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A Year in Review: The Top 10 Shows of 2013

Anyone who says that there isn’t anything good left on television clearly isn’t looking very hard, if at all. There was almost too much great television this year. from intensely satisfying final seasons to incredible showings from a wealth of new series and everything in between, 2013 once again proved there has never been a better time to be a TV addict.

Note: As always, there is a good chance that there are some significant spoilers below, so read/view at your discretion.

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The Americans – “Trust Me”

The Americans - "Trust Me" [S01E06]

From left: Matthew Rhys, Keri Russell

Rating: A-

The idea that a television show could have us sympathizing with Soviet spies would have been unheard of in the 1980s, and possibly met with charges of treason. Which makes what The Americans has been able to accomplish all that more special. The television landscape is now filled with big name anti-heroes – Dexter Morgan, Walter White, and Don Draper, to name a few – but no one has tried to put the spotlight on a once feared and despised American enemy. Many reviewers have commented that what the The Americans is doing is akin to making a show about terrorist sleeper cell agents living in the United States, and maybe 20 years down the line we’ll get that show. And although I do not have the experience to argue the quality of that comparison, a brief history lesson will show that the analogy is probably more than apt.

There’s something beautiful about the way The Americans approaches its material – it is at times brutal and unyielding, yet it is also delicate and hesitant. It finds a great balance between action-packed, tense espionage and the internal struggles the characters battle every day, all the while capturing the ever-present sense of impending danger that permeated the Cold War era. And it is that constant atmosphere of fear that fuels the storyline for “Trust Me.”

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