FX

‘The Americans’ Season 2 Episode 9 Recap: “Marital Eagle”

If we’re being honest, it took a little while for me to like The Americans. When I like a show, I usually immediately like it from the start — flaws and all — and then I just get deeper and deeper. With The Americans, I recognized a good pilot (and good subsequent episodes) but thought it was never going to be on my must-watch list. Something felt distant about it. But the more I watched, the more I found myself obsessed with the Jennings and their family, fascinated by this specific work vs. family pairing, this culture clash and these themes of loyalty, patriotism, and everything else that The Americans throws at us every week. “Marital Eagle” is a great example of the sort of episode that won me over, that pulled me in rather than kept me an arm’s length away. … Read More

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‘Fargo’ Season 1 Episode 2 Recap: “The Rooster Prince”

“Sometimes there is more than one right thing,” Gus Grimly tells his young daughter Greta in “The Rooster Prince.” Greta has a simplistic, black-and-white view of the world. If her father, a police officer, saw somebody doing something wrong, wouldn’t he stop them? Isn’t that the only right thing to do in that situation? It’s not, as Greta will eventually learn when she’s older and as Gus found out at the end of last week’s premiere. … Read More

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‘The Americans’ Season 2 Episode 8 Recap: “New Car”

It seems redundant to say that The Americans is really heating up now, tying together some loose ends while dangling newer threads that will play out as the remainder of the season goes on, because that’s something I could say for just about every episode. But in “New Car,” we’re past the halfway point of the… Read More

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FX Renews ‘The Americans’ for Third Season

FX announced that it has renewed the spy thriller The Americans for a third season. It’s no surprise — The Americans is about… Read More

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The 6 Shows You Should Be Watching on FX & FXX

FX launched 20 years ago, in June of 1994, with the tagline “The World’s First Living Television Network.” fX, as it was stylized back then, divided its programming in two categories: repeats of classics (BatmanEight Is Enough) and original shows broadcast live (Sound fXThe Pet Department). fX tried to be an interactive and Internet-friendly network, even devoting an entire show — Backchat — to answering emails. That version failed, but the experimentation was telling — it’s a network that has always wanted to be a step ahead of the rest. … Read More

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‘Fargo’ Season 1 Premiere Recap: “The Crocodile’s Dilemma”

It’s fitting that the premiere episode of Fargo starts off on a freezing cold note: a car crashing through a snow bank, a shivering bloody deer on his last legs, the icy stare of a murderer, and the frigid conversation between an unhappy married couple who painfully smile to keep up appearances. Between the snow in the background of every outdoor shot, the giant furry hats that so many people don, and the way you can see every characters’ breath when they talk, it’s as if Fargo wants you to shiver right along with it.  … Read More

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FX’s Darkly Funny ‘Fargo’ Is Far More Than a Coen Brothers Rehash

Here are the reservations that we must get out of the way first: Fargo the series is not a strict adaptation of Fargo the film. It is superficially similar but should be seen as a separate entity. Although Fargo borrows settings, themes, accents, violence, and a hell of a lot of snow from the movie, it is a distant cousin, twice removed, not a copycat child. It should also be said that, aside from its origin (and other films from the Coen brothers), Fargo will be compared to a handful of recent television dramas. There are shades of Breaking Bad and True Detective, two shows that are still lingering in our minds. Fargo does not take place in a unique universe. We have already seen detective thrillers, middle-class white dude antiheroes, unfortunate women, questions of masculinity, gleeful acts of disturbing violence, and good people who suddenly realize that they are capable of not-so-good actions. That said? Fargo is a thoroughly enjoyable watch (particularly the first episode), beautifully shot, and very, very funny.  … Read More

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‘The Americans’ Season 2 Episode 7 Recap: “Arpanet”

It’s been a whole week but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about last week’s episode of The Americans. The scenes with Elizabeth and Philip were so haunting that I can’t get them out of my head and I was hoping that this week might be a little lighter, just to break the tension. “Arpanet” was lighter and a bit comical — it is tense at times and it’s not entirely frivolous, thankfully — but the focus on this early Internet contraption and some a small Henry plot were both welcome. … Read More

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‘Justified’ Wraps Up a Disappointing Season 5 With the Promise of a Thrilling Season 6

In the so-called “Golden Age” of the television antihero, the mere consistent excellence — not quite transcendence — of the Elmore Leonard adaptation Justified on FX has rendered it a bit of an also-ran in a time where shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and whatever’s on HBO this season have been taking up all the airspace and think-piece space. But for five seasons, Justified has been a very good show about a conflicted US Marshal, Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant, silvering fox, lady-Viagra in human form), and his tendency to shoot first and ask questions later, coming back to his hated hometown of Harlan County, Kentucky, in order to solve crime and wrestle with literal and figurative ghosts. Inspired by Leonard’s writing, and shot through with his spirit and inimitable zesty dialogue, Justified has been the best example of the late crime giant’s work on screen to date. … Read More

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‘The Americans’ Season 2 Episode 6 Recap: “Behind The Red Door”

The Americans doesn’t know the meaning of sophomore slump. It had a stellar first season, a season that kept raising the bar every week and then successfully clearing it. It is a tricky show to do properly — the spy aspect ran the risk of coming off silly (it doesn’t help that The Americans shares a network with Archer), the show could have been violent for violent’s sake (and I admit that I thought that a few times last season), and, if not done carefully, the marriage/family parallels could have lost all subtlety. Yet The Americans surpassed my expectations and has been going strong this season, too. Six episodes so far, barely any missteps.   … Read More

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