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The Americans

Sat Jul 13, 9.45-10.30pm, ITV

By Jon Lynes
Series one, episode seven
Richard and Judy may have had it hard, but Elizabeth and Phillip take the pressures of being a married couple who work together to a whole new level. With their professional and personal relationships stretched to breaking point, their problems are compounded by their new-found mistrust of Claudia. They’re also forced to address a new issue in the shape of Andrzej Bielawski, an anti-communist proponent of democracy who has arrived in New York to give a speech at the UN.

While the episode may lack the palpable tension of previous offerings, it more than compensates with typically generous smatterings of intrigue, deceit and betrayal, as well as a significant focus on the personal relationships which the show always handles so brilliantly. Compulsive, engrossing and adeptly realised, ‘The Americans’ is gripping TV which has more than a ring of historical verisimilitude.

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