• Network: FX
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 30, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 166 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 166

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  1. Mar 1, 2014
    10
    Only 1 episode of this new season aired but 'The Americans' is a much more confident show than it ever was. It's well acted, well written and the story the show is telling is extremely compelling. Must watch tv. Absolutely loved it.
  2. Apr 7, 2014
    10
    Several episodes in, The Americans continues as strong as ever. If you were afraid the writers were going to resort to lazy plot devices, especially the usual one (the previously clever characters start inexplicably doing stupid things) in an attempt to make it more accessible or exciting, then you can relax. The plotlines are still complex yet subtle, as is the brilliant acting from bothSeveral episodes in, The Americans continues as strong as ever. If you were afraid the writers were going to resort to lazy plot devices, especially the usual one (the previously clever characters start inexplicably doing stupid things) in an attempt to make it more accessible or exciting, then you can relax. The plotlines are still complex yet subtle, as is the brilliant acting from both leads. The writing is perceptive - it feels like you're watching real people, and compassionate - you actually care about them. The only thing not to like about this is that it will remind you how terrible almost everything else on TV is. Expand
  3. Mar 5, 2014
    10
    Yes, it's better than Homeland. Good performances from the main cast and an interesting story. Makes me wonder if my relatives are Russian spies.

    If you're tired of continuous American propaganda (I hope it never goes down that path), I highly recommend it.
  4. Feb 28, 2014
    2
    Am I missing something, I watched the first season and wondered what all the hype was about. A couple of psychopaths living together who have no problem killing and manipulating everyone they come into contact with, are we supposed to care what happens to them ? I certainly didn't. Season two more of the same.
  5. Mar 15, 2014
    8
    It's really hard to fault "The Americans" and its an interesting feeling to be rooting for the supposed bad guys. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are a great pairing of solid actors, especially Rhys. My only qualm is that Annet Mahendru's character Nina is probably getting too much screen time this season. The subplot is dull and the time could be better spent elsewhere.
  6. Apr 11, 2014
    10
    Whats not to like about a gritty spy show with relatively unknown actors!? Sure it has some cheesy character moments (its set in the early 80's after all, so like no DUH!), but 99.99% of it is fantastic acting and great edge of your seat entertainment! Love it.
  7. Feb 28, 2014
    9
    With a lot of intriguing questions to answer amazing cast and great writing .... the Americans looks set to build upon a very solid first season and blow us off our feet with its second coming. I am sincerely hoping that Margo Matindale makes a return too.
  8. Mar 11, 2014
    10
    What a great program!

    The acting, dialog and plotting are fantastic. How else can you explain the fact that one can feel real empathy for the leads as dedicated and loving parents who also happen to be stone cold killers who are sworn enemies of our country?

    It is one of the most intelligently written programs on TV, one that never ceases to surprise and entertain.
  9. Mar 12, 2014
    2
    I love the plotline. I love the cast. However i loathe the extreme sexual content. Do we really need to see them engaged in 69?? Do we need to see blowjobs??? Sadly i will never watch this show again.
  10. Apr 2, 2014
    8
    I really like the show but it makes me wonder how they can still do the things they do. They can clearly see that the US is not the awful place that their government had brainwashed them to believe. They also have very American children. It reminded me of the 911 hijackers that were here for a while and were still able to behave like monsters.

    One of the best parts of the show is
    I really like the show but it makes me wonder how they can still do the things they do. They can clearly see that the US is not the awful place that their government had brainwashed them to believe. They also have very American children. It reminded me of the 911 hijackers that were here for a while and were still able to behave like monsters.

    One of the best parts of the show is that you find yourself rooting for them but become conflicted by what they are doing.
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  11. May 10, 2014
    5
    I loved season one of this show. However, as season 2 of The Americans draws to a close, the formulaic approach of each episode begins to grate, despite more focus being given on the effects the agents roles have on their relationships with their families.

    Acting itself is good, but plot and character development are becoming painfully slow and often unconvincing (the Martha sub-story
    I loved season one of this show. However, as season 2 of The Americans draws to a close, the formulaic approach of each episode begins to grate, despite more focus being given on the effects the agents roles have on their relationships with their families.

    Acting itself is good, but plot and character development are becoming painfully slow and often unconvincing (the Martha sub-story for example).

    FX have announced they expect the series to be on screens for the next five years or more. Season 3 and onwards will need to have significant redevelopment and a fresh approach to prevent the show descending into the realms of farce.
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  12. Apr 2, 2014
    9
    I rarely direct a review of a show at a reviewer on this site, but come on nononsense, you are full of nonsense. You're watching a show about Russian secret agents, who routinely murder people, and the FBI, who also routinely murder people... and you're complaining about sex? Oddly everyone in America can watch people getting shot in the back of the head, or getting their necks broken,I rarely direct a review of a show at a reviewer on this site, but come on nononsense, you are full of nonsense. You're watching a show about Russian secret agents, who routinely murder people, and the FBI, who also routinely murder people... and you're complaining about sex? Oddly everyone in America can watch people getting shot in the back of the head, or getting their necks broken, but show a couple in bed and that's too much for you? Your comments show the hypocrisy of the entire TV viewing public; Americans will watch the most violent television in the world, so long as no one drops the f-word or engages in simulated non-visible oral sex. Expand
  13. Mar 12, 2014
    7
    This is almost a good show. It's biggest drawback is it's reliance on spy craft that is at times ludicrous. The disguises are as poor as those in high school plays. Are we to believe that these two never converse in Russian? Are we to believe the FBI secretary is as dumb as a rock? Don't the kids ever wonder why their parents know less about America than they do (no born and bred RussiansThis is almost a good show. It's biggest drawback is it's reliance on spy craft that is at times ludicrous. The disguises are as poor as those in high school plays. Are we to believe that these two never converse in Russian? Are we to believe the FBI secretary is as dumb as a rock? Don't the kids ever wonder why their parents know less about America than they do (no born and bred Russians are going to be that steeped in Americana, or have accents that flawless)? Who risks palming off secrets in broad day light being followed by agents? The boat floats but the leaks are a diversion from the plot. Expand
  14. Jun 27, 2014
    10
    This show had a very, very good first season. In the second season, however, this show becomes hands down one of the best action-dramas on TV that defines the phrase "growing the beard". Thoroughly engadging, smartly written and superbly acted. Russell and Rhys lead a terrific cast. This is not only the most realistic action shows in years, but it's also one of the most realisticThis show had a very, very good first season. In the second season, however, this show becomes hands down one of the best action-dramas on TV that defines the phrase "growing the beard". Thoroughly engadging, smartly written and superbly acted. Russell and Rhys lead a terrific cast. This is not only the most realistic action shows in years, but it's also one of the most realistic family dramas I've ever seen. Expand
  15. Jun 7, 2014
    7
    Overall I like the show, but some episodes drag. When it is good, it is excellent, but when there isn't much going on, the filler is tedious. It is easy to care about Matthew Rhys character Phillip, but Keri Russell's character is always irritated and angry. This past season the storyline with their daughter Paige was also boring and I tended to fast forward through those parts. IOverall I like the show, but some episodes drag. When it is good, it is excellent, but when there isn't much going on, the filler is tedious. It is easy to care about Matthew Rhys character Phillip, but Keri Russell's character is always irritated and angry. This past season the storyline with their daughter Paige was also boring and I tended to fast forward through those parts. I must say though, the last episode of the season was great! Expand
  16. May 7, 2014
    8
    The 2nd season so far (from what i understand almost didn't happen) has begun to develop alot more plot twists and turns than the first season seemed to have. Main characters are being developed further-sometimes polarizing for the viewer. The show is based in the 80's, and as per the first season, it is amuzing to watch the show take place with this 80's backdrop. Further, use of russianThe 2nd season so far (from what i understand almost didn't happen) has begun to develop alot more plot twists and turns than the first season seemed to have. Main characters are being developed further-sometimes polarizing for the viewer. The show is based in the 80's, and as per the first season, it is amuzing to watch the show take place with this 80's backdrop. Further, use of russian to give some authenticity to the show (despite the lack of authenthicity of their accent). Expand
  17. Apr 27, 2014
    0
    The Americans is interesting for the first couple episodes butthen you get the feel for it and realize that it's just another gimmicky russophoic trash.
    Not interested. Feels cheap. Vastly overrated show.
  18. May 10, 2014
    9
    It's truly an underrated show. What draws me in completely is the local color in the greater DC area and the total immersion in the 80s. The two lead actors are simply phenomenal. I've got a friend in Russia who tells me the language is absolutely on the money. Apparently when Hollywood typically does Russian language in American TV shows it's a total joke, but they went for authenticityIt's truly an underrated show. What draws me in completely is the local color in the greater DC area and the total immersion in the 80s. The two lead actors are simply phenomenal. I've got a friend in Russia who tells me the language is absolutely on the money. Apparently when Hollywood typically does Russian language in American TV shows it's a total joke, but they went for authenticity here which I appreciate. Expand
  19. Jan 7, 2015
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Second season disappointed me because of two main things:

    1st: The relationship between Philip and Elisabeth became much more superficial:
    Much more often than in the first season, I get the feeling that they do not actually talk. Problems come up, they feel strongly about them but instead of actually building dialogue, they state their opinions and change the subject.
    It was endearing to see shows of affection from time to time, but these also suffered a bit from gratuity. Might've missed a detail or two, but the scenes related to Elisabeth wanting to know how "Clarke" was with Martha.. that was really weird. Not only they didn't talk about it, as.. well, she just burst out crying after he "showed" her.. and then the topic never comes up again? Everything's fine?

    Second issue is a major spoiler: the main storyline is wholly based on a kid shooting up two highly trained agents (who are his parents, yes) and then him and the Centre proceeding to maintain a sort of charade into how he didn't know about it and then there's some ex-filtration which goes conveniently wrong.. and so on.
    It just wasn't that interesting, convincing and whatnot. The ARPANET scenes were quite funnier, even if a bit nonsensical as well.
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  20. Mar 26, 2014
    10
    The best recruitment tool the KGB could have devised. I lived down the street from a real KGB family in North Jersey and they were no where near as good looking and capable. I love this fantasy couple as they attempt to undermine triumphant capitalism while trying to keep their marriage together.
  21. May 16, 2014
    8
    I really love this show but its soo boring. It takes a lot of effort to get through an episode without falling asleep. Its a good show though, maybe just not for me.
  22. Jan 29, 2015
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It was great to see my favorite TV couple back again, but I felt like I needed Cliff's Notes to get through this first episode. I'm fairly good at keeping track of the plot and character details of a complicated TV show or movie and my wife is not very good at it. But we are both avid watchers of this show and have seen all the episodes. Well, I was more confused than usual and my wife was completely lost. We had to pause the show at least a dozen times so I could explain to her what was going on and once or twice I wasn't completely sure. For example, that lady from the Canadian-American whatever. Have we seen her before, or was this a new sub-plot? I think this is a new thing, but I wasn't sure.

    I miss Margo Martindale, but I love Frank Langella. I think he will be a great addition to the show.

    My wife was also a little put out by by what she thought was an increase in violence, like the explicit head-shot in that video. I was surprised by it, and not particularly put off, but I hope that explicit violence does not become a regular part of the show. I don't think it adds anything to the tension. If anything, I find myself taken out of the show for a moment while I reflect on the creative choice that the violence represents. I'd rather not be jolted by not necessary (for dramatic purposes) explicit violence that takes me out of the story.

    They could have pulled away at the last second from the video and cut to a character's face so you see their reaction to the gunshot. You'd still know it was a head-shot. You'd still know it was brutal and gory. And the character's reaction is actually the most important part of the scene to the story.

    I hope we haven't seen the last of Nina. And if they do end up executing her in some Russian prison, I hope that Annet Mahendru gets her own TV show.

    I loved the depiction of the est training. I'm not saying that est and it's spin-offs were completely lacking in value, but they were pretty stupid and they certainly empowered a lot of people to do and say completely rude and ridiculous things. For example, it's possible that focusing on your partner's orgasm could be a non-experience, but it could also be a wonderful experience. Things aren't so cut and dried in the way that est portrayed them.

    I look forward to the coming season. I think the season's focus on the Paige question will be a very fruitful plot choice.

    One of the things I think is interesting about this show is that you find yourself rooting for KGB agents. Not so much for their mission, but for them as people. It's similar to when we were watching The Sopranos and rooting for thuggish mobsters. We're kind of horrified by what they're doing, but care about them as people. There's something kind of cool about that.
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Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Feb 27, 2014
    80
    Elizabeth and Philip react with the appropriate amount of fear for and protectiveness of Paige and Henry. No doubt, this will further widen the cracks already forming in their political/professional resolve, but there is no going back: The Americans puts the kids front and center.
  2. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Feb 27, 2014
    100
    Sometimes watching greatness expand and realizing that a foundation is in place for the future (excellent writing, superb acting, a clear conceptual vision) is just the kind of assurance you need to cement your allegiance.
  3. Reviewed by: Emily Nussbaum
    Feb 27, 2014
    80
    The Americans can be wrenchingly emotional, and it’s terrifically well paced. But it doesn’t take itself overly seriously, and while the show looks pretty good it’s not the most cinematic series on the block.