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I don't know about about you, but one of the midseason shows whose return I'm MOST excited for is FX's The Americans—it was my top show of 2013, after all—and Season 2 is finally almost here, with a premiere date of Wednesday, February 26. As such, I'm currently in the middle of a Season 1 re-watch (which I highly recommend doing, by the way), I simply cannot wait to welcome the Jennings back into my life. I think I've watched this "Bed" promo about a million times already:


Anyway, the Season 1 DVD set just hit shelves this week, and as a little Valentine's Day treat, I've got an exclusive clip from one of the special features to share with you. It's a snippet from a behind-the-scenes package called "Perfecting the Art of Espionage," and it's basically an explanation of the real-life initiative behind Clark and Martha's relationship, courtesy of series co-creators Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg (the latter of whom actually spent four years working as an intelligence officer for the CIA).

#TheMoreYouKnow, right?

And here are few more random tidbits I learned while screening the various other commentaries and special features on the DVD:

– Fields on the CIA's required involvement in the show as a result of Weisberg having worked there, and what Weisberg's firsthand experience brings to the story: "All of the scripts that Joe writes, and anything that Joe and I write together, have to be submitted to the CIA for review, so we'll finish a script or he'll finish a script, and it gets sent to the CIA for them to review and approve it. So far they've been swift and great, actually. ... Sometimes in the writers' room, when we're breaking a story, if Joe doesn't like how the story is being broken, if it doesn't feel genuine to him, he'll hold up his hand like this [gestures with his hand in a 'C' shape], and that means he's holding up his 'spy card,' which tells us that, based on his great CIA experience, we've got to re-break the story in a more true way." The idea is to tell stories that are "grounded in what he calls 'real tradecraft.'"

– The writers make a dedicated effort to include a "marriage story" in every episode. Of Philip and Elizabeth's ongoing relationship strife, they said: "When we decided to split them up in the middle of the season, one thing we didn't anticipate is that they'd stay broken up for so long, and it would take until the finale for them to come back together."

– As per the gag reel, the cast does a lot of dancing on the set.

– When Philip and Elizabeth purposely crashed their car into a tree in "Trust Me," it was a prop tree, and on the first take, the tree just fell over, so they had to re-do the whole shot. That one didn't make the gag reel, though.

– Steven Spielberg apparently watches The Americans' rough cuts and reads the scripts, and "was actually very helpful" in editing the car chase in the Season 1 finale, because he "got in touch" and offered some very constructive suggestions. The EPs agreed that it would not be going too far to say "we edited this scene with Steven Spielberg," and one of them revealed that "we had to hold locking the episode for about half a day to implement Steven's final notes, and I asked what the cost was, and I think it came out to about $1,700, and I said, 'What show in the history of television gets Steven Spielberg to consult on your chase for $1,700? What a bargain!'"


Guys, February 26 is less than two weeks away. I can't wait!


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/21/2014

Season 2 : Episode 13

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