'The Americans - The Complete Final Season'
(Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, Holly Taylor, Keidrich Sellati, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / 2018 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: The sixth and final season of the television drama series 'The Americans', comprising 10 episodes, is available October 23rd, 2018, on Blu-ray and DVD from 20th Century Fox.
DVD Verdict: For me, and I'm sure, quite literally millions of others, 'The Americans' set a new bar in television for both writing and character development.
Rarely has such a fully realized set of characters inhabited our screens, and never for a solid 6 seasons of unrelenting quality.
The writers have such a mastery of narrative that there are long stretches with absolutely no dialogue, and none needed as the story is told visually and through the soundtrack with the benefit of precise and purposeful editing.
While the main characters are incredibly well drawn the writers also pay close attention to the supporting cast - which includes the cold war itself.
The variety of characters, each full of depth and nuance is an incredible achievement. There are no weak or shallow characters, none. Its all lovingly drawn together in a well paced and intense journey through history seen from a perspective foreign to most Americans.
'The Americans' is about two deep cover Russian agents who live in Washington, with their two kids and a successful travel business. Already struggling to keep their missions and activities secret from their children, their lives are further complicated when Stan Beeman ( Noah Emmerich) an FBI agent, moves in across the street and their kids become friendly.
Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell do a tremendous jobs of portraying the central couple of "Phillip" and "Elizabeth". Initially convinced that they are doing good work, despite the deceptive nature of it, Phillip becomes less sure of this as the show progresses - especially when called upon to eliminate a target.
Though initially paired by the state, Phillip and Elizabeth have grown to accept one another and their fondness is blossoming. Phillips doubts, as well as external relationships both real and staged are affecting the couple and Rhys and Russell perform this relationship really well.
Furthermore, the show did a great job of recreating the '70s and '80s and there are some great music cues across the run. It felt like grown up television, never afraid to be sad, or vicious and confident in the central pairing to carry the show forward.
Again, the acting has always been top notch, with so many other actors away from the centrals providing notable sub-characters. The very last episode felt so unexpected and actually I don't know why, it was inevitable, but this aching portrayal of worlds (personal and external) dissolving echoed parallels of the time and an eternal human truth, this is what we all struggle with ultimately, letting go of attachment to any idealogy or concept good or bad. Phew!
Simply put and in closing, in a golden age of television this show stands on the highest rung. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of: