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The Americans - S4 of the KGB spy drama - Keri Russell & Matthew Rhys - Wed on FX

Cornballer

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Jul 21, 2006
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After an excellent third season, The Americans returns for a 13-episode fourth season on Wednesday, March 16th at 10pm on FX. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys star as two KGB spies posing as Americans in Washington D.C. in the 1980's. The cast also includes Noah Emmerich and Frank Langella. Joe Weisberg is serving as showrunner with a few other EP's, including Graham Yost, helping out. The S3 dvd is out in stores now, and you can also watch on Amazon Prime if you're interested in catching up on the series.
FX said:
The Americans is a period drama about the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C. shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President. The arranged marriage of Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell), who have two children – 14-year-old Paige (Holly Taylor) and 12-year-old Henry (Keidrich Sellati), who know nothing about their parents’ true identity – grows more passionate and genuine by the day, but is constantly tested by the escalation of the Cold War and the intimate, dangerous and darkly funny relationships they must maintain with a network of spies and informants under their control. The trickiest of Philip’s sources continues to be Martha (Alison Wright), the assistant to Special Agent Gaad (Richard Thomas). In order to ensure her continued loyalty, Philip, in the guise of FBI bureaucrat “Clark,” one of his numerous cover identities, marries her. Things were going smoothly until Martha began pressuring Clark to start a family. Their neighbor, FBI Agent Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich), could also prove to be a renewed threat. When forced to choose between betraying his country or his KGB double-agent and paramour Nina (Annet Mahendru), Stan chose the USA. Nina has been sent back to Moscow to face charges of treason, much to the dismay of her boss Arkady (Lev Gorn), Director of the KGB Rezidentura. In addition to his rededication to his mission of uncovering the identities of the Russian spies living among them, Stan is also attempting to rebuild a relationship with his estranged wife, Sandra (Susan Misner). Meanwhile, in the Jennings’ house, Philip and Elizabeth find themselves at odds over Paige’s future now that the KGB has made it clear that they want her to join the family business.

Cast:

  • Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings
  • Matthew Rhys as Phillip Jennings
  • Noah Emmerich as Agent Stan Beeman
  • Holly Taylor as Paige Jennings
  • Keidrich Sellati as Henry Jennings
  • Annet Mahendru as Nina
  • Alison Wright as Martha Hanson
  • Lev Gorn as Arkady
  • Costa Ronin as Oleg Igorevich Burov
  • Richard Thomas as Special Agent Frank Gaad
  • Margo Martindale as Claudia
  • Frank Langella as Gabriel

Guest cast:
  • Dylan Baker as ???
  • Susan Misner as Sandra Beeman
  • Kelly AuCoin as Pastor Tim
  • Boris Krutonog as Igor Pavlovich Burov
  • Mail Robot



Videos (please spoiler tag discussion of promotional material, note that the trailers are particularly spoilerish this year)



Links

News:

Reviews & Comments
Slate.com said:
But noting that The Americans is showing some signs of wear isn’t to say that the show is no longer stylish, delightfully off-kilter, panic-attack-inducing entertainment. Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell continue to do spectacular work as Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, the sleeper KGB agents thrown into a sham marriage and family that has become increasingly emotionally real.

S3 Poster:

Gifs:


 

Grizzlyjin

Supersonic, idiotic, disconnecting, not respecting, who would really ever wanna go and top that
Jun 23, 2004
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I tune in for the wigs, I stay for the Mail Robot. Great OT. So many shows to watch these days, but I always make room for The Americans.

After how last season ended, I think the façade of their cover is going to crumble away slowly this season. Reminds me of the later seasons of The Shield, where they're start taking bigger risks to cover up what they've done before. So excited
 

Zaph

Member
Jun 19, 2010
15,995
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Fantastic OP, this show has so much great art, their marketing department is killing it.

After how last season ended, I think the façade of their cover is going to crumble away slowly this season. Reminds me of the later seasons of The Shield, where they're start taking bigger risks to cover up what they've done before. So excited

Yup, I was totally starting to get Shield vibes last season. The little things just keep adding up, and slowing increasing the pressure. So good.
 

Blader

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Oct 8, 2006
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It's great how this show has evolved into one of the best things on TV. And one of the few shows where I can say I've watched from the very beginning!

Shame the ratings are so pitiful, hopefully they can still end this story on their terms with a fifth season. I think FX has said as much about giving the show that long, at least.
 

NumberTwo

Paper or plastic?
Feb 2, 2007
9,708
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Can't wait. This show is not nearly as popular as it should be. After seeing Phillip and Elizabeth narrowly escape for so many times, I hope things finally go sideways for them. Just for the sake of good drama.
 

AngryMoth

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May 16, 2011
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Best ongoing show currently imo.

Might have to rematch the S3 finale, my memory is a little rusty about where things left off. One thing I do remember: Pastor Tim is about to be in for a bad fucking time
 

T Dollarz

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Jul 24, 2011
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I'm in! How did you guys feel about Clark's reveal to Martha in the second to last episode, then we got nothing on it in the finale? That's my biggest question going into the season.
 

Pyroclastic

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Apr 4, 2014
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this is the first season where I'd be watching it week by week. shit really went down in the last two episodes so I'm tempted to watch the first episode but I imagine with the pace of the show at times it would be agonizing to watch it week by week. So I think I'll leave it for a month or so and them come back later and watch a good chunk.

thus ends my first world problem.
 

Cornballer

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Jul 21, 2006
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- Slant: Joe Weisberg & Joel Fields Talk Season Four of The Americans
How do you approach telling a story that often seems to be headed further and further toward despair for these characters?

Joe Weisberg: We don't honestly even see it that way anymore. When we're writing stories and thinking about the characters in the show, we don't really think about it as particularly dark. In season one, that was probably in our minds a little bit. But it doesn't even cross our minds so much anymore. We're really in bed with these characters at this point. Obviously they do some terrible things, and they have a lot of things that are horribly, horribly frightening to them. But they also have people they love, people they worry about, futures that they look forward to, that they're desperately trying to do better. There's not one of them that's locked in despair or locked in depression.

Joel Fields: In a way, those difficult circumstances that make it appear dark on one level are the very things that give the show and the characters and their journey their hope. The more challenging the world, the more triumphant the survival. There's something truly uplifting there to us. I think that, in terms of uplifting shows on television, there's Modern Family and us.

JW: I was going to say 7th Heaven.

You often seem to place major plot developments or twists at unexpected points during an episode so as to surprise audiences. How do you decide on this placement?

JF: I think one of the reasons things happen on the offbeat on this show is that we just let them happen where they happen. We don't go out of our way to make them happen in surprising places. We just tell the character story in the way that feels the most right or the most interesting to us. Because of that, you get things like Philip and Elizabeth coming home in the middle of the night in episode 10 of season three and being confronted by their daughter a third of the way into an episode about something else. It's not a conscious decision to look for those surprises. It's following the story.

Has there been a situation where you've had a plot development on your mind and you've thought, “Let's save that for later?”

JF: I remember we had some very fixed ideas about how season two was going to unfold. There were certainly some surprises along the way. When we got to the end of season two, I remember sitting in our writers' room with the entire staff, and we were trying very hard to get to a certain moment in Stan's story that we had pegged for the end of season two. At one point, we all looked at each other and said, “Well, who cares?” We'll just tell the best story we can. Whatever spills into season three will spill into season three. To me, that was a real pivotal moment for us in the show.

Do you look at seasons and predetermine plot points or themes, or is it more often driven by what the characters are doing?

JW: We do start out with certain stories that we want to tell, and certain things we want the characters to experience and go through in that season. But it's wide open. If we don't get to the end of the story we wanted to tell, that's generally okay. We can carry over to the next season. Even if it was something that we think of as a one-season story, we're still willing to carry that over into the next season. Usually if it's a one-season story, we get to the end of it, but sometimes we don't.

To what extent, are you taking into account people who might be coming to this show later and binging six episodes at a time?

JF: We do find ourselves talking about it, because it's the way people watch TV.

JW: The real difference isn't in how we plan, but in what we don't have to plan. We don't have to worry about super close-ended episodes, as one used to. That's something that's kind of liberating as well. The pressure of figuring out the plot concept two minutes in is less important now than the character journey.
Much more via the link. Some minor spoilers towards the end.
 

-Pyromaniac-

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The show's depiction of religion is unusually thoughtful.
I can't think of a single thing on this show that isn't deliberate and thoughtful. Bless it.

- Slant: Joe Weisberg & Joel Fields Talk Season Four of The AmericansMuch more via the link. Some minor spoilers towards the end.
some interesting questions. I don't think I've ever seen a single episode of this show and thought it was slow/uneventful/ or "filler". They know what they're doing.
 

Leks

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May 31, 2013
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Finished the third season a few days ago, great timing.

Beautiful OP, I lik this season poster.
 

Cornballer

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Jul 21, 2006
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- Washington Post: The creators of ‘The Americans’ on what makes for interesting killings
People die in some extraordinary ways on the show. Have you ever had a suggested method of killing that was too outrageous or over-the-top for you guys?

Weisberg: [Laughs.] I’ve never said no.

Fields: You know, we never start with the end result. So we never say, “Okay, let’s think of really cool ways to kill people and then find a story that can get us there.” So you look at what happened with Annelise ending up in the suitcase, for example. That really just grew out of the fact that Yousaf was going to wind up killing her and they were in a hotel and they had to dispose of the body. Then we just had to figure out what they would do from there. And I think there was a real case where someone had smuggled a body out of a hotel in a suitcase, so that kind of inspired that. But it wasn’t like we set out to do something shocking. I don’t think we ever do that.

Weisberg: When we had them toss a grenade into a bathroom and blow a guy to smithereens, we said, “We actually went too far. That was a smithereen too far for us.” But mostly because it wasn’t “to character.”

Yeah, probably the most disturbing murder on the show was the old woman who was forced to take those pills.

Weisberg: Yeah, poor thing.

Fields: It’s funny, one of the ones that sticks to my mind as most horrific was one that we didn’t really see. It was when Philip wanted to not kill the guy that they stole the truck from. In fact, he even tied him up so he could spare himself one more murder, and instead he had to die of hypothermia because they didn’t get back in time. There’s something especially tragic about that one.

Weisberg: That was our Jack London killing.



Why do I not remember ANY of those?
I remember the first one where he was posing as a Vietnam Vet, but I don't recall the others. So many wigs!
 

Cornballer

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Jul 21, 2006
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- My San Antonio interview with the cast and crew
“This is a show about soldiers,” Fields said. “They may be behind enemy lines and they may be undercover, but they see themselves as soldiers. And forcing them to face the consequences of their actions … as they hit innocent people, well, it’s a provocative thing for the characters.”

“For Philip, it becomes a sort of quest for survival,” Rhys said. “I think his goal has become kind of narrower, more pure in that he wants his family to be OK, and that means having to do everything to the best of his ability.”

It’s the delicate scenes at home, however, those that revolve around Paige’s severe distress, that the actors embraced as the most interesting to play.

Taylor, whose stirring performance really makes you ache for the girl, said she needed to get into the head of a teen who found out a huge secret about a parent.

“What would you do with it?” the actress said. “No one can really hold all that inside.”