Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Television Entertainment/Eric Liebowitz; Craig Blankenhorn/FX
TV fans, have you noticed that not one, but two new, 80's-era TV shows have hit the airwaves this month? There's The CW's The Carrie Diaries (Mondays at 8 p.m. ET), which stars AnnaSophia Robb as Sex & the City's young Carrie Bradshaw. And on Wednesday, FX debuted The Americans (Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET),
Both shows, which take place in 1984 and 1981 respectively, have taken pains to remain true to the time period. Which series has done the better job at 80's verisimilitude? They've both pulled it off, but in different ways. Let's see how they match up!
-The Americans: Rusell and Rhys' characters, Elizabeth and Phillip, are well out of their teens, so we don't hear Cyndi Lauper squawking from their dashboard speakers. The first episode opens to the tune of Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk." Later, we also get Quarterflash's hit "Harden My Heart" and Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight."
-The Americans: Well, Elizabeth does wear high-waisted Guess jeans with a tucked in shirt and braided belt. But her hair isn't much different from Russell's Felicity days. As for the couples' tween-aged kids, they're not exactly sporting flashy Jordache jeans and blue eye shadow. "When I first heard that the show was in the '80s, I thought that it was gonna be Madonna, and neon clothes and the big hair, and when I got there, they were like, 'So, you're gonna be wearing these auburn-colored corduroys,'" says Holly Taylor, who plays 13-year-old Paige. When your folks are Russian spies, she says, "I guess it's a good thing that it's not so extravagant."
The Americans: They may be playing sophisticated spies with the full support of the Russian government, but this is still the eighties. Their cars, TVs, stereos, phones and computers are all big and boxy. And they use floppy discs. And pay phones. Remember those?
Of the two shows, you're most likely to forget it's the 80's while watching The Americans. Truth is, with hair like Russell's, she could fit into any time period.
The Carrie Diaries wins this one for us!