Watch This: Previews for Season 3 of The Americans

The Americans will start season 3 on FX on January 28. I’ve been watching this drama about Soviet spies in the U.S. during the Cold War in the 1980s since the first season. As unlikely as it sounds to say that I like a show about Soviet spies, I am saying it here.

Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys in The AMericanse
This married couple are not what they seem

Much of the reason this show is so good are the outstanding performances from Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. They are brilliant in their parts as Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, two KGB officers who pose as a married couple living near Washington, D.C. They have two children, played by Holly Taylor and Keidrich Sellati. Their neighbor Stan (Noah Emmerich) is an FBI counter-intelligence agent who spends his days trying to catch people like them, and his evenings exchanging small talk with them over barbecue.

The spies have a “handler.” For a while their handler was played by Margo Martindale, an actress I simply love. This year Frank Langella is stepping into the role of handler. Richard Thomas is also a regular, playing another FBI agent.

There are recognizable events in the story, real characters and real happenings from the period, but ultimately – at least for me – the story is about Elizabeth and Philip: their relationship, their marriage, their family.

How about it? Are there any other fans of The Americans among readers?

Photos © Copyright FX Network

6 Movies to Watch at Home over the Thanksgiving Holiday

If you can pry the TV away from the football fans, there are many good movies available for instant streaming that can be fun for a family holiday weekend. Here are a few ideas for your Thanksgiving viewing.

For the Grown-Ups

Robot & Frank poster
Robot & Frank poster

Robot & Frank is delightful. Frank, warmly played by Frank Langella, is a former jewel thief and second story man who is losing himself to Alzheimer’s. His son, James Marsden, gives him a robot butler to take care of him. The robot makes sure he eats healthy and takes his pills. Plus, the robot can carry on an interesting conversation. One problem – or bonus – the robot makes no moral judgements about theft. The robot is voiced with great charm by Peter Sarsgaard.

Robot & Frank appeals because of its older lead characters. Here’s another.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel poster

A more complex story with many more characters that would do well for the family over a holiday weekend is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The cast includes many of the world’s best actors, most of whom are over 50! There will be a part 2 of this delightful movie in the future.

For the Younger Crowd

If you plan on heading out to the theater to watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, why not watch the original The Hunger Games before you go to refresh everyone on the story?

The Hunger games poster
The Hunger Games poster

Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is an inspiring character that everyone in the crowd can root for.

There’s plenty of action in The Hunger Games, but another action-filled option for the late teen/young adult contingent would be The Avengers.

The Avengers poster
The Avengers poster

Everybody loves a good superhero, right?

For the Little Ones

Why not step back in time a bit to something the kiddos haven’t already watched 80 times in the last week. And why not pick something with enough humor to keep the adults interested, too. Once such choice is Cars.

Cars poster
Cars poster

Don’t be afraid to go way, way back to old classics. They always satisfy and keep the little ones glued to the floor until dinner is ready. How about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang one more time? You know you enjoy it.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang poste
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang poster

Our modern world brings so much choice in entertainment into your home every day. Why not put some of these movies in your watch list for the holiday?