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

Universal acclaim- based on 227 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 227

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  1. 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. 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
  2. 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 entire team for bringing us an amazing spy show surrounded by drama! Expand
  3. 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.
  4. 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 (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
  5. 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.
  6. 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 or the sleeper agents! Expand
  7. 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 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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 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
  10. 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 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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 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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  17. 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.
  18. 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 is calculated and the sex is close up and personal. I can't get enough. Expand
  19. 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 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
  20. 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
  21. 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?
  22. 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.
  23. 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 promising series so early on. Expand
  24. 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 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
  25. 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.
  26. 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 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
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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 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
Metascore
77

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]