The Americans' creators on the similarities between spies and spouses

Showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg join Shad to uncover what The Americans says about the commonalities between relationships and espionage.

In The Americans, espionage doesn't just drive the plot, it acts as a metaphor for all those big and small deceptions that occur in intimate relationships. Showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg join Shad to discuss the power of secrets, the allure of deception, and the involvement of the actual CIA. 

From left to right: Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg. Their show may be set during the Cold War, but it's the issues of loyalty, infidelity, and even parenting that drive much of the plot. (FX)

Before The Americans Weisberg worked for the CIA, while there he noticed how much drama and conflict was caused by family interactions. 

"If you have a little kid ... and you're undercover, you can't tell your kid you work at the CIA," Weisberg tells Shad, "...so you have to lie and say you do something else."

Weisberg says 'the talk' happens when kids are old enough to be told the truth about their parents' work. (FX)

While it's safe to say most of us aren't Soviet officers posing as American during the Cold War, the conflict throughout the show isn't that farfetched, especially when it comes to personal matters. Whether it's a desire enabling deception or that topic you always keep mum on, you may have more in common with The Americans than you think.

"Think about one's own relationships and amplify them through the prism of the spy world," Fields adds.


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