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Top 10 TV Shows Of 2014

The Americans-Top TV Shows Of 2014

The Americnas

Deep cover intrigue and espionage only got deeper in the sensational second year of FX’s period spy drama. The blood running through The Americans is cold as the war being waged by nuclear parents/KGB agents Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, but that’s the mark of a disciplined show, not a heartless one.
The performances continued to be sublime across the board, the show’s direction improved in lockstep with the writing, and the score and music selection upgraded from just “great,” to “the best on TV.” Suspenseful espionage and exceptionally staged setpieces were a weekly demonstration of the show’s killer moves, but The Americans resisted the temptation to strike faster or hotter than its story demanded.
Rather then pinballing off the twists, turns and double-crosses typical of the genre, creators Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields doubled down on compromising the characters as people, not just covert operatives. The second season brought the fight closer to the Jennings’ front door than ever before. While Philip’s disillusionment with the cause grew along with his contempt for himself, Elizabeth struggled with being the connective middle to three generations of female agents that might one day include her own daughter. But it’s the relationships between the characters more than any one of them alone that cemented The Americans as my favorite program of 2014.
It’s a tightly coiled, yet sensitively observed dissection of the human, moral and ideological casualties that build up in a climate of fear and paranoia. We know the world will keep on spinning well passed 1981, just as we know that the Jennings are ultimately doomed to fail as protectors of the Soviet Union. That The Americans can leave you as conflicted as the protagonists to what fate it is they deserve made it the most thrilling, emotionally complex and just plain satisfying show of 2014.

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