The Americans (TV Series 2013–2018) Poster

(2013–2018)

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9/10
Great final season and episode
nufafa5 June 2018
Although I have found the series a bit repetitive over the years, the final season has been exceptional, with a beautiful final episode that will be always remember. I think is one of the shows that better uses the silence to explain things, and in the last episode music plays also a big role. The acting of Rhys, Russell and Emmerich is exceptional and I'd love to see them in the nominations and awards' lists.
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10/10
A star is born...
savannahkhan2 February 2013
It is very rare that you have a near perfect episode, especially of a series on commercial television. But FX has done it here with The Americans. It is nearly flawless. Great mind candy for the thinking person, with something to come back to after the first viewing. I credit the success of The Americans to 3 things: Great script, great music, and Matthew Rhys.

The script is adult, no-nonsense storytelling built on an original premise, the Cold War. Those of us who are old enough remember this period, a period of the Russians-are-coming hysteria that was second only to the Civil Rights movement the decade before. An era very under- represented in film and ignored on the small screen, comes to life for a new generation.

Of course this era would be nothing without the music of this time and again, The Americans is flawless. "Harden my Heart" opens the series, and how appropriate. Disguised, and ready to perform sexual acts for information, we first meet the series heroine, Elizabeth Jennings whose heart is truly hardened. Fast forward to a back alley chase and we are introduced to our hero(?) Phillip to the pulsations of "Tusk" by Fleetwood Mac. "Tusk" is appropriate here too. Just think about it.

Must mention these disguises too, which are not your silly, unrealistic mission-impossible disguises. No, the disguises in The Americans are really disguises and surprisingly, with very little disguise. What makes these disguises work for the Jennings is that the Jennings can act. With each disguise is a new personality. Elizabeth does her disguise well but the master of disguise is Phillip.

Phillip, played by Matthew Rhys, is special, or should I say, Matthew Rhys is special as Phillip. Rhys takes the art of disguise to the next stage. He is authentic, nerdy and funny in disguise talking to Martha, reminding you of a young John Ritter. And then as the kick-your-ass, baddest-ass-kicking daddy of them all over a barbecue pit, Rhys is wonderfully dangerous, stellar, and I can't get enough of him.

This series only has to live up to its pilot a little bit. The series has everything: originality, sex, espionage, suspense...did I say originality? And yes, Matthew Rhys who has the role of his life, I daresay, the role he has been waiting for, is the welcomed surprise here. Hat's off to casting. Can't wait to see what they are going to do with this.
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9/10
Near perfection
hemril26 February 2013
I don't want to repeat everything that has been already said about this series.

However, I think Keri Russell's presence in this series is the key to everything. Only her could have this cold outside look hiding a wounded soul that hangs on to what she believes in.

It is not only about the plot, but also the human toll the Cold War claimed in its path.

I think the series is very well rounded in terms of casting and writing. It has a rhythm that keeps the audience on edge.

This is, in my humble opinion, the best of the genre since Alfred Hitchcock gave us Topaz and The Torn Curtain. I give it a 9.
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10/10
Finally, a great television series.
mrblumis23 February 2013
I'm not going to spoil any of the episodes so read on. I'm just saying I've been waiting for years for a television series that sets the hook and does not let you go. Very intense, great social issues, Keri Russell is spectacular. I just started "Nashville" the series this year and thought that was the answer, but "The Americans" has bumped Nashville down to number 2. Some of the younger crowd who does not know the 80's, or the cold war between the USSR and the US, might not feel the intensity compared to us who felt the tension of the time - when WWIII felt on the doorstep. The first ten minutes of the series opener was the best ten minutes of any television series opener in history. The pounding music, the action, the mystery, the excitement was unbelievable. I just hope the writers can keep it going for the next ten years.
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9/10
'The Americans' subverts a genre, along with its audience
jenmatsui26 April 2013
Who doesn't love a cold war drama set in the early days of the Reagan administration about deep cover KGB spies posing as a wholesome "all American" family living in a DC suburb? And in a perverted twist of fate, next door to the FBI counter-intelligence agent tracking these rumored agents, who exist primarily as mere urban legends in the paranoid imaginations of overly-thinking spooks. Needless to say, they ARE real and even more deeply rooted in Mom and Apple Pie than their believers would think possible. Not just disguised infiltrators, but perfect replicas of the Sears portrait American family in a simulacrum America as imagined by a Soviet espionage agency. That is to say 'Mom' and 'Dad' carry out often brutal espionage missions against the enemies of their Soviet homeland on American turf, while raising their 'American' kids, often with the unintended sit-com inducing results inherent in trying to maintain harsh Soviet-style discipline while pretending to be the indulgent and "decadent" parental units of innately suspicious, wise beyond their years 'tweens. Their situation is further complicated by a newly sworn-in US president with a more aggressive, anti-Soviet foreign policy, and their newly appointed handler "Claudia" - a matronly old Stalinist whom neither trust, and who will test the limits of their loyalties with far reaching consequences.

By the first episode, the emotional complications of their own arranged-in-a-KGB training camp marriage are starting to take their toll on 'Catherine' and 'Philip' with the latter showing signs of a flagging fealty to the Motherland and a deepening emotional bond with his de facto wife. Catherine, for her part, while still the mentor-pleasing star pupil of her Soviet special agent training academy maintains her stealth focus on the mission. If her heart is with the former Panther she had recruited years earlier, her body is a machine that belongs solely to the state, functioning simultaneously as a sexual weapon and a shape shifting, blow- deflecting device that can pack a school lunch. Kerri Russell, even in her '80's 'mom jeans', could serve any Bond girl her dinner in a dog dish.

Long story short: I'm just loving the s#*t out of 'The Americans', which could have just as easily been another 'Homeland' - in other words, more paranoid post 9/11 agitprop about the heroic government agents doing battle against a stealth enemy and his prayer beads. Unlike the aforementioned 'Homeland' that centers on Carrie Mathison's bug-eyed certitude of a turned 'evil-doer' in her imaginary-seeming cross hairs, 'The Americans', with the "blink and you'll miss it" sly humor so emphatically absent in the 'counterterrorism' genre it subverts, tells the story of subterfuge on American soil through the eyes of a Cold War nemesis. Where Homeland's Claire Danes channels Ann Coulter playing a Gena Rowlands 'woman-on-the- verge' protagonist you want to shoot with a horse tranquilizer, 'The Americans' - both husband and wife - dispenses with the Emmy-baiting histrionics, allowing the complexities of their characters to take shape through their interactions with each other, their children and the Americans they emulate. 'Catherine' can't seem to pronounce the A-word without revealing her contempt for her adopted homeland, while 'Philip' is at pains to conceal his love of hot dogs and a burgeoning middle-aged complacency at odds with the escalating danger of their missions. The perverse nature of their facades is encapsulated in a few second shot of the family appearing at the doorstep of their newly arrived next-door neighbors, bearing cake to welcome Mr and Mrs Beeman. The viewer gets a glimpse of the inner-turmoil behind their overly-rehearsed, "American" smiles with the knowledge that there is a near fatally wounded man bound and gagged in the trunk of the family sedan. Carrie Mathison would have pounded down their door at 3 am, brandishing a pistol and screaming about birthday cake until someone from Homeland Security dragged her back to her rubber room with a warning.

Their friendly neighbor Agent Beeman, whose backyard barbecues they attend as a family, pursues them via a beautiful Russian consulate employee he has managed to 'turn' through blackmail, murder and sex, not realizing of course, his somewhat doofus neighbor 'Philip' and his lovely wife are the chimeric KGB phantoms responsible for the growing body count among his ranks, which in time will include his own partner. In the meantime, 'Philip' has honey trapped a plain Jane clerical worker in the FBI who thinks her new beau works for the Vice- President. Non-American actor Matthew Rhys as "Phillip" disguised as "Clark" the bumbling suitor brings levity and a lovely pathos to the otherwise heart-stopping drama.

'The Americans' despite its Cold War, espionage-based story-telling and often stomach churning violence is at heart, a very human drama about the charades involved in maintaining an 'identity' (we are all implicated as impostors), while highlighting the futile, tit-for-tat end- games played by nation states all claiming a non-existent moral high ground.
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10/10
Don't Go!
electric-crow1 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Watching the last episode was like having to say good-bye to a lover........... or the shock felt by Keri Russell when she see's Paige....... well you'll just have to watch it. I watched every episode and The Americans was truly a rarity in TV entertainment quality. It never compromised, never jumped the shark, and the last episode was one of the best endings, unlike most series endings who just mail it in with a bunch of feel-good pretentious schlock.
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9/10
Intriguing
mohan5931 January 2013
It is early days yet, but the pilot was so engrossing (and Fox infuriating with its endless barrage of commercial breaks), it deserved a review.

Set during the Cold War when relations between the Big Two are still ebbing and flowing, we are taken on an intriguing ride on the back of an American couple: Phillip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell). They make an everyday pair but there is something brewing from (and between) them. Their motives are ulterior, the tension palpable, the strain of a highly dangerous mission clearly burdening them. Despite two kids, Elizabeth has a singular purpose, a determination not as concrete in Phil's heart which is in a state of mental flux. He is getting weary of the masquerade but is a thorough professional, as his slick talents in hand-to-hand combat and imposture bear testimony. Not every step goes perfectly to plan, though. A tricky hurdle comes their way and as Phil and Elizabeth eradicate it, she begins to understand Phil's dilemma and choses to defend him from her superior.

Meanwhile, the FBI is hot on the trail of three people suspected of espionage, one of whom has a description. Through a cruel twist of coincidence, the Jennings become neighbors to one agent Stan (Noah Emmerich) whose sixth sense makes him doubt and investigate them, even as Phil gathers intelligence that the Feds have them on their radar. As the stakes in this fascinating game of cat-and-mouse rise, there are glimpses into who Phil and Elizabeth really are, what brought them here, and how they end up together.

It is an engrossing story, interspersed with great moments of tension, decadence, and charm (who would've thought Phil Collins and Fleetwood Mac could make such inspired choices for background score?). The writing is top-notch. Matthew and Keri are excellent casting choices, since portraying enemies as genuine people is not as easy as it looks. A very positive start from the show's makers.

Can't wait for the next episode!
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10/10
A Gut-Wrenching Journey Deep Into the Mirror World of Espionage
wgingery22 May 2018
The fifth season's first episode featured the "Americans" digging a hole - a BIG hole. The scene goes on a long, long time. This is pretty much how the whole season feels. The show downshifts a gear or two, the payoff is elusive, and you wonder where it's all going; until, that is, the end finally does come, when it's a shocker. It is all done quite intentionally so as to set up the final season.

The Sixth Season of "The Americans" continues to fire on all cylinders: character development, acting, suspense, photography, writing and spy craft, all are splendid.

The focus is increasingly on Philip and Elizabeth, their relationship and inner development, while the other characters recede somewhat into the background, like subsidiary planets orbiting about a double star. Under extreme pressure to prevent disaster, they commit acts that may cause many viewers actually to come to hate them. in the end, no one gets off unscathed, and everyone is simply striving to stay afloat amidst the wreckage....

Which, in a way, is the point:

On the surface, "The Americans" is one of those "mismatched buddy" shows: a young couple teamed together purely for reasons of expediency. However, it runs much deeper than that. Beyond maintaining the charade of a false identity and masquerading as someone you are not, lies the complexity of their developing relationship: exploring the nature of love when you live with someone who lies for a living; understanding what drives them, the far reaching consequences of their choices, & the rationalization of their acts of violence.

At the heart of "The Americans" is a family infected by the conviction that loyalty to country overshadows family or one's own soul. As viewers, we're asked the tough questions: If the couple wore blue instead of red, would it change anything? Are spies heroes - or pawns? Is patriotism formed by rational choice - or the product of where we're born? At what point is the loss of one's humanity too high a price?
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8/10
Well done for a pilot episode!
moncale31 January 2013
I had not even heard of this show but by chance, saw an ad for it an hour before the pilot so I thought what the heck, and watched it. I was pleasantly surprised, I really enjoyed it, much more so than I thought I would. It was not perfect as some reviewers pointed out, but for a pilot working out the kinks, I thought it was exceptionally well done. I love the concept of doing this show back in the 1980's when the "Soviet Empire" was doing everything it could to keep up with America in regards to technology, arms, etc. What better way to collect intel than to have "sleeper agents" embedded in American society for the long haul? I plan on catching this show on a regular basis and see where they run with it.
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10/10
Best ending to a series
scotthd-8440612 April 2019
I always have the feeling that endings to series are predictable and never have the wow factor. I gave just seen the last episode and I can't stop thinking about it 2 days later. Brilliant ending loved it ! Just wow and thank you for making it a great series.
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10/10
One of the best shows ever
3aleks13 October 2018
I was born in the Soviet Union and would like to notice that they managed to capture emotions and atmosphere of The Cold War. Thanks to the cast and creators for memories and having a great time.
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9/10
From stem to stern, remarkable television
SilverUsurper1 June 2018
The Americans is an intense, emotional, vibrant, humane, and sad look at the espionage game. The acting is always great-particularly by Matthew Rhys-and the show remains well-plotted and compelling throughout its run. The only espionage writer who wrote novels like this was Graham Greene. Like Greene's Fiction, The Americans deals with characters who are always morally compromised, always embroiled in banal personal dramas, and always worn down by the decisions they've had to make. But don't just take my word on it. Watch it. It's worth it.
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10/10
For mother Russia!!!
dsarbo19 February 2013
What a great show this is. In stead of going for the 'fighting the bad guys' routine this show follows in the footsteps of great shows like Dexter/Breaking Bad or the Sopranos, where you find yourself supporting the bad guys and even rooting for them to win.

Now I have come to terms with my appreciation of that 'what makes a guy bad' is ever so often 'what makes a show interesting'. Us having slightly dull lives with work, kids, pc-games and drinking beer, we all want to be a badass meth-cook, brilliant murder of sicko's or in this case KGB undercover operative. Well at least for 1 hour per week.

This show follows in the high standard acting of the other mentioned shows. Is kinda slow, in a good way, not rushing into it. Takes time for character development that makes you want to know more about these spies and what there other motives are (other than fighting the cold war).

The strange relationship between the mother-spy and father-spy is also highly entertaining. They really 'work' together, even in their marriage. Can't wait to see how that part of the storyline will turn out.

In part 3 Margo Martindale (Maggs from Justified) makes appearance, a great actress that can play a very believable 'woman mob-boss' (or in this case KGB field director). A great choice for the part.

Hope to see many more seasons and if they run out of material, we can always hope for a second cold war between the US and good old Mother Russia
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9/10
Solid start to the series. Something subtle, Something powerful
spacescreamer1 February 2013
I picked this up quite accidentally.. And i had absolutely no idea about the cast and anything else beside the tagline here on IMDb.

How a spy's life can get twisted in his/her line of work has been delivered in a no non sense manner right from the first episode. How the spy starts to believe in the lie of their fake identities and subsequent emotions while carrying out their mission, leading to conflict in every aspect of their daily lives has been depicted very effectively.

The pilot episode built itself quite nicely and never allowed the grip to loosen up. The actors gave a powerful performance and created an ambiance of palpable tension/anxiety/thrill and looked very professional while going about it. Cinematography seems to be very apt and complimenting as well. Must add.. The makeup artist/professionals need to be commended here. Solid start to the series.

As i am not going to supply any spoilers, i will not be indulging too much here, but this series seems to be having the potential to carry itself in a subtle fashion, or it might morph into something very tense and power packed. Should keep the audience interested.
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10/10
The entire series - exceptional writing, acting, production, directing
inro-871-6713113 July 2018
Just want to thank Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich and the entire cast and crew for bringing such powerful, creative and nuanced television to our screens. It seems to me that episode after episode we are drawn in every decreasing circles to the inevitable finale; raw, unsparing and unafraid to explore the result of clinging to idealogy.

The very last episode felt so unexpected and actually I don't know why, it was inevitable, but this aching portrayal of worlds (personal and external) dissolving echoed parallels of the time and an eternal human truth, this is what we all struggle with ultimately, letting go of attachment to any idealogy or concept good or bad.
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10/10
Amazing show !
dedeiam2 June 2018
One of the best tv shows ever ! I'm so sad that this shows it comes to an end.....Was great from all points of view : acting, screenplay, director, intrigue. Been an teenager that period of time I saw this show with different eyes...maybe the youngest people will feel different, but this show deserve an " thank you" ! From me, 10/10 !
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10/10
One of the best tv series ever!
malheirosdcm21 July 2018
This series has a great plot, amazing acting and superb soundtrack from the best of the 1980's can offer. I highly recommend everyone for its artistic quality.
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8/10
I've underestimated this show.
jjrt-6617818 January 2019
I've heard about this show countless times mostly in the US media. I figured it was a very politicized show with the same old message "US = Good, RU = Evil" This is what kept me from giving the series a go. Only in late 2018 I've started watching and to my surprise It's not the case. The show manages to give a fair and near unbiased view about Geo-politics, fractions, countries. espionage, ideologies. Without telling you what to think or how to feel about it. It doesn't demonize any side neither does it glorify the other. For those whom refuse(d) to watch for the same reasons as me, if still curious just give it a try! It's actually a good show
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10/10
Best TV thriller series ever
thecunn17 May 2018
Yes better even than Breaking Bad. Well that's not quite fair. They are apples and oranges. Breaking Bad takes a license to deviate from realistic with over the top shock and awe. The Americans is extremely realistic and yet every bit as suspenseful and much more thought provoking. The pilot is brilliant. It grabs your interest at the start and leaves you begging for more at the end. The music played accurately takes us back to the time for those old enough to remember. The details of the sets are impeccably accurate to the eighties. The acting is excellent. Writing is amazing. Characters are rich and well developed. The two main characters, the "illegals", are extremely well developed from their upbringing in the Soviet Union to their different personalities and inner conflicts as well as the evolution of their relationship and their changing attitudes about their work. The tension created by the relationship between the illegals and their FBI agent friend and neighbor is brilliant. The look at the inside of cold war spy craft is fascinating. This series is a total winner in every category.
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This show swings both ways
bongoz31 January 2013
I don't know who to root for in this show. Awesome!

Phillip and Elizabeth have been sleeper Russian agents in DC from the early 1960s to the early 80s, the show's setting. Reagan is the new President and is heating up the Cold War. Our two spies have been playing the role of typical American husband and wife, keeping their secret life even from their pre-teen daughter and son. Then an opportunity arises where Phillip, who has been tiring of his double life, is given a chance to take his family, whom he's grown to love, out of the game and into riches and safety. Elizabeth, also of two minds but for different reasons, is suddenly shown just how much Phillip loves her through his unhesitating sacrifice of this ticket to freedom. In the end it looks like it will be the two of them against the rest of the world. What will happen?

I have a few problems with the production, particularly the flashback sequences of the characters twenty years younger in Russia. They really should have used different actors. It is just the pilot, though, so we'll see how that goes.

On the plus side, there's good acting, good writing, and good character development. I'll be watching!
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10/10
Intense different sexy and entertaining
girly_shu10 April 2013
This show is very different and engaging! Love the choice of actors - Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. They are doing an excellent job, great play! If you really are following the show close you'll get addicted!I love Keri Russell as a bad ass Russian spy! And Matthew Rhys is so sexy! They are a great on-screen couple and a team. Lies, spying, sex, intrigues you get the whole package!! The show is solid! You would enjoy the tension, the spy games, the chemistry between Elizabeth and Phillip, KGB spies, who actually start as pretending to be the perfect "american" family and then they actually realize they really love each other and between their spy missions they are trying to build their trust and love.
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10/10
One of the best shows in recent history
Nightmarelogic3 June 2018
From pilot to finale this is one of the best written and acted shows in recent history, I would put this in my top five of recent memory. From day one to its exciting conclusion it defied convention and told not only an amazing spy story but a truly human one as well. This is a deeply underrated show that I would highly recommend about spies living in 1980s America. If you haven't watched it as of right now most of the series is on Amazon Prime. I would give it a shot. It is an amazing show worth the watch.
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The best spy series so far
AlexanderExtazy14 July 2014
Brilliant acting and cold war era theming made this series so terrific that when you leave your house you feel that you've walked through a big change to the point that you ask yourself: "Why aren't there any Chevy's parked up outside?"

The plot itself was excellent and the way they ended the first season makes the viewer desperate for another season to see how it would go on. Mostly what I liked about this show is the spy techniques used during those eras by the KGB and the way they operate their intelligence abroad; very spectacular.

Lastly, I would have given it a 10 only if there was a better actor than Mathew Rhys (Phil); I've seen some of his other acting and I couldn't spot much of a difference.
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10/10
One of the best historical and social lessons about the 80's
stahl9814 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Let me start off by saying a couple of things: 1. I don't leave many reviews, this might be my 2nd overall, this may say something to you if I bother to leave this here. 2. I was born in 1981 in a country behind the Iron Curtain, so until the end of 1989 I got to experience, through the eyes of a child, at least a part of what communism meant for me, my family and my country. 3. History and the Cold War are some of my passions, there's never enough material to cover about it, ever. A lot to discover, each day. US became a mirage for me, and I grew up trying to learn much more about their culture and history, their way of life. The Americans has drawn me through its story, and I remained hooked till the end, because what the producers, actors, all involved managed to create is (at least) a credible work of art, a credible testimony of a past world that I can only understand now through adult eyes. Yes, maybe my opinion should not be on top, as there are surely a lot of you who were a bit older during the 80's, and also lived there then. But I love this show, and I feel like writing this. Was everything perfect in the show? No, it wasn't - there were some episodes (especially in season 5) with pretty much no action, season 5 puts more stress on the psychological side, Phillip trying to get away from the nastiest part of the job, while we watch Paige finding out the truth about her parents and slowly getting prepared to be part of the action. Did they always nail the haircuts? Or the type of cars used? No, they didn't - but this also makes the show more interesting. The 80's were set for the action, but any decade would have been good all the same. The idea of the show is what matters most. Moreover, their haircuts and cars are really average - as they didn't try to attract any unwanted attention. All the action comprised in these seasons would not have been achieved by just 2 guys, also in such a short period - most likely, but the show is what it is also because of this action. A lot of people are upset now about the show's ending. I can get that. But I also get the message that the producers wanted to give. The questions remained unanswered about the protagonists' fates equal the ones about their past, before Stan became a neighbor to the Jennings, or after the Jennings reached the States up to the 80's. In real life, those illegals, many of them, were caught and arrested, but swapped to Russia for some other prisoners - and the details of their lives as US citizens are even more blurry. Art is about filling in those gaps with fiction and grains of truth. The Americans starts in one point in those peoples'lives and ends in another. It's never meant to be a biography, but what it manages to do a damn good job in depicting life, ideas and emotions - as they COULD have been experienced back then. It managed to get me hooked, and the music was so nicely chosen. The ending only proves that people can be only human, in the hardest moments... Goodbye, dear show - it's been a nice ride! Totally recommended.
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9/10
Did not miss one episode for the entire 6 seasons
cekadah7 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Although I believe it has actually only been on TV for 5 years.

What a roller-coaster of plot and emotion! Creator: Joseph Weisberg certainly had a winner on his hands and Keri Russell, Mathew Rhys, Holly Taylor, Noah Emmerich, and my favorite character Nina played by Annet Manendru brought this show to life! Anyone who missed this series missed a real treat of entertainment, mystery, thrills, and suspense!

My only problem was this last season which (as I understand) is the end of the entire show. It went out in a quiet frenzy with our two main characters making an edgy yet unremarkable escape. Maybe I'm being too picky because I did not expect this to happen. Whatever, I did enjoy this show start to stop.

Bravo!
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