This is one of the darkest pitchers — OK, technically it’s a series — ever shown on TV. Of course, any drama pertaining to the Cold War is going to be dark, but this is dark in a different way. What I mean is, it’s very hard to see. I have a better title: Dark Is the New Black.
I’ve watched only the first season so far of this FX offering, produced and written by former CIA hack Joe Weinberg. I suppose the sun might come out in subsequent episodes; as of now I have counted off exactly fourteen seconds of daylight. In addition to its literal darkness, we get a color palette — albeit barely registering on what few macular cone-cells are being triggered at all — consisting of brown, ochre, bronze, brown, olive, umber, brown, burnt orange, and brown.
Personally I am not as … intrigued, shall we say, by this series as I was by a less well-known British production called The Assets. Set in approximately the same period, The Assets closely attends to the real Aldrich Ames treason case. (Paul Rhys, presumably no relation to fellow Welshman Matthew Rhys of The Americans, gives an absolutely shattering performance as Ames, surpassing even his highly regarded Edgar in King Lear at the National.)