The A.V. Club tells you what to watch in 2018

You can turn off your TV—or whatever device you’re using to watch TV these days—but TV is always on, as evidenced by the number of new and returning series that have already premiered in the early days of 2018. Here’s what The A.V. Club is looking forward to in the new year, from eagerly awaited second helpings and…

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The best TV scenes of 2017

Television provides so many units in which to appreciate the medium’s annual output. A series can leap to the forefront on the strengths of a single great season; if it’s running as part of the traditional broadcast calendar, those accolades might have two halves of separate seasons. Try as streaming services and…

The Americans spent a season as TV’s best drama, but it’s ready for spy stuff again

In “The Soviet Division,” the final episode of season five of the FX series The Americans, married travel agents Philip and Elizabeth Jennings weigh a decision that affects countless families throughout the United States. The Jennings can’t shake the stress of their jobs, and it’s reflected in their home life in…

The kids aren’t all right as The Americans heads toward the end of its season

Paige Jennings is TV’s opposite teenager. It’s a trick in The Americans’ storytelling repertoire that the show uses sparingly, but to clever ends. Expectations for a character of her age are flipped on their head: In an act of rebellion, she finds religion. As she gains an identity that’s separate and autonomous from…

There are heartwarming and troubling developments in The Americans’ “Darkroom”

When The Americans plucks at the heartstrings, it sure finds a unique way of doing so. Or, to quote the showrunners, a “fucked up” way of doing so: Staring down indefinitely long operations with Gorp Guy and Lotus Lady (hey, they can both have alliterative nicknames!), the couple born Mikhail and Nadezhda renew their…

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A major character bids farewell as The Americans ponders the nature of sacrifice

As Gabriel leaves America (and, it appears, The Americans), everyone talks of sacrifice. Picking up from the wordless, radiant meeting of Gabriel and Paige at the conclusion of “Crossbreed,” Gabriel tries to explain—to this girl he’s known all her life but never met—exactly who her parents are. Frank Langella, as…

An acting showcase for The Americans is enhanced by shocking family secrets

“Crossbreed” is the type of Americans episode that makes you want to grab an Emmy voter by the lapels and scream, “What do these people have to do to win a trophy?” Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, and Frank Langella would all be justified in submitting it for the academy’s consideration this year; the Claudia-Gabriel…