ET Obsessions: ‘The Americans,’ Erika Jayne’s ‘Pretty Mess’ and More!

ET Obsessions
FX / Getty Images / Getty Images / Stitcher

Here at ET, we’re obsessed with all things pop culture -- and this is what we’re most excited about right now:

Why We’re Obsessed With The Americans

When The Americans returns this week, we've jumped forward again, to fall of 1987. Philip (Matthew Rhys) has stepped back from the spy life, trying to transform himself into a travel agency shark, and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) has become a chain-smoking, hugging-herself-in-a-cardigan hot mess as she doubles down on missions. She and Claudia (Margo Martindale) are not only training Paige (Holly Taylor) in tradecraft, but also introducing her to Russian culture. But can Philip really just quit the Cold War cold turkey? That's not working so well for former Russian officer Oleg (Costa Ronin) and FBI agent and neighbor Stan (Noah Emmerich), who are both also dragged back into uncomfortably familiar territory. History looms large as Elizabeth gets enlisted in basically the worst office politics ever -- the KGB is beginning to fracture over Gorbachev's reforms -- and Philip's embrace of capitalism is seemingly on a crash course with the coming stock market crash. There are only 10 episodes left of The Americans, and it's clear the show -- which has long been a master class in pacing and building tension over the course of a season -- will pull no punches as it barrels towards its conclusion, as if this is all one big heart-thumping, Peter Gabriel-soundtracked epic season finale.  
The Americans premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on FX -- if you're setting your DVR, be sure it records the full episode, which runs 17 minutes long. (Not a spoiler, just two more amazing moments in this week's episode: Fleetwood Mac and Peter Gabriel are both heard again -- the artists' third and fourth time on the soundtrack, respectively.)

Why We're Obsessed With Erika Jayne's Pretty Mess

Ever wondered how Erika Girardi transformed into Erika Jayne? Then pick up a copy of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star's new memoir, Pretty Mess (Gallery Books). The 46-year-old herself describes the book to ET as "How to Survive Being Erika Jayne," taking you on a journey from her unconventional upbringing in Atlanta, to her not-so-great career beginnings and unexpected motherhood in New York City, and eventual rise to dance music chart dominance and reality TV stardom in Los Angeles. The so-called "Ice Princess" melts away the glittery facade of her over-the-top persona to reveal the real person behind the "blonde hair and fake boobs," sharing never-before-told stories from her life that will give fans new insight into who their favorite Housewife really is at heart.

Pretty Mess is out now.

Why We’re Obsessed With Diplo’s California EP

The first signs of spring are here thanks to Diplo’s first solo release in five years following hit records as a member of Jack Ü and Major Lazer. Released on Friday, the mega producer’s new EP, California, offers the energy and sound needed to shake off this never-ending winter chill thanks to new collaborations with Lil Yachty, MØ and Santigold. With only six songs, California ends all too quickly; but we guess that every track will surely get repeated listening on playlists throughout the summer. Named after where he recorded the EP and adopted home, California also offers a full circle moment for Diplo, who named his debut album, Florida, after his home state and caps off another great year, which includes the release of the Major Lazer documentary Give Me Future and Know No Better EP as well as James Van Der Beek's hilarious impression of the producer on Viceland's What Would Diplo Do?.

California is out now.

Why We’re Obsessed With Dear Franklin Jones

There's something fascinating about going deep into the life of a cult -- or what one thinks is a cult, depending on who you talk to -- and the seven-episode podcast Dear Franklin Jones, which launched in late February, is no exception. What makes it especially interesting is that host Jonathan Hirsch isn't doing research as an outside source. Instead, this first-person, narrated docuseries is all about the community he actually grew up in, and it kicks off with him exploring diary entries, Jones' talks from the '70s and how his parents got involved with Jones. Hirsch isn't just going through his own family history, he's also exploring how a spiritual guru can come to be, and we're along for the ride.

Dear Frankin Jones is now streaming. You can binge the whole podcast on Stitcher Premium.

--Additional writing and reporting by Brice Sander, Emily Krauser, Shana Naomi Krochmal and Stacy Lambe


Erika Jayne’s ‘Pretty Mess’: 7 Revelations From ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Star’s Memoir

There’s No Shortage of Margo Martindale on Peak TV (Exclusive)

James Van Der Beek on Channeling Diplo and Checking Into 'Room 104' (Exclusive)