• Network: FX
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 30, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 265 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 265

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  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 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 orGreat 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! Expand
  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 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 personalThe 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. Expand
  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 the audience with every appearance on screen. All in all a must miss.
  4. Jan 31, 2013
    8
    I think this one's a lot of fun. It reminded me (very broadly) of "I Led Three Lives," the mid-50s TV drama about Herbert Philbrick, an ad executive who got inside the Communist party as a spy for the FBI. My only complaint has to do with the contrivance of the next door neighbor who just happens to be a counterspy, not to mention that neighbor's brazen move to scope out the spy couple byI think this one's a lot of fun. It reminded me (very broadly) of "I Led Three Lives," the mid-50s TV drama about Herbert Philbrick, an ad executive who got inside the Communist party as a spy for the FBI. My only complaint has to do with the contrivance of the next door neighbor who just happens to be a counterspy, not to mention that neighbor's brazen move to scope out the spy couple by breaking into their garage just a bit too soon in the series. S'OK though. I'm not going to nit pick the script any further. Much better to just lie back and enjoy the capers. Expand
  5. Jan 30, 2013
    9
    Brilliantly written, acted, and directed. Russel and Rhys are perfect in their roles, and the dynamic between their characters is excellent. "The Americans" is a top tier, prestigious show, that only comes around once in a blue moon. It will fit in perfectly with shows like Homeland, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Justified, and Mad Men.
  6. Jan 31, 2013
    9
    I disagree with some of the reviews below. This show is not like Homeland at all, Homeland and The Americans have different plots (Homeland is about the CIA, The Americans is about KGB officers). I think that if you give the show a little time, you will find that it is an interesting show and is very enjoyable. The performance of the actors is amazing as well. This show is definitely a must watch.
  7. Jan 30, 2013
    9
    Excellent pilot. Russel and Rhys are excellent, as is Emmerich. The first ten minutes are extraordinary, and while the rest of the episode fails to match those opening segments, it's still a great start. Easily the best new show this year, and I'll be looking forward to each episode eagerly.
  8. Mar 8, 2013
    10
    Six episodes in, and I think that The Americans is one of the best new shows this season. Kerry Russell and Matthew Rhys do a terrific job playing Russian spies posing as an American husband-wife couple during the 80s. The show has just the right amount of action, espionage and family drama. and the fact that they have two kids (born in the USA), also adds to the complexity of the plot.Six episodes in, and I think that The Americans is one of the best new shows this season. Kerry Russell and Matthew Rhys do a terrific job playing Russian spies posing as an American husband-wife couple during the 80s. The show has just the right amount of action, espionage and family drama. and the fact that they have two kids (born in the USA), also adds to the complexity of the plot. Also, for two actors who generally star in dramas, I have to say that Russell and Rhys pull off some pretty bad-ass fight scenes! Expand
  9. Mar 4, 2013
    8
    THis show has come on slowly but has me almost entranced. I grew up in the 80's and the paranoia is definetly identifiable. Which the show portrays well. There is also something about watching the hatred for America thru these characters, although some more than others. The storyline has become more intense, and although the show is only 4 or so episodes deep, I have no idea where it isTHis show has come on slowly but has me almost entranced. I grew up in the 80's and the paranoia is definetly identifiable. Which the show portrays well. There is also something about watching the hatred for America thru these characters, although some more than others. The storyline has become more intense, and although the show is only 4 or so episodes deep, I have no idea where it is going to lead.Which leads me to continue watching it. Expand
  10. Mar 11, 2013
    10
    What a great show it has a lot of historically correct action and drama, I feel it has a great cast and fx did a wonderful job on it. I am looking forward to what is to come on what of the greatest spy shows of our time.
  11. Feb 19, 2013
    9
    This show present a unique concept. The casting and acting are very good perhaps I am biased towards actors who are mostly unknown (beside Keri Russell, but she more than makes up for it by playing a totally different character from her other roles) and not cutesy. On top of all that 80's nostalgia what's not to love?
  12. Feb 9, 2013
    9
    Only two episodes in, I'm sure this is a show I'll look forward to every week. The three main characters are absolutely brilliant and the flashback segments blend in perfectly with the show's overall narrative. It's tragic that the ratings fell so drastically in the second week and I really hope they recover in the subsequent weeks. It would be truly terrible to lose such a promisingOnly two episodes in, I'm sure this is a show I'll look forward to every week. The three main characters are absolutely brilliant and the flashback segments blend in perfectly with the show's overall narrative. It's tragic that the ratings fell so drastically in the second week and I really hope they recover in the subsequent weeks. It would be truly terrible to lose such a promising series so early on. Expand
  13. Jan 31, 2013
    8
    Overall a good show so far. It is an episode one so we will have to see where it goes from here. Not quite as strong as the Shield, Sons of Anarchy or Justified. But still pretty good.
  14. Feb 23, 2013
    10
    Shockingly good. If you're expecting another 1-dimensional jingoistic action-adventure where all the characters do stupid things all the time, look elsewhere. The acting is brilliantly downplayed, the plot is engaging and clever and the juxtaposition of the US and Russian characters, hopes, dreams and beliefs is very perceptive. You end up caring about *all* the people involved, and yetShockingly good. If you're expecting another 1-dimensional jingoistic action-adventure where all the characters do stupid things all the time, look elsewhere. The acting is brilliantly downplayed, the plot is engaging and clever and the juxtaposition of the US and Russian characters, hopes, dreams and beliefs is very perceptive. You end up caring about *all* the people involved, and yet it's exciting enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. We're only at episode 4, but so far this show is the The Wire of the spy world. Expand
  15. Apr 12, 2013
    10
    I really don't see too many similarities between the Americans and Homeland beyond the obvious fact that both shows are dealing with espionage and the toll it takes on it's practitioners. The Americans is far more interested in the family dynamic and the strain that a life of double dealings, violence and lies puts on the agents' loved ones than Homeland in my opinion, whereas HomelandI really don't see too many similarities between the Americans and Homeland beyond the obvious fact that both shows are dealing with espionage and the toll it takes on it's practitioners. The Americans is far more interested in the family dynamic and the strain that a life of double dealings, violence and lies puts on the agents' loved ones than Homeland in my opinion, whereas Homeland has more of a knack for the procedure and artistry of doggedly pursuing it's targets. Both are excellent shows and are marvelously written, acted, and directed, but I think they are disparate enough in tone and are interested in different if not similar themes. I find the Cold War fascinating so maybe I'm just an easy mark for this material, but it has quickly ascended to my personal top five current television dramas alongside Breaking Bad, Mad Men, GoT, and Justified. If you like edge of your seat suspense and great acting then this show fits the bill. Noah Emmerich especially turns in a tour de force performance. I can't recommend this show enough. I have to question the attention span and overall IQ of the tiny handful of complainers on here who claim the show is boring or slow, but to each their own I guess. How about the genius who thinks the 80s are too recent to be historical and too old to be interesting? That is one top-notch perspective. Ah, but I digress, just watch this show if you like insightful, intelligent drama with a highly original point of view and a fascinating premise. Expand
  16. Apr 24, 2013
    10
    I love the concept of this series. I was a child in the '50s when I first heard of how Soviet spies were implanted and it has always intrigued me. The TV series has aired eleven episodes and I have to say it has only gotten better as it goes along. It is entertaining and leaves you wanting to come back for more. The characters are well played and enjoyable. My only worry is theI love the concept of this series. I was a child in the '50s when I first heard of how Soviet spies were implanted and it has always intrigued me. The TV series has aired eleven episodes and I have to say it has only gotten better as it goes along. It is entertaining and leaves you wanting to come back for more. The characters are well played and enjoyable. My only worry is the chronology of the time setting doesn't leave a lot of time to explore. Then again, MASH ran almost 4X longer then the Korean War itself. This series is definitely worth watching every week. Expand
  17. Apr 30, 2013
    8
    First of all, I am a huge fan of series like Homeland, The Killing, The Walking Dead and so on. The Americans is not like Homeland at all, and I have watched The Americans until episode 12. Though the main point plot is a bit similar, which is about preventing an attack on motherland, yet they are different. The Americans is about KGB spies, complicated marriage, and it offers many plotFirst of all, I am a huge fan of series like Homeland, The Killing, The Walking Dead and so on. The Americans is not like Homeland at all, and I have watched The Americans until episode 12. Though the main point plot is a bit similar, which is about preventing an attack on motherland, yet they are different. The Americans is about KGB spies, complicated marriage, and it offers many plot twists and turns. However, the bad thing about The Americans is, that it sometimes rushes to conclude a problem which is big in a single episode. Nevertheless, it is a great series that keeps you at the edge of your seat most of the times. The main performances by Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, and Noah Emmerich are intense. Expand
  18. Jun 27, 2014
    10
    Didn't expect much, but this show really snuck up on me and turned out to be one of the best, most engaging dramas on TV. Superbly acted by the leads and supporting cast. A great period piece that will certainly illicit some bitter-sweet nostalgia in anyone of lived through the 80s. Although the first season had its slow moments, the series grows its beard in serious ways in the secondDidn't expect much, but this show really snuck up on me and turned out to be one of the best, most engaging dramas on TV. Superbly acted by the leads and supporting cast. A great period piece that will certainly illicit some bitter-sweet nostalgia in anyone of lived through the 80s. Although the first season had its slow moments, the series grows its beard in serious ways in the second season -- stick with it and it'll pay off leaps and bounds. Expand
  19. Mar 6, 2013
    2
    Another one bites the dust, great premise but lacks all heart. It went for an hour but I literally felt like I was watching it for days, so tedious and dragged out boring. The casting is horrible, Russell is completely miscast in the role and does not ever come across as being able to defend herself, let alone beat up someone bigger than her. Her acting is flat and lifeless. It's trying toAnother one bites the dust, great premise but lacks all heart. It went for an hour but I literally felt like I was watching it for days, so tedious and dragged out boring. The casting is horrible, Russell is completely miscast in the role and does not ever come across as being able to defend herself, let alone beat up someone bigger than her. Her acting is flat and lifeless. It's trying to ride the hype of the recent terrorist shows out at the moment and in this case no amount of Phil Collins music will help it succeed. Expand
  20. Mar 9, 2013
    8
    At first I wasn't sure how I felt about "The Americans", but the last two shows have made me realize how much I like it. The episode of March 6 was the best one so far. The first few episodes had major holes and was not very believable. The last two episodes were well crafted with a tightly woven script. The dialogue was better developed and now feels more like the way people reallyAt first I wasn't sure how I felt about "The Americans", but the last two shows have made me realize how much I like it. The episode of March 6 was the best one so far. The first few episodes had major holes and was not very believable. The last two episodes were well crafted with a tightly woven script. The dialogue was better developed and now feels more like the way people really talk. The twists in the last two episodes were surprising and exciting. Whether there was a change in writers or they realized the errors of their ways I now look forward to watching "The Americans" Expand
  21. Jul 13, 2013
    9
    T-:¦:-E-:¦:-R-:¦:-I-:¦:-F-:¦:-F-:¦:-I-:¦:-C!!! The Bonnie and Clyde of spies. The Americans have a brilliant way of grooming the audience to see how our enemies sees and thinks against the U.S. The show allows you to observe how agent Russian spy terrorist are transformed into U.S. citizens, so they can destroy this country from within. There is great choreography action like BourneT-:¦:-E-:¦:-R-:¦:-I-:¦:-F-:¦:-F-:¦:-I-:¦:-C!!! The Bonnie and Clyde of spies. The Americans have a brilliant way of grooming the audience to see how our enemies sees and thinks against the U.S. The show allows you to observe how agent Russian spy terrorist are transformed into U.S. citizens, so they can destroy this country from within. There is great choreography action like Bourne Identity, plenty of drama, light humor, as well as intelligence. It flows well with lots of flashbacks and comes together through the editing. The show is like a snake, if you don't see what's coming, it will bite you. Some Americans also had a sympathetic heart and twisted love affair for Bonnie and Clyde which murdered innocent people and committed felonies, because they seemed like romantic criminals in the category of Romeo and Juliette. We as an audience have become seduced and drawn in by shows like Dexter True Blood and The Bible series which provides us with a mask to become something other than human for a moment. It allows us to disguise our dysfunctional corrupt fantasies that feeds our hunger for blood and vengeance that we may have against our enemies or those we want to take our anger out on. Since we can't commit the crime, we allow the illusion of Hollywood to produce this craving for us and say its just TV. So we wash our hands from guilt and shame. We claim innocent because we are just witnesses to a sick fantasy. But in truth we know that we are curious like the cat. We as an audience desire evil and good, because we are underneath still children with a sweet tooth for eye candy, wanting Scandal and to be The Americans, even if it asks you to look through the Russian enemies eyes for a moment as a spy against your country and see how they think, feel, just like human beings who are terrorist but still hate The Americans and wish to see harm. Whether the show is sympathizing to glorify enemies of this countries or terrorist attempting to see harm come to innocent children and citizens of this country, through War or attacks, remember its just TV and innocent entertainment. Hollywood allows you to root for the terrorist as the hero for a season, because even terrorist have feelings, family and enemies just like The Americans. Expand
  22. Jul 13, 2013
    10
    Smart show with great performances! Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich and Margo Martindale are amazingly well in the show, and Annet Mahendru also deserves attention playing Nina. The story is compelling and takes you back to the vibe of the 1980s. The first season was extremely well written, with one of the best season finales of the year! Congratulations to the FX and the entireSmart show with great performances! Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich and Margo Martindale are amazingly well in the show, and Annet Mahendru also deserves attention playing Nina. The story is compelling and takes you back to the vibe of the 1980s. The first season was extremely well written, with one of the best season finales of the year! Congratulations to the FX and the entire team for bringing us an amazing spy show surrounded by drama! Expand
  23. Sep 6, 2013
    9
    The Americans stands on its own as a great drama, but it is simply fun to revisit a time in history where the world seemed so etched in stone. How we have changed...maybe.
  24. Mar 8, 2013
    8
    I'm starting to think FX does no wrong. Their programming has been incredible lately. I decided to watch The Americans for two reasons, 1. American Horror Story season 2 came to an end and I needed to fill that void. 2. I love history, and the idea of Russian spies intrigued me. It's a quick show. A bit hard to grab at first but if you stick with it, It's one hell of a ride! The fightingI'm starting to think FX does no wrong. Their programming has been incredible lately. I decided to watch The Americans for two reasons, 1. American Horror Story season 2 came to an end and I needed to fill that void. 2. I love history, and the idea of Russian spies intrigued me. It's a quick show. A bit hard to grab at first but if you stick with it, It's one hell of a ride! The fighting scenes are terrific and the dialog is incredibly smart. Expand
  25. Apr 24, 2013
    10
    Love this show!! It's fantastic! Excellent acting, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are amazingly good. The script is extremely original and well written.
  26. Jun 8, 2013
    10
    People who think this is like the Homeland are mistaken. I just praised this show for having a great twist and great action. The best action show in years.
  27. Oct 5, 2013
    10
    Hands down, one of the best TV shows of all time. This is a show where clever people outsmart each other, unlike Breaking Bad, where you can mostly bet the characters to do the wrong thing.
  28. Dec 12, 2013
    10
    One of the best shows ever produced by american television. It has the right pace and stays within the realms of plausibility, characters look like any other flawed human being, with their own dramas and inner conflicts. The show doesn't try to portrait anyone as the "bad" guy, its just a bunch of people tied into a messed world trying to do their best to protect what they believe isOne of the best shows ever produced by american television. It has the right pace and stays within the realms of plausibility, characters look like any other flawed human being, with their own dramas and inner conflicts. The show doesn't try to portrait anyone as the "bad" guy, its just a bunch of people tied into a messed world trying to do their best to protect what they believe is right.

    People seem to criticize this show for being slow paced, yes it is slow paced, but that is the goal, do we need another completely unbelievable and ridiculous show with the usual cliche bad commies and the strong patriotic american hero?

    It's refreshing to see american television evolving and producing good shows that actually have a plot and believable characters.
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  29. Mar 20, 2013
    8
    Let's get one thing straight right off the bat: this show is NOT for everyone, it is NOT going to be something like LOST or DEXTER where there's widespread acclaim. One of the chief reasons for this is that the main selling point of the show, for me anyway, is the atmosphere. They really nail the 80's from the hairstyles, to the cars, to the paranoia, to Reagan and the almost entirelyLet's get one thing straight right off the bat: this show is NOT for everyone, it is NOT going to be something like LOST or DEXTER where there's widespread acclaim. One of the chief reasons for this is that the main selling point of the show, for me anyway, is the atmosphere. They really nail the 80's from the hairstyles, to the cars, to the paranoia, to Reagan and the almost entirely different culture that was around back then. Having been born in the late 80's I never really had much of a connection to the time period but always wondered what it was like. It also helps that I like Reagan a lot. The show itself is unique in its premise but the execution is a bit predictable and it is not highly suspenseful. The acting is spotty with mixed performances out of the cast and a few dubious plot mechanics. Overall I enjoy it, but I don't feel like this is something that's meant for mass consumption. Expand
  30. Mar 17, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Very good show. One of the very best new TV dramas this year. Well written and well acted (though I am not entirely sold on Kerri Russell) Really spot on portrayal of the the cold war; really find myself rooting for the Russian spies, which I imagine is quite common and is actually a testament to how well this show is written. Expand
  31. Feb 17, 2013
    1
    Watched most of the first episode and then just gave up. Can't buy that these supposed native Russians are as American as apple pie. They're depressing. Kerry Russell is boring. Her character has no personality. Her ability to beat the crap out of big thuggy guys with no response on their part is laughable. The family life seemed out of place. The early 1980s is too recent to be a periodWatched most of the first episode and then just gave up. Can't buy that these supposed native Russians are as American as apple pie. They're depressing. Kerry Russell is boring. Her character has no personality. Her ability to beat the crap out of big thuggy guys with no response on their part is laughable. The family life seemed out of place. The early 1980s is too recent to be a period piece and too old to be interesting. I just couldn't get into it. Expand
  32. Oct 10, 2013
    7
    Matthew Rhys was tipped by some to earn an Emmy nomination for his role as Soviet spy Phillip Jennings and although he ultimately missed out on making the list, for my money he can't have been too far away. As half of the undercover couple, his performances throughout the debut season, in all manner of dodgy 80's wigs, certainly deserve some credit. I found Keri Russell to be trying toMatthew Rhys was tipped by some to earn an Emmy nomination for his role as Soviet spy Phillip Jennings and although he ultimately missed out on making the list, for my money he can't have been too far away. As half of the undercover couple, his performances throughout the debut season, in all manner of dodgy 80's wigs, certainly deserve some credit. I found Keri Russell to be trying to hard in her portrayal of the more resolute and dogged Elizabeth.

    As far as the story goes the show starts strongly, driven by the stronger episodes, 'Pilot' and 'Gregory' but loses its momentum towards the end when the agent double-crossing becomes a little benign before an excellent finale 'The Colonel' closes the season on a high note.
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  33. Jul 28, 2013
    8
    Really cool show. The acting is really good and the plot is interesting. The most successful part of this show, however, is how they make you root for the people who should be the "villains" and against the FBI. Very interesting thus far and I will continue to watch it with interest as it progresses.
  34. Jun 30, 2013
    9
    Ties Walking Dead as my favorite series 1 to date. And yes, I've seen the majority the highly rated series. Of course, it will be when it comes to other series to see how this goes, but it could become one of the best ever.

    I'm looking forward to season 2 more than any other show on TV, and that is saying a ton.
  35. Mar 24, 2013
    10
    Better than I expected, I am liking it much more than Homeland. I love the use of 1980's issues, politics and historical events. I am impressed with the personal dynamics of the families and the comparison of the two married families that happen to across the street from each other. This is one show I really look forward to each week, and I am pleasantly surprised with each episode.
  36. Mar 16, 2013
    10
    This is by far the best thing on TV right now. FX has really outdone themselves with this one. Hopefully they realize the gem that they have on their hands and wont cancel it, like HBO/Showtime always do... This show proves that a cast of relatively unknown actors can, with a good script, put to shame high budget dumbed down cliche' fluff that seems to be the TV norm these days (seeThis is by far the best thing on TV right now. FX has really outdone themselves with this one. Hopefully they realize the gem that they have on their hands and wont cancel it, like HBO/Showtime always do... This show proves that a cast of relatively unknown actors can, with a good script, put to shame high budget dumbed down cliche' fluff that seems to be the TV norm these days (see 'Vegas, the Following, Ripper Street etc.). If you're into well written dramas, suspense, thrillers, spy type shows/films with a great story line, then this one is definitely for you! Reminds me of the original 'Bourne Identity film. Killer!!! Expand
  37. Jul 26, 2013
    10
    I really looked forward to watching this show each week. As is so often the case in real life, the good guys and bad guys are hard to tell apart. I think Keri Russell has done a good job with her part especiall some of the flashbacks.
  38. Feb 5, 2013
    6
    Maybe I wasn't in the right frame of mind for the pilot, or maybe I was worn out from watching all 13 episodes of House of Cards, but I couldn't get through this first episode, especially when they started with the flashbacks. Glad so many people like the show.
  39. Feb 13, 2013
    1
    I was looking forward to the show but felt really disappointed. Although the acting is fantastic it was just so boring to watch. Maybe it is a slow burner and more is to come but I just did not enjoy the story line either. Also there is something wrong with Rhys' mouth, I think his teeth have been capped and it made him look weird. Because of this I could not take him seriously. RussellI was looking forward to the show but felt really disappointed. Although the acting is fantastic it was just so boring to watch. Maybe it is a slow burner and more is to come but I just did not enjoy the story line either. Also there is something wrong with Rhys' mouth, I think his teeth have been capped and it made him look weird. Because of this I could not take him seriously. Russell gave some terrific acting but I did not feel she could save this program. Expand
  40. Feb 21, 2013
    8
    Really good plot. The last episode d r a g g e d a little at the end. Can't wait to see what else they have in store for this show. However, I don't think this show will ever be as great as Homeland. Will continue to watch anyway.
  41. Mar 20, 2013
    6
    I would like it better if the episodes ended with cliffhangers. The plots each week seem to be self contained pretty much. It took me a while to wrap my mind around the fact that they are cold hearted killers. Kerry is so hot I wish the guy was hot too. Homeland is more exciting.
  42. Apr 11, 2013
    9
    Instead of the leads in ‘The Americans’ who have been dissected enough by everyone, I’d like to talk about one of the ancillary characters.There’s the archetype of the Seductress, the Siren, in Literature, TV and Cinema the lady who uses her let’s say Womanly charms to get men to do her bidding. Here’s how it plays out in any visual medium –well endowed Women sleep with Men and thenInstead of the leads in ‘The Americans’ who have been dissected enough by everyone, I’d like to talk about one of the ancillary characters.There’s the archetype of the Seductress, the Siren, in Literature, TV and Cinema the lady who uses her let’s say Womanly charms to get men to do her bidding. Here’s how it plays out in any visual medium –well endowed Women sleep with Men and then these poor saps proceed to grant there wish as soon as the act is done tell them their life story and inconsequential things like revealing where the nuclear launch codes are and such. Men know it’s hogwash they’ve known it all along, all the Film TV Show creators want the audience to believe that is all there is to it and all men are indeed that stupid (I’ll grant you some are) and for some reason the audience decides to play along. Every single time, same MO large breasted woman a squirrely little Man seduction 101! Meet Nina (I have no idea who is playing that role she works for the KGB in an administrative capacity it’s made clear to us she doesn’t do any “spy” stuff. I was mesmerized by her performance. I doubt too many people will notice it or talk about it. But I urge you to observe her closely Nina is pretty but not stunning, definitely not the stuff the fantasies of teenage Boys are made of. Watch how she interacts with men there are no suggestive glances, she never flirts with them or for that matter does anything at all to indicate she might have a romantic interest in them. She looks vulnerable but does not try to come across as a damsel in distress. She’s always fully clad Not even a hint of cleavage, the camera too always stays on her face. She is very conscious of the effect she has on men and yet very deliberately underplays her sexuality she speaks softly, always polite and demands absolutely nothing from them, Men find themselves instinctively drawn to her because it’s so apparent that she doesn’t have an agenda. Her handler is an intelligent FBI agent who’d good at being one despite himself he somehow ends up wanting to rescue her (so to speak). I was completely in thrall of her, she has played this role with such consummate finesse that you’ll totally understand why men end up wanting her. The lore of ‘Mata Hari’ would have us believe that she was some kind of a Sexual Goddess, I somehow doubt that there had to be something more to her, I believe she might have been someone like Nina. And like our FBI agent I promise you the thought will cross your mind about what she might be wearing underneath those garbs and when his Boss tell him “Woman like that could have us for breakfast. Did she have you for breakfast Stan” you’ll know exactly what he means. Male protagonist is played by Matthew Rhys (unknown name to me), he has given a stellar performance as a KGB agent hiding in plain sight (at par with our Mr.Brody from Homeland), Rhys too could have easily played the lead in Homeland. The only weak link in this otherwise tightly knit espionage thriller is the female lead played by Keri Russell. The problem is, Claire Danes has acted the hell out of the role she plays in Homeland the comparison therefore is inevitable. Unlike Carrie Mathison who survives on hers wits Keri’s character is something else altogether. We see her more than once beating men weighing 120kgs to a pulp, I don’t care if you were trained by the KGB in the cold and desolate grounds of Siberia for 5 years or lived among the Shaolin monks for a decade, fact is if you weigh 40Kgs you’r not going to take a 140Kg gorilla down. It’s not about skills it’s just biology. The show is still a very pleasant and refreshing change from countless other espionage dramas we have seen. One overused and quite frankly rather annoying plot device which writers use is “hacking”. Need access to information no problem just hack the_fill agency name here_database, generic meaningless drivel which is indicative of poor and lazy writing. You find yourself in a corner, get imaginative and have the characters hack there way out of whatever quandary they find themselves in the real “hacks” in my opinion are the writers here.Good thing it’s set in the 1980s so people have to rely on some good old fashioned John le Carre style spycraft to get the desired results and access to information. Sure, some parts of the show do defy belief at times but they never come close to being incredulous, what’s also different is during such parts unlike other shows characters don’t say that the caper they are planning is brilliant and flawless, like the Audience they too know it’s stupid, will not work and could get them killed and they say precisely that. Tough not to like a Hero brave enough to acknowledge that.Just so you know where I’m coming from, ‘Homeland’ is a 10 in my book if you liked that show you’ll like this one too. Expand
  43. May 2, 2013
    9
    Ok... To reiterate a previous post "This is without doubt my most favorite show just now. Its brilliant. I cant stand waiting week by week, so I'm going to wait until the season end and watch
    the remainder back on back."
    So... Just watched them all and yeah, just excellent. There has been some comparisons with Homeland, but this? Well, I find Homeland to be a sort of high end
    Ok... To reiterate a previous post "This is without doubt my most favorite show just now. Its brilliant. I cant stand waiting week by week, so I'm going to wait until the season end and watch
    the remainder back on back."

    So... Just watched them all and yeah, just excellent. There has been some comparisons with
    Homeland, but this? Well, I find Homeland to be a sort of high end commercial great production but
    ultimately slightly oily, too full of its message, and even cheesy at times. This has none of that, as you actually care about the protagonists, our anti-heroes, who are (or were) after all, the enemy.

    Even the poison Granny, who fell in love with her current section boss 40 years earlier on a 1942 battlefield has pathos.

    For my taste this just works fine on so many levels and I cant wait until next January for season
    two.
    Expand
  44. May 2, 2013
    9
    Great show, just finished it. Lot of people are comparing this show with Homeland (I watched it too), but I think there is no possible way of comparing them. Yes, I agree, they are both shows about persons trying to hurt America... but the set is just so different. The Americans has a great mix of resposabilities towards the motherland, the kids, there marriage. It`s very interesting toGreat show, just finished it. Lot of people are comparing this show with Homeland (I watched it too), but I think there is no possible way of comparing them. Yes, I agree, they are both shows about persons trying to hurt America... but the set is just so different. The Americans has a great mix of resposabilities towards the motherland, the kids, there marriage. It`s very interesting to watch how they fit in a society they are supposed to fight against. For all history, lovers, for all people that pay attention to small details, I would recomend this show. Expand
  45. May 2, 2013
    9
    This is a good, fast paced spook show with a lot of promise. I really like the way the plot keeps me on the edge of my seat. Some of the portions are breathtaking in the way they take over the senses. This is a top rate show. I enjoy the way Russel and Rhys question their loyalty to their handlers at times. It gives the viewer a sense of fairness after all. I am almost favoring theThis is a good, fast paced spook show with a lot of promise. I really like the way the plot keeps me on the edge of my seat. Some of the portions are breathtaking in the way they take over the senses. This is a top rate show. I enjoy the way Russel and Rhys question their loyalty to their handlers at times. It gives the viewer a sense of fairness after all. I am almost favoring the Russians instead of my FBI as the FBI has demonstrated that they will play down and dirty (should I be surprised?) while the Russians seem to have a better grasp of the rules that both sides are held to. This is excellent television. Bravo, FX! Bravo! I certainly hope the second season is as good as the first. I also hope that those poor kids aren't going to be motherless! Expand
  46. May 4, 2013
    9
    Really exciting spy action, without the genre-usual politics. The characters are well designed and believable and the personal stories and relationships add greatly to the tension. Love it!
  47. May 12, 2013
    7
    Having trouble getting past my dislike of the main characters after that crummy job they had to pull in Episode 2. Not sure if I want to go on viewing the rest of the episodes.
  48. May 27, 2013
    10
    The Americans, a new drama by FX, written by a former CIA officer about two high level KGB spies who have been planted in the US and are able to pass themselves off as a normal American couple, works on so many levels that it is certain to both have a long life as well as compel viewers to repeated watching. Like Sopranos and Breaking Bad, it is as much about the dynamics of family life asThe Americans, a new drama by FX, written by a former CIA officer about two high level KGB spies who have been planted in the US and are able to pass themselves off as a normal American couple, works on so many levels that it is certain to both have a long life as well as compel viewers to repeated watching. Like Sopranos and Breaking Bad, it is as much about the dynamics of family life as it is about it's main theme (in this case, espionage during the latter years of the Cold War). Keri Russell is outstanding as Elizabeth, an enigmatic but highly professional KGB officer who struggles to balance her dangerous missions with her relationship with Philip (Matthew Rhys) and their two children. The moral dilemmas presented here leave one with lots of food for thought. The show is entertaining, superbly acted and directed, and enthralling. We can't wait for season two! Expand
  49. Feb 13, 2014
    10
    Superb series, one of the best written shows in the last decade. It has an excellent cast who perform their roles well. Very believable and since the author is an ex.CIA officer, probably quite close to reality.
  50. Feb 28, 2014
    9
    I've started watching this show somewhat by chance, reading some reviews on Metacritic.
    Well, I really get enthusiastic for doing it! I don't want to speak about the storyline because, you know, it'll take too much time; but I just want to give you a tip: watch it and you won't regret it!
  51. Jan 31, 2014
    9
    Great show, good acting, and far from boring. Loved every episode so far, but a few too many sex scenes. Sometimes I feel like I'm watching a high-production porno and not a TV show.
  52. Feb 28, 2014
    10
    Best show on television. The finale was just amazing. Great realism with good politics combined with fantastic charter development.

    Oh .. and not afraid to kill off major characters which always keeps you guessing.
  53. Mar 2, 2014
    8
    I watched the pilot episode, and I thought it was a great show. Unfortunately, at $3.49 (CAD) per episode on iTunes, I won't be watching any more episodes unless they are released on Netflix. Whoever set that price is pretty greedy. I wouldn't pay any more than $0.99 per episode for any TV show.
  54. Mar 4, 2014
    10
    Retro, cool and cliche "the Americans" is a classic spy drama that takes place during the golden age of espionage. At the height of the Cold War with micro films and radios, a couple balances the trials and tribulations of relationship and family with the shady underworld of information gathering under the watchful eye of the motherland and the FBI. The tension is tangible the action isRetro, cool and cliche "the Americans" is a classic spy drama that takes place during the golden age of espionage. At the height of the Cold War with micro films and radios, a couple balances the trials and tribulations of relationship and family with the shady underworld of information gathering under the watchful eye of the motherland and the FBI. The tension is tangible the action is calculated and the sex is close up and personal. I can't get enough. Expand
  55. Mar 11, 2014
    10
    FX has done it once again! I was hooked on The Americans from the getgo. I cannot begin to tell you what a great show this is. It leaves you on the edge of your seat from the 1st minute to the last. The plot has more twists and turns than a pretzel. I have seen the first 2 episodes of Season 2 and I am not disappointed. What I especially love about this series, is the realism of the 1980sFX has done it once again! I was hooked on The Americans from the getgo. I cannot begin to tell you what a great show this is. It leaves you on the edge of your seat from the 1st minute to the last. The plot has more twists and turns than a pretzel. I have seen the first 2 episodes of Season 2 and I am not disappointed. What I especially love about this series, is the realism of the 1980s applied into the series, the cars, the clothes,phones,even the food. It helps bring this era alive and really adds "life" to the series. The Americans is a smart,snappy show thanks to the actors, writers and producers giving special nod to Graham Youst who also produced another one of my favorite shows, Justified. Expand
  56. Apr 2, 2014
    5
    I like the premise and the possibilities. Unfortunately, this like many "retro" shows is that the writers think we have been saying "Awesome", "Seriously", "Amazing" and countless other phrases since 1920. I wish someone who was ALIVE and speaking in the 1980s would review the writing so that I would not be so distracted by the dialogue.
  57. Apr 6, 2014
    5
    I'm mixed about the show, I have seen the first season and some of the second. The directors lack of detail when it comes to keeping everything time era accurate is not good. In the first season they had a scene where there was a lot of cash. I found it ridiculous they used 100 dollar bills that came out in 1996. In another scene a woman was wearing rock & republics which came out in 2002.I'm mixed about the show, I have seen the first season and some of the second. The directors lack of detail when it comes to keeping everything time era accurate is not good. In the first season they had a scene where there was a lot of cash. I found it ridiculous they used 100 dollar bills that came out in 1996. In another scene a woman was wearing rock & republics which came out in 2002. I just saw an episode where they were using a modern mustard jar. All mistakes you wouldn't see in a well directed show such as Mad Men. The plot line is okay at times show could definitely use improvement and a more detail oriented director. Expand
  58. May 10, 2014
    8
    I loved season one of this series.

    It's a unique approach taken by focusing on the KGB agents as opposed to the FBI guys, presenting the viewer with an odd sense of duality in routing for both groups of agents to succeed.

    The acting is good, and the sub plots help flesh out some of the episodes that otherwise could be a bit mundane.

    Very enjoyable.
  59. Jun 25, 2014
    3
    Before 9/11, the primary villains on politically themed film/TV thrillers were neo-Nazis, environment-raping capitalists and (especially during GOP administrations) the CIA. Now, like a ricin-tipped assassin's umbrella on which the poison has passed its expiration date, comes the Cold War retro-drama "The Americans"; and as usual, the main villains are us.

    The fictional ("factually
    Before 9/11, the primary villains on politically themed film/TV thrillers were neo-Nazis, environment-raping capitalists and (especially during GOP administrations) the CIA. Now, like a ricin-tipped assassin's umbrella on which the poison has passed its expiration date, comes the Cold War retro-drama "The Americans"; and as usual, the main villains are us.

    The fictional ("factually inspired") story of two Russian-born KGB moles living and working as a married couple in Washington during the Reagan presidency, the series arrives a quarter-century since the Venona Papers and other documents from behind the former Iron Curtain confirmed that the worst things suspected of the KGB were true. Yet that doesn't stop The Americans from recycling the familiar tropes, and Moscow Center-trained agents Phillip and Elizabeth (Mathew Rhys, Keri Russell) are licensed both to kill and to play the moral equivalency card to the hilt. Thus, in Season 2, before stealing access codes to the main gate of a Contra training camp in Nicaragua from a truck driver whom they then leave to die, Elizabeth justifies their acts as righteous retaliation for the CIA's efforts to oust the Sandinista regime.

    Yes, this is familiar stuff: liberals in the film/TV industry typically have trouble discerning a difference in kind between "Coca Cola Imperialism" and the mass-murdering totalitarianism Reagan called an Evil Empire. And The Americans routinely exploits its audience's presumed ignorance of the real record in order to rationalize Phillip's and Elizabeth's ruthless deeds ...while taking gratuitous shots at Reagan that feel motivated less by the needs of the plot than by the director's animus. (In a sex scene shot on a desk in a government office, there's a pan-and-push to Reagan's portrait.)

    The show's creator Joe Weisberg reportedly changed his initial plan to make his KGB lovebirds conspicuously more appealing than their FBI adversaries. But there's no sign he forsook the revisionism that's clearly meant to demonize Reagan and preempt the visceral loathing US viewers might be expected to feel for a leading man and lady who cold-bloodedly murder our fellow citizens. But I confess that I'm reactionary enough to heartily despise Phil and Llz, and wish the worst for them in every episode. And that makes watching The Americans maddening, since I know I won't get to see them get their comeuppance, if only because they need to stick around for next season. Yet for the show's more adoring critics, the historic background is merely a plot device, provoking no more loyalty for "our side" than they'd feel for one of the 7 Warring Kingdoms in "Game of Thrones".

    Such can't be said of Elizabeth, whose fiery devotion to her "Mother Country" is offered to contexutalize her fanaticism and support the premise that while both sides did awful things, ours probably did worse. And for viewers who miss the card-stacking, or are indifferent to it, or dislike but can ignore it, The Americans does deserve praise for its insights into the modern paradoxes and problems of sex, parenting and marriage. And yes, it's just a tv show. After all, 12 years ago Russell was the lovesick co-ed in "Felicity Porter"; and if Elizabeth's post-Freudian conflict with iron-willed mother figure/KGB controller "Claudia" (Margo Martindale) helps even one adult daughter face up to her own abandonment issues, who could object?

    It's not that the action's realism makes it hard to suspend disbelief. In fact, when Elizabeth dons her hit-suit and starts bounding around slaughtering Enemies of Socialism, the show verges on parody. And when Claudia tazers then cuts the jugular of a CIA man in a DC hotel room, we can try to bear in mind that the actress playing her is also the laugh-a-minute über-mom on the CBS comedy "The Millers". And yes, that particular CIA man was a hateful SOB. But he was our SOB, and the thing The Americans gets away with is using creative license to drive one way on a two-way street: putting US actions in the worst light, to give the show's co-stars lots of synthetic fuel for MA-rated retributive mayhem.

    Stalin and his heirs, and the "cause" to which The Americans' play-acting KGB agents constantly reaffirm their devotion, piled up a body count equal to six Holocausts. Which makes it hard to understand SLATE critic Sarah Carlson's explanation that she roots for Phillip and Elizabeth because, after all, it's "never easy to be completely on one side of a conflict".

    Maybe historic truth and nationalist fervor can't easily survive in a video game culture where a coin flip decides whether you play Patton or Rommel, Rickenbacker or the Red Baron, the cop or the car thief. Yet, not long ago, US college kids were climbing light poles and setting bonfires to celebrate the killing of bin Laden, and having no trouble being "completely on one side".

    So maybe we'll be okay. But if not,The Americans' popularity may prove to have been a canary in the Siberian salt mine.
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  60. Sep 9, 2014
    10
    The Americans is probably the best show on basic cable. The writing is excellent, the music is perfect, and the acting is top notch. The show captures the 1980's perfectly.
  61. Sep 18, 2014
    10
    The Americans prove again that if you have a good script, great cast and pitch-perfect direction, its a recipe for success. Any John Le Carre fan would love this show-a no gimmick spy thriller where real-life spies live their lives through uncertainties and dangers that lurked in every corner during the Cold War! Can't wait to see the second season.
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: Sara Smith
    Feb 1, 2013
    80
    [A] smart espionage drama.
  2. 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.
  3. 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]