‘The Americans’ season 6 reviews: ‘One of television’s greatest dramas’ is going out with a bang, according to critics

FX‘s “The Americans” is back for its sixth and final season of 10 episodes starting on Wednesday night, March 28. Following the lives of deep-cover KGB spies (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell) raising a family in the United States during the Cold War, the series has been a slow-burner for most of its run. It was quick to earn praise from critics, but slow to catch on at the Emmys and often on the bubble for renewal. The show finally received an Emmy nomination for Best Drama Series in 2016 for season four, and was ultimately picked up for fifth and sixth seasons to finish its story on its own terms. So do these last episodes live up to those heightened expectations?

Based on the reviews so far, it does. Reviewers have screened the first three episodes of season six, which have scored 92 on MetaCritic and 100% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes. The series has grown “ever more sure of itself” with “meticulous construction” and “melancholy intimacy.” It’s “one of television’s greatest dramas” and it’s still “on top of its game.” And this final season “may be the best the show has ever offered.”

But will it make an Emmys comeback? After its breakthrough in 2016 “The Americans” was left out of the lineup for Best Drama Series in 2017. However, a climactic payoff for the story could give the show a final-season boost like “Friday Night Lights” and “Breaking Bad,” which had their biggest awards success for their swan songs in recent years.

Do you think “The Americans” will get a big farewell hug from the TV academy? Check out some of the reviews below, and make or update your predictions here.

Maureen Ryan (Variety): “During the course of that half-decade, this addictive drama grew ever more sure of itself, and more reliant than ever on the faces of its stellar cast and the melancholy mood created by its perceptive directors … The show’s meticulous construction of ambiguous choices is one of the finest achievements in recent television history.”

James Poniewozik (New York Times): “It’s that melancholy intimacy that makes “The Americans” more than the sum of its wigs, stabbings and spot- on period-music choices … The history itself is no spoiler; we know how the Cold War played out. But “The Americans” understands history as more than the record of which nations rise and fall. It’s also the story of individual people for whom life goes on, or doesn’t.”

Allison Keene (Collider): “Any concerns that viewers had about The Americans treading water in its penultimate season have been answered swiftly and decisively at the start of its final season. The Americans — not only one of TV’s best shows, but one of its tensest and most anxiety-inducing — kicks off Season 6 in the middle of turmoil … This final run of episodes may be the best the show has ever offered.”

Tim Goodman (Hollywood Reporter): “The first three episodes sent by FX to critics elicited that kind of admiration, that confidence that, at least in the early going, the enormous weight of expectations hadn’t crippled the show but given it a certain exhilaration as it began its end game. They were, all three of them, exceptional — clear examples of one of television’s greatest dramas still very much on top of its game.”

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on July 12. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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