Starting tonight, “The Americans” joins the short list of shows that have had the luxury of plotting out their series finale storylines over multiple seasons.
The FX drama, which received a two-season pickup last year, opens its fifth year with intrepid Soviet spies Philip and Elizabeth Jennings juggling yet another set of identities — this time with a set up that is elaborate even by their standards.
The best drama on television continues to ratchet up the tension while pushing purposefully toward the end (and no spoilers here).
One of the great difficulties writing about long-running series with complicated and hard-earned twists and turns is that you can’t go anywhere near them. Nobody likes a spoiler — and far too many people these days think even the smallest detail revealed is a spoiler. The longer a series is on the air — especially one, like FX’s The Americans, that is arguably the best drama on television — the harder it is for a critic to say anything new of substance about it.
And yet, there’s an obligation to write about the best drama on television, because, well, people will want to read it.
You see where we are here.
There won’t be anything that’s an actual spoiler revealed in this review. That would normally only leave the door open to something along the lines of, “Wow, the start of the fifth season is really great — nothing I can tell you about, but, wow, some amazing things happen.” Continue reading ‘The Americans’ Season 5: TV Review
Last year Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell earned Golden Globe nominations as the titular Soviet spies in deep suburban cover in Reagan-era America. The series created by former CIA officer Joe Weisberg has earned wide critical praise as one of the best in TV and its fifth season coincides with renewed interest in the real-life relationship between Russia and the US. Call it serendipity; fact is that the blend of mundane family life and credible international geopolitical skullduggery reverberates more than ever on multiple levels today. Here’s what Russell and Rhys (also a real-life couple and now proud parents of a son) recently told us about the evolution of their characters during the arch of the series.
One of best moments on The Americans last season came in the opening minutes of “The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears,” when Martha (Alison Wright) is being taken to her drop-off point to be sent to the Soviet Union. It’s a stunning, hypnotic scene that is completely wordless until she tells her husband, “Don’t be alone, Clark.”
It sounds — and probably should be — interminably boring, but it’s precisely the type of thing at which The Americans excels. No show produces taut, compelling tension through omission better than the FX drama. And it’s a skill the series deploys — more confidently than ever — in its fifth and penultimate season.
The final act of the Season 5 premiere has Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) just digging a massive hole. The second episode features Elizabeth standing solo in a lab surrounded by insects, and the third episode released to press features a beautiful scene of the pair in their latest cowboy disguises. I won’t say any more — it’s truly one of the most moving sequences the show has ever done.
That naked human intimacy is a testament to showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg’s commitment to crafting this acutely complex portrait of marriage — to each other, to family, to country. Perhaps armed with the knowledge that next year is the show’s last, the stakes in Season 5 feel even higher even as its trademark slow burns decelerate to a purposeful crawl, and the personal and the professional lines blur further. Continue reading The Americans Is Better Than Ever as the End Nears
Star of FX’s “The Americans,” Keri Russell, takes the BUILD stage to dish on the latest season of the Cold War series. Set in the early 1980s, Russell plays KGB agent Elizabeth Jennings who alongside fellow KGB agent, Philip Jennings, pose as an ordinary American married couple. What can we expect in the new season of this hit series? Tune in to find out.
With rumors of Russian involvement in American politics dominating the news again today, the excellent penultimate season of The Americans feels chillingly much closer to the bone than last year. Debuting on March 7, Season 5 of FX’s Reagan-era spy family drama starring the stronger-than-ever Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys has more tricks and schemes up its narrative sleeves than a Cold War intelligence case officer, which as I say in my video review above is why one of the best shows of the age of Peak TV is feeling more passionate and compellingly convoluted than ever.
Set to end after six seasons, the 13-episode fifth season of The Americans, from what I’ve watched, is simply not prepared to go gentle into that good night without showing how much fight it still has. Amidst the perils of teenage dating, agricultural warfare, new families and faces, and corruption on the shelves and among Moscow’s Soviet elite, one blow of many that The Americans brings in this increasingly darker cycle is a new poignancy.
For those of us who grew up when the Soviet Union existed, the tale of Russell and Rhys’ ruthless but conflicted KGB agents posing as travel agency-owning D.C.suburbanites has always had a masterful touch, playing into the paranoia of the ever-simmering superpower conflict (real and imagined). While written and filmed months in advance, this season of the series executive produced by Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields has found new lifeblood as the real-life relationship between former Cold War adversaries the U.S. and the Russian Federation as ruled by Vladimir Putin, bringing spy craft, deception and intentional interference in the American way of life to the fore.
You can see more of why I think this new season of The Americans is so good by clicking on the video review above. But let me give a shout-out to the performances of the better-than-ever Holly Taylor, Costa Ronin, the never-to-be-underestimated Noah Emmerich, Frank Langella and Emmy-winning Margo Martindale. To play on as high a level and high a wire as Russell and Rhys do is a challenge for the best of the best, and these cast members rise to it.
Welcome to Keri Russell Web. She is best known for her role in Tv shows such as Felicity, Running Wilde and The Americans as well as some movies: Free State of Jones, Dark Skies and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The gallery has over 60,000 photos, including public appearances, photoshoots, television series & movies and more. Be sure to follow @kerirussellweb and bookmark the site to stay up to date with all the latest news, pictures, and videos! We hope you like our site and come back soon!