriller television series set in the '80s, about a family of Soviet agents working undercover in the United States. We analyze how two critical moments from the narrative summarize the complicated relationship that the program establishes around theoretical concepts such as identity, truth, verisimilitude, authenticity and performativity.

Why is it important?

It is the first academic journal article devoted to "The Americans", one of the most critically acclaimed TV-Series from the 2010s decade. It is also relevant because the article explores how "The Americans" reflects our current cultural anxiety about identity, both collective and individual.


Alberto N. García
Universidad de Navarra

I believe this is the most thorough and insightful article I have written; the collaboration with Pablo Castrillo proved essential to achieving this high standard. I also hope this article can encourage more academics -and the public in general- to watch the amazing, intelligent and breath-taking series that "The Americans" is.

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The following have contributed to this page: Alberto N. García and Pablo Castrillo