Criticism of Americans | Hollywood reporter



One of the biggest television series, FX's marital spy drama is threatening and ominously toward its end.

It's a strange thing to be proud of a television show. Understand the difficult decisions that writers make in the face of expectations and feel that it is important to recognize terrible and sometimes surprising performance and direction. The most difficult thing in all television is to make 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 provoked that kind of admiration, that confidence that, at least in the beginning, the enormous weight of Expectations had not paralyzed the show, but it gave him some jubilation when he started his final game.

They were, all three of them, exceptional, clear examples of one of the biggest dramas of television still very much at the top of their game.

Spectators are all over the map in what they consider a spoiler, so a whole critic can do in a situation like this: see the last moves of a complicated chess match, the threads of a long construction pattern that emerge for their ultimate revelation – is to promise to apprehend more towards appreciation than the actual revision. And, honestly, with only three episodes to judge, all the really huge turns have not yet been seen, so there's not much to spoil (and, anyway, does anyone want to do that?). In addition, 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 a intriguing a twisted place in history, very different from what could have been predicted when it was launched in January 2013).

But a couple of elements are inevitable for the discussion and will not take much away from the experience. When we last saw Elizabeth and Philip Jennings (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys), their craft was taking its toll. The spies of the Soviet era, recruited as teenagers and eventually united in a false marriage to be sent to the United States and deeply rooted, have been a very long scam. They had a daughter, Paige (Holly Taylor) and a son, Henry (Keidrich Sellati), who grew up as Americans without knowing anything about their parents' work. A hugely successful piece of The Americans & # 39; storytelling was that Paige, as a curious teenager, would eventually discover what her parents were doing, highlighting a crack in her marriage, that now it is very real: Elizabeth, once the agent driven by the purpose, was more in accord with the designs of Mother Russia to indoctrinate Paige in the game of espionage, while Philip, who mocked the American way of life from the periphery of his existence in him, he did not. 19659006] That tactic of series creator Joe Weisberg and his creative writing and writing partner Joel Fields brilliantly illuminated what was really the main theme of the series: the marriage of Philip and Elizabeth and all their complicated twists and turns, which made the real espionage games seem secondary and somehow improved. The fact that everything depended on a very young actress in Taylor not only matures on paper but manages it competently (a trick that is rarely achieved) is retrospectively distressing. Not only did Taylor perform wonderfully on paper, he is now as essential to the effectiveness and conclusion of the series as anyone.

That's because the fifth season ended with Philip and Elizabeth shot down, particularly Philip, with Elizabeth suggesting he backs off from the espionage game and manage his forehead: the travel business. "You need me," says Philip, knowing all too well how true that is (advice about an essential partnership that Elizabeth had already shared with a young spy last season), as she realized, as she illustrates in the look on Philip's face, that he needed to get out of the espionage game; it's over for him, an emotional shell.

As this season opens, the leap of time he most imagined would happen, having pbaded three years and now 1987. Mikhail Gorbachev is taking the Soviets in a new direction and President Ronald Reagan vanishes as whispers about your competition influence the political landscape in the US UU A summit between the two superpowers has both parties feeling that there is a lot at stake, especially in the Soviet Union, where the progressive tendencies of Gorbachev have the full support of the KGB (we know that the end of the Cold War and the USSR itself they are around the corner); Weisberg and Fields skillfully use this to explore the change within the Jennings' marriage, which is a moment they have been aiming for a while and reinforces the skill with which they balanced the spy / marriage game motive from the beginning.

It is a beautifully dramatic thing to witness: to land at a time when the true selves of Philip and Elizabeth emerge: he is enthusiastically embracing the commercial expansion that nurtures capitalism, while she is overwhelmed by the stress of doing it alone . Meanwhile, Paige, now in college, is completely under the tutelage of Elizabeth and her handler Claudia (Margo Martindale).

Three years have changed many elements within the structure of the Jennings family and Americans as a series. Weisberg and Fields go in that change in gratifying ways, with expanded roles for some minor characters and the return of others. The first episode has so much to smile about when 1987 comes to life; Philip's first glimmerings in the montage are wonderfully evocative, particularly a scene in which he walks towards his car with a removable stereo. So are those with Elizabeth, particularly a revealing reflection in the window of a hotel while Washington looms in the distance; his face stained with makeup with the expression of a tired warrior. The news on television has to do with hope and change. Philip notes that a US fast food chain is heading to Moscow. Elizabeth, who has been cooking favorite Russian food with Paige and watching Russian films, is dismissive of the division: "Americans eat it, they want us to be like them." I do not want to be like them. "

Change is difficult for countries and couples.

So, yes, there is a certain amount of pride watching the development of this last season of Americans . : Time to see which ones are saved and which ones are broken.

Cast: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Holly Taylor, Keidrich Sellati, Noe Emmerich, Ronin Costa, Lev Gorn, Brandon J. Dirden
Created by: Joe Weisberg
Written by: Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg
Releases: Wednesday, 10 P.M. ET / PT (FX)


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