The AmericansLatest News and Opinion
Posted Tuesday 6/19/18 at 1:32PM EDT
Killing Eve and FX lead TV Critics Award nominations
The Sandra Oh-starring BBC America breakout spy drama from Phoebe Waller-Bridge earned five nominations, topping The American's four nominations. Atlanta, The Good Place, The Handmaid's Tale, Barry and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel each had three nominations. FX was the most nominated network with 10 nods, followed by Netflix and NBC. ALSO: TCA Awards has launched category designed for late-night shows.
Posted Thursday 6/14/18 at 10:21PM EDT
Check out The Americans Russian nesting dolls
FX created The Americans Russian nesting dolls as part of the show's Emmys For Your Consideration campaign. The nesting dolls, which are available on eBay, go from Elizabeth to Philip to Stan to Claudia to Paige to Henry.
Posted Thursday 6/07/18 at 5:41PM EDT
The Americans props are now on eBay -- but not the wigs
Everything from Philip Jennings' car stereo and license plates to Martha's spy pen are available for auction. However, none of the wigs are up for bidding since they were rentals.
Posted Thursday 6/07/18 at 12:59AM EDT
TV shows need to quit with the solemn musical sequences: "I’m here to watch a show, not listen to your Spotify favorites"
"I cannot watch any TV show anymore without having to sit through a music video no one asked for," says Drew Magary, pointing as his prime example the two solemn extended montages on The Americans series finale. "This is horsesh*t," he says. "I’m here to watch a show, not listen to your Spotify favorites. Television shows have been burning airtime for YEARS now by overstuffing episodes with endless, maudlin sequences set to the Coldplay imitator of your choice," like Snow Patrol. Magary adds: "I say this as someone who enjoys music. Why, sometimes I even enjoy music and television together. But when you allocate a significant portion of your show to a solemn dirge from some coffeehouse gremlin, it starts to feel like a very big crutch. Even worse, it’s wholly unnecessary for a drama like The Americans, which already does such a good job establishing suspense and unease on its own. The music, which is meant to raise the emotional stakes, often ends up taking me out of the story instead."
Posted Monday 6/04/18 at 9:38PM EDT
Is The Americans' Renee a spy?
Here is all the evidence for and against Laurie Holden's character being a spy. ALSO: The Americans cast share their thoughts on Renee.
Posted Monday 6/04/18 at 7:42AM EDT
What it was like to translate The Americans' Russian scenes
Acclaimed Russian-American journalist and author Masha Gessen explains in a New Yorker essay that "my life prepared me to do one job, and this job was translating for The Americans" for the past three seasons. "It wasn’t just any Russian, either," she explains. "The show begins in 1981 and ends in 1987, just before the language began to follow, and to facilitate, the country’s transformation by absorbing hundreds of words from foreign languages—office, bucks, management, and so many others that capitalism brought with it, but also electoral’niy, exit poll, and more to describe the mechanics of democracy—and by creating brand-new slang.
Posted Friday 6/01/18 at 11:47PM EDT
Ranking every episode of The Americans
A Season 1 episode is the worst of the 75 episodes produced of the FX series, according to this Vulture list. A Season 4 episode is the best.
Posted Friday 6/01/18 at 11:47PM EDT
Does The Americans' series finale signal the end of TV's Golden Age?
Wednesday's series finale "marks the end of an era," says Matt Brenn. "It is the last of the cycle of truly great cable dramas that began with The Sopranos, The Wire, and The Shield, passed through Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and Justified, and concluded—in the course of another auspicious year-or-so—with the final bows of The Leftovers, Halt and Catch Fire, and now The Americans. I suspect that we may soon see this as a point of demarcation. The 'Golden Age of Television' is officially over."
Posted Thursday 5/31/18 at 9:13PM EDT
Analyzing The Americans' garage scene, the most haunting aspect of the series finale
There were many aspects to series finale's intense garage scene, which featured filmmaking that allowed it to operate as an "artful dance of loyalty and revelations among the actors," says Angelica Jade Bastién. She adds: "The Americans is a series primed to elude expectations, trading the typical thrills associated with espionage dramas for insightful explorations into marriage and the mutable nature of identity. What makes the garage scene the most haunting aspect of the finale is ultimately what made the series a uniquely bruising experience over the course of its six seasons: It deeply considers the price and power of true intimacy. The scene also distills the most intriguing aspects of the show: tension that bites, a clever use of silence and sound design, delicately fine-tuned performances, directorial choices that privilege the subtle gestures of the actors, and an astute understanding of the weight of history both personal and global. All of these traits — especially the raw, nerved vulnerability that defines the performances by (Matthew) Rhys and (Noah) Emmerich — work in concert to plumb the murky depths of male vulnerability, loyalty, and the price of intimacy itself."
- The garage scene is everything The Americans has encapsulated and built up over six seasons
- The great thing about the garage scene is how open to interpretation it was
- The garage scene was thoughtful, personal and, crucially, restrained -- the epitome of everything The Americans did so well
- Here's a travel guide for The Americans in Moscow
- U2 was the perfect choice for the series finale: "For one of the most dramatic sequences in its final episode, the series decided to go with a song as massive as they could find"
Posted Thursday 5/31/18 at 9:13PM EDT
TV shows' official podcasts have become the new director's commentary
Shows from The Americans to Outlander to Better Call Saul use podcasts as another way to connect with fans.
Posted Thursday 5/31/18 at 1:46PM EDT
Why The Americans' use of a Dire Straits song was perfect for the series finale
The song "Brothers in Arms" is an "elegiac slow burn, of the kind you might expect to close an episode rather than carry its middle section," says Sam Adams. "(Indeed, that’s exactly how it was used in The West Wing’s 'Two Cathedrals,' which found President Jed Bartlet facing storms both literal and metaphorical with a smile on his face.) But The Americans’ home stretch was a tribute to the power, and sometimes the frustration, of taking it slow, letting conflicts simmer like the unresolved organ chords and thundering rumbles that fade in on the soundtrack as Philip, Elizabeth, and Paige face what is left of the rest of their lives. Although it was released at a time when the threat of nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union—as chronicled in Season 4’s 'The Day After'—still seemed acute, 'Brothers in Arms' is steeped in sorrow instead of anxiety, sung from the perspective of an old soldier who’s come to the end of a war he wishes he’d never had to fight."
- The Americans avoided the Happy Days "Chuck Cunningham Syndrome" with its treatment of Henry Jennings
- What should Keri Russell do next? How about a Ryan Murphy or Shonda Rhimes show?
- A tribute to the best, sexiest and dorkiest Americans disguises
- The Americans finale was elegant, potent and unforgettable
- It's a Top 10 series finale because of how it "thoroughly and almost radically it puts a bow on the series’ central preoccupation: the Jennings marriage"
Posted Thursday 5/31/18 at 7:16AM EDT
The Americans series finale was one of TV's best, with its shift from theater to silent cinema
"The subdued finale, says Matt Zoller Seitz, "is one of the best that I’ve seen, a terrific example of an ending that summarizes what the series was about while putting a new frame around it. 'START' pulverizes any idea of a script for these role-players to 'play' and forces them to work off-script. The privilege (or excuse) of needing to stick to the script, rain or shine, has allowed Philip and Elizabeth to break every last one of the Ten Commandments in the name of a higher ideal: the destruction of America and capitalism. It has also allowed Stan, the beer-drinking, flag-saluting Yankee, to feel patriotic even after hacksawing huge ethical corners, including falling in love with a double agent (later triple-agent) and straight-up murdering a Soviet operative in retaliation for the KGB killing his partner. (Philip did that deed, but thankfully Stan never found out.) Everybody’s gone off-script now, and the series goes off-script with them. And so The Americans, a series that has never shied away from its TV-ness, goes in a startling new direction in its final chapter, envisioning its two most important sequences as, respectively, a stage play produced without costumes or sets in a parking garage, and a Russian silent movie that carries much of its meaning through images, confining dialogue to a few sentences so tight-lipped that they could fit on old-fashioned title cards."
- The finale was frustrating more than satisfying: It felt limp, unwilling to push its characters too far
- It was surprising in that it made a climax out of a series of anti-climaxes: "The episode was a litany of things that did not happen"
- The Americans leaving on a morally ambiguous note felt like the surest way out of the series
- The Americans needed to stick the landing, and it did with an ending that felt true to the main characters
- Though it was unexpected, the finale did live up to the spirit of the past six seasons
- There was a "quiet elegance" in the way The Americans chose to end the series
- The finale managed to tick off the necessary boxes without turning into fan service
- The Americans landed on a conclusion that reflects the series as a whole: Tense, understated, affecting, and one of the greats
- The Americans never told open-and-shut stories, so it makes sense that ambiguity crept into the ending
- Keri Russell cried reading the finale script at a restaurant, Matthew Rhys cried reading it on a train
- Rhys says the garage scene took nine hours to film, but the train scene was the toughest because they used an actual moving train
- Rhys didn't think Renee was a spy, but Russell isn't as sure
- Noah Emmerich said he thought the garage scene was "very beautiful and humane and poetic, and very Americans"
- Emmerich says Stan made a "humanistic choice": "It was too conflicted for Stan"
- Holly Taylor: "I was so shocked when I read that. I was not expecting that at all"
- Taylor predicts where Paige will be in five to 10 years after the series finale
- Showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields are keeping mum on what they think happens after the series finale
- Creator Weisberg said he and Fields found that this was the only ending that worked: "We did our due diligence and we ran every single possible other ending of the show through our brains to see if there was a better one, but this was still the one that we loved the best and seemed to be the most natural and true ending of this story."
- The garage scene wasn't an idea that was planned years in advance
- Fields and Weisberg aren't interested in doing any spinoffs, not even with Renee, Martha or Claudia
- Fields and Weisberg pick their eight favorite musical moments from the entire series
- Read an oral history of "START," The Americans' series finale
- Check out The Americans cast outside of their roles at a Wednesday night series finale event
Posted Wednesday 5/30/18 at 9:55PM EDT
How The Americans built one of the best-ever final seasons
"The Americans has constructed a remarkable final season not by trying to become something other than itself," says Todd VanDerWerff. "Instead, it has refocused on the three questions that made it so good in the first place, questions ably expressed by the scenes I saw being filmed: What is your home? Who is your family? And what do they matter?" He adds that "as the final season has gone on, it hasn’t done any of the things you’d expect from a final season, like killing off lots of viewers’ favorite characters or showing Philip and Elizabeth on the run from those who know their secret. But it has maintained almost all the emotional devastation you’d expect from a final season, and much of that has to do with its ingenious idea of pitting Philip and Elizabeth against each other."
- When The Americans premiered, it was hard to imagine it would become culturally relevant
- The Americans has remained every bit as fierce and as captivating as when it began
- How Russian food became a forbidden link to the past on The Americans
- Matthew Rhys on what he'll miss most about his FX role: "I don’t think I’ll see such a dimensional part again…. The layers of the onion were incredibly satisfying as an actor"
- Costa Ronin is surprised Oleg made it to the series finale
- Noah Emmerich explains why he avoided finding out what would happen to Stan
Posted Wednesday 5/30/18 at 2:14PM EDT
Jimmy Kimmel stumps Keri Russell in The Americans game of "Did I Murder You?"
Watch as Russell whiffs on some of Elizabeth Jennings' victims.
Posted Tuesday 5/29/18 at 12:43PM EDT
Two Toronto-born sons who inspired The Americans are fighting to keep their Canadian citizenship
Tim and Alex Vavilov grew up with parents who worked undercover for the KGB for three decades. Now, years after their parents were caught, they are fighting deportation to Russia.