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‘The Americans Season 6: TV Review

One of television’s greatest series, FX’s marital spy drama heads thrillingly and ominously toward its end.
It’s a weird thing to be proud of a TV show. To understand the difficult decisions the writers make in the face of expectations and to feel it’s important to acknowledge terrific and sometimes surprising acting and directing. The hardest thing in all of television is making a great series season after season. And as The Americans begins its sixth and final season, the first three episodes sent by FX to critics elicited that kind of admiration, that confidence that, at least in the early going, the enormous weight of expectations hadn’t crippled the show but given it a certain exhilaration as it began its end game.

They were, all three of them, exceptional — clear examples of one of television’s greatest dramas still very much on top of its game.

Viewers are all over the map on what they consider to be a spoiler, so all a critic can do in a situation like this — watching the last moves of a complicated chess match, the strands of a long-building pattern emerging for its last reveal — is to promise to hew more toward appreciation than actual review. And honestly, with only three episodes to judge from, all the truly enormous twists have yet to be seen, so realistically there’s not much to spoil (and does anyone want to do that anyway?). Besides, The Americans is a drama about the Cold War, and we all know how that ends for that period and how, in 2018, the word “Russia” seems to be ominously everywhere (giving this series an intriguingly twisted place in history — far different from what could have been predicted when it launched in January 2013). Continue reading ‘The Americans Season 6: TV Review

Categories Appearances The Americans

Upcoming talk show alerts !!!

Next week Keri will be on 2 new talk shows to promot The Americans.
April 4 – Late Night With Seth Meyer
April 5 – Watch What Happens Live with Matthew

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The Americans 6×05 – The Great Patriotic War – Press Release

6×05 – The Great Patriotic War

As the summit fast approaches, Elizabeth enlists Philip’s help for a mission that could yield game-changing intel. Written by Hilary Bettis; Directed by Thomas Schlamme.

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The Americans 6×04 – Mr. and Mrs. Teacup – Press Release

6×04 – Mr. and Mrs. Teacup

In the aftermath of a disastrous operation, Philip and Elizabeth clash about how to handle things with Paige. Stan struggles to contain the growing risks of Sofia and Gennadi’s fraying relationship.

Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

The Americans Preview: Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys Talk Wigs, Marital Rifts and the ‘Bittersweet’ Final Season

The Cold War may be drawing to a close on The Americans… but it’s getting awfully chilly in Philip and Elizabeth’s marriage.

As FX’s Reagan-era spy drama enters its sixth and final season — debuting this Wednesday at 10/9c — the action jumps forward three years to 1987, just when diplomatic relations between America and the Soviets were beginning to mend. But as star Matthew Rhys hints, while there’s “this great thaw between the U.S. and the Soviet Union… the ice age is settling in” between the married Russian spies at the show’s center. (And even their vast array of wigs can’t keep them warm.)

The Americans Season 6 Premiere Elizabeth PhilipTVLine sat down with Rhys and Keri Russell — the real-life spouses and Emmy nominees who play Philip and Elizabeth — for a preview of The Americans‘ final season, which kicks off with Philip trading the spy game for a corporate yuppie existence (he even has a car phone!), while Elizabeth is left to pick up the espionage slack. And that’s caused a serious rift between the formerly happy couple. While the two aren’t “at war with each other,” Russell says, they’re in “almost a sadder place, where you’re just so far from each other. To get back there seems so insurmountable and lonely, and that’s kind of where we start.”
Continue reading The Americans Preview: Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys Talk Wigs, Marital Rifts and the ‘Bittersweet’ Final Season

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The Americans: Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys on ‘crazy intimacy’ of their Russian spies

“It’s just been a hard thing for the marriage to deal with; she’s just gotten exhausted and worn down, and in a way is sort of wilting under that burden,” says co-creator Joe Weisberg. “On top of it, now (Mikhail) Gorbachev has been leading the Soviet Union for two years, and glasnost and perestroika have really started to come into their own, and this is something Philip and Elizabeth are not on the same page about. So history and politics have thrown another wedge into their relationship.”

While The Americans is a spy thriller, at its heart it’s about the marriage of Philip and Elizabeth, and the costs of their jobs to their family.

“Its strength is this very intricate, complicated marriage,” Russell says. “The spy element of it is such a great backdrop; it pushes and pulls the relationship in so many different ways. You’re sleeping with other people, and there’s massive trust issues, and you’re killing people.”

A further strain: Their daughter, Paige (Holly Taylor), once oblivious to the family business, has been recruited into it, against Philip’s wishes. (Son Henry, now a hockey star at boarding school, remains blissfully unaware.)

“When I was at the CIA,” says Weisberg, a former officer, “one of the things that interested me most was the story of parents who had to figure out when to tell their kids, ‘Hey, this is what I really do.’ Even in all of espionage, it seemed like the most interesting thing.”

Continue reading The Americans: Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys on ‘crazy intimacy’ of their Russian spies

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The Americans previews new season in Washington, where Russia drama is already on TV

You know it’s weird times when at one end of Pennsylvania Avenue, the president was making headlines for congratulating Russian President Vladimir Putin on a victory in what’s been called a “sham” election, and elsewhere in Washington, multiple investigations were looking into the nefarious doings of our former Cold War enemy on our shores — and meanwhile, smack dab in the middle, there was a red-carpet screening of a TV show that was supposed to be just a stylish drama about 1980s Russian spycraft in the nation’s capital that feels … well, maybe just a little too close to home.

Joe Weisberg, the show’s creator and executive producer (and a former CIA officer, so he knows of what he writes), was strolling the gantlet of reporters and photographers lined up to capture the Tuesday night premiere of the sixth and final season of FX’s “The Americans,” and he was clearly not thrilled that his show’s carefully crafted story lines were colliding with chaotic cable-news chyrons.

“This,” he said of the prospect of running a show about Russian interference in the United States at the very moment when America is focused on Russian interference in the United States, “was not the plan.” Continue reading The Americans previews new season in Washington, where Russia drama is already on TV

Categories Articles & Interviews The Americans

The Americans prepares to take a final bow on FX

On a drizzly night in February, Keri Russell and Holly Taylor walked down a hilly block in Upper Manhattan that was doubling for Reagan-era Washington in a scene from the final season of FX’s spy thriller “The Americans.”

Russell, in character as Elizabeth Jennings, a KGB agent living undercover in the United States in the waning days of the Cold War, was dispensing some tough love to her daughter, Paige (Taylor) a college student sympathetic to the Soviet cause.

“You’re going to have to make a decision: to commit to this life or get out, because sometimes this is what we have to do,” said Russell as Elizabeth. “Are you willing to give up friends and relationships — your life, if you have to?”

The tension between the personal and the political is at the heart of “The Americans,” which returnsfor its final 10-episode season March 28 and centers on Elizabeth and her husband, Philip (Matthew Rhys), a pair of seemingly mild-mannered travel agents and suburban parents who carry out deadly covert missions on behalf of the motherland. Continue reading The Americans prepares to take a final bow on FX