The Corner

Root for the KGB?

From the Hollywood Reporter

Briefly sidelined by Sandy, FX’s The Americans started production in New York in December and gets a speedy launch on the network later this month.

 The thriller, which stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as embedded Soviet spies in 1981 Washington, DC, made an appearance during Wednesday’s Television Critics Association winter press tour — and producers were quick to emphasize who viewers should be rooting for.

“It might be a little different to believe and get used to, but we want you to root for the KGB,” said EP Joel Fields. “They’re going to try to get the Soviets to win the Cold War.”

History knows they’re fighting a losing battle, but the creative team behind the high-profile launch expressed a confidence that more than enough time has passed for American audiences to not hold a grudge.

“If you tried to tell a story like this about al-Qaeda now, it would be impossible; no one would want to hear it,” Fields continued. “I feel even the same could have been said up to 10 years after the cold war ended.”

Yeah, it’s awful that we haven’t come far enough as a country where a TV show that champions al-Qaeda can be made today. But at least we’ve come far enough along where we can have a TV show celebrate a country that murdered tens of millions and enslaved whole nations. Maybe, just maybe, one day we will evolve enough as a society where we can tolerate TV shows where we can root for jihadists dedicated to a cause that would lead to the beheading of most of the “creative” staff at FX. In the meantime, we’ll just have to settle for rooting for the KGB. 

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