The Americans 2.13 Review: “Echo”

When a series gets tons of almost unanimous critical praise, it’s hard to be the person on the outside who feels alone with reservations. While reading reviews like this can be entertaining and–ideally–insightful, they should always be taken as supplements to your own personal viewing experience rather than something you come to with the expectations of building that experience. Sometimes those expectations can include wanting your initial opinions validated, and that can be a dangerous and incorrect way of reading reviews. Some readers might come to certain reviews like a student in class, treating the reviewer as an authority figure; that, too, can be a dangerous and incorrect way of reading reviews. I find the worst part about criticism to be when it turns into a hive mind, where everyone seems to be saying and thinking the same thing. I would hate to believe there is a show out there that literally no one finds any value in, just as I would hesitate to accept that something is so good that no one (apart from message board and comment section posters) takes issue with. It might just be based on whose articles I read and who I follow in the social media sphere, but everyone appears to have been thoroughly impressed not just with “Echo,” but the entire second season of The Americans. I’ve spent a good portion of these reviews praising the show for the past dozen weeks, and it’s a series I’ve recommended several times to friends and acquaintances whenever television is brought up in conversations. But I have to be honest and stand my ground when I say that this has been a good season of television. Not an amazing season. A good one. In case there are other people out there who feel just as pressured by all the voices calling this one of the best seasons of television this year (and, in some cases, a season they can’t imagine anything else beating by the end of December; that, to me, is just utterly ridiculous), I wanted to explain some of those reservations I’ve had before praising the show for the things it does right–of which, there are many.




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