• Network: FX
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 30, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jan 30, 2013
    91
    Based on the admittedly small sample size of two episodes, The Americans feels like it could very comfortably slot in with the upper tier of FX dramas. That's about as good as it gets.
  2. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jan 28, 2013
    91
    The Americans enthralls with its complexities, simplicities and overall derring-do.
  3. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jan 28, 2013
    91
    Smart newcomer with a pair of leads that turns The Americans into a likely winner.
  4. Reviewed by: Rob Brunner
    Jan 18, 2013
    91
    [An] absorbing spy thriller. [25 Jan/1 Feb 2013, p.113]
  5. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Jan 25, 2013
    90
    The Americans unfolds a thoroughly seductive tale of sleeper KGB agents.
  6. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jan 23, 2013
    90
    It's too early to really judge Americans against Homeland, but if the latter is getting away from what hooked you in the first place, then you might find what you're missing on Americans.
  7. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Jan 30, 2013
    88
    The Americans isn't just a heart-pounding action drama; by presenting heroes who are also villains, it also confronts viewers with TV's deepest moral dilemma since "The Sopranos."
  8. Reviewed by: Paige Wiser
    Jan 29, 2013
    88
    It's a fresh, compelling story about a couple of KGB operatives pretending to live the American dream as a married couple with kids in suburban Washington, D.C.
  9. Reviewed by: Sara Smith
    Feb 1, 2013
    80
    [A] smart espionage drama.
  10. Reviewed by: Andrea Reiher
    Jan 30, 2013
    80
    For all the excitement of the missions and the tension with the FBI neighbor, what really carries the show is the relationship between Philip and Elizabeth.
  11. 80
    The Americans might take a while to find its footing--most shows do; but it already has a personality, a pulse of life.
  12. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jan 30, 2013
    80
    Beyond the cat-and-mouse international intrigue, which deepens after the pilot, The Americans has an absorbing personal story to tell--one as familiar yet unusual as its aliens-among-us protagonists.
  13. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jan 30, 2013
    80
    The juxtaposition of surface banality and the high-octane spy intrigue of their shadow identities gives The Americans a suspenseful kick.
  14. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jan 30, 2013
    80
    It's a premise that requires as much clever dramatic footwork as you might expect, and creator Joe Weisberg, a former CIA agent, handles the challenge.
  15. Reviewed by: Cynthia Fuchs
    Jan 30, 2013
    80
    As much as the series' pitch seems clear--it's another period series, with terrific design details, long story arcs, and complex performances--it is also something else, a reframing of what it might mean to be Americans, then and now.
  16. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Jan 30, 2013
    80
    The show is not without the occasional car chase, but its real strength is in its evocation of the schizoid paranoia of the double life of intelligence.
  17. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Jan 30, 2013
    80
    The real fascination of The Americans can be found not in the lies Philip and Elizabeth tell the world, but in those they tell themselves.
  18. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jan 29, 2013
    80
    By episode 2, though, after the crammed (and super-sized) premiere, [creator] Weisberg reveals a sure sense of detail that bodes well for the future of the series.
  19. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jan 29, 2013
    80
    A solid spy vehicle for its strong cast.
  20. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Jan 29, 2013
    80
    It's a subtle, complex portrait of a relationship etched into an engaging espionage thriller set in 1981.
  21. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Jan 29, 2013
    80
    The Americans may be a tricky concept to sustain, because it means bringing the protagonists to the very brink of discovery on a regular basis. But for now, it's a daring tightrope walk, full of action and suspense.
  22. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Jan 29, 2013
    80
    The Americans is delightfully cunning, exactly the quality, along with fight scenes and ridiculous disguises, one desires in a spy show.
  23. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Jan 25, 2013
    80
    The evolution of the couple's relationship is as engrossing as the strong-arm spy stuff.
  24. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jan 31, 2013
    75
    It's tense, engrossing, mildly ludicrous--and worth checking out before the Cold War melts. [11 Feb 2013]
  25. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jan 30, 2013
    75
    While Rhys and Russell carry the domestic side of the story beautifully (with Russell having a particularly nice moment next week with the daughter), they're not, as yet, completely convincing as spies. In their defense, they're hurt in the premiere by a clumsy set of flashbacks that make you think the Soviets must have perfected an anti-aging drug that has now been lost.
  26. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Jan 30, 2013
    75
    [An] exciting but frustrating spy thriller from former CIA employee and writer-executive producer Joe Weisberg, skillfully captures the anxiety of the age.
  27. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jan 28, 2013
    75
    The Americans benefits from convincing performances by the cast, but Weisberg's concept and writing in the first two episodes make the show much more than "just" a spy thriller.
  28. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jan 28, 2013
    70
    If there's a downside to the Americans pilot, it's that it has some pace problems. The premiere runs long--an hour and six minutes--and spends time on flashbacks to Elizabeth in training 20 years earlier and the pair's first meeting.
  29. Reviewed by: Tom Long
    Feb 1, 2013
    67
    The Americans has potential. The way it uses recent history as a reflector of modern deceits while bouncing the concept of patriotism around mixes nicely with the hang-by-your-fingertips story turns.
  30. Reviewed by: Aaron Riccio
    Jan 17, 2013
    63
    It'll take every ounce of writer/creator Joe Weisberg's strength to keep this from seeming like a watered-down Homeland, or, worse, a film idea stretched across 13 hours.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 265 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 61
  2. Negative: 5 out of 61
  1. Jan 31, 2013
    10
    Great pilot! To begin, what's not to like about a spy thriller set in the 80's with a huge twist. It actually had me, a patriotic militaryGreat pilot! To begin, what's not to like about a spy thriller set in the 80's with a huge twist. It actually had me, a patriotic military member, routing for the Ruskies. The character relationships are off to a great start and will no doubt become more in depth as well as a huge part of the show. I can't wait for the next episode! I still don't know if I should be routing for the FBI or the sleeper agents! Full Review »
  2. Jan 31, 2013
    9
    The Americans may prove to be one of the best series of 2013 in the upcoming episodes. The premise is excellent, no one has touched it on theThe Americans may prove to be one of the best series of 2013 in the upcoming episodes. The premise is excellent, no one has touched it on the television level and it is an absolute treat to watch this, hats off to FX for making this project. Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell, the two lead cast members are wonderful, their characters seem believable especially with the merger of their personal lives with their professional lives. It's a shame that FX has been making wonderful series like the Shield, Nip/Tuck, Sons of Anarchy, Justified, American Horror Story and now, the Americans, but doesn't get the recognition it deserves. Maybe it's time when that happened. I waited so long to watch it and I must say that the pilot didn't ruin the anticipation but that doesn't mean it had the best start.. The beginning is superb, but the rest of the episode doesn't seem too exciting with the exception of the ending which gives rise to a whole new intense future of the series. You can't judge the entire show on the basis of only one episode, so we are gonna have to wait for how things turn out to be. The Americans, if dealt with properly, might become one of the best series in no time and possibly get nominated for major awards. Full Review »
  3. Jan 31, 2013
    0
    Weak show a version of Alias meet Homeland without the good parts. Russel and Ryhs are flat and not believable and Emmerich scares theWeak show a version of Alias meet Homeland without the good parts. Russel and Ryhs are flat and not believable and Emmerich scares the audience with every appearance on screen. All in all a must miss. Full Review »