“Lately the Cold War has appeared in American mass media, looking—well, a little Kodachrome. Last year’s presidential campaigns struck more than a few observers as unsettlingly nostalgic for the good old days of the Red Menace. And this week the FX Network launches “The Americans,” a show set in the early 1980s about a pair of Soviet agents under cover as a married couple living in the suburbs of Washington D.C.…what it is about the present moment that makes so many people and institutions, from politicians to Hollywood studios, want to tell stories and call upon shared memories of the late Cold War. Just what is it about life in the here and now that makes the 1980s seem like a nice place to visit and tell new stories?”
-Brian Horne blogging for On the Media
I’ve seen the first two episodes of “The Americans” and I think it’s brilliant TV (and not just because it depicts D.C. in the era of my childhood there). A lot of culture-makers are about my age, so it doesn’t surprise me that a lot of TV shows, movies, and books (my book included) are looking back at the early 1980s when our generation was young.
I think we may be nostalgic for a time when our country’s “enemy” was easy to place—we knew where the Soviet Union was, whereas we (as a nation) are now preoccupied with the threat from terrorists who are operating outside of official governments.