The producers of “The Americans” are very happy with how Season 5 turned out, but they’re also aware that not all viewers are on the same page.
Joe Weisberg, the creator of the FX spy drama that stars Keri Russell (Elizabeth Jennings) and Matthew Rhys (Philip Jennings), told TheWrap that he and executive producer Joel Fields are a bit surprised that some fans and critics have felt that the penultimate season, which ended last week, was not up to par creatively with the previous ones.
“If you want the honest answer, I think we’re struggling a little bit because we really love this season, but we notice some of the fans and some of the critics seem a little bit split on it,” Weisberg said. “There seem to be some who really love it like we did, and there are some who are saying, ‘This wasn’t our favorite season.’ So we’re trying to figure out why that was.”
According to Weisberg, the show’s team decided that Season 5 would be “a little more internal, a little more about the family, a little bit more about the characters, and I think some people responded by saying it was a little bit slow, so we’re thinking about all that, taking all of that in.”
Fields added that the writers’ goal before the start of each season is to map out a batch of episodes that takes the Emmy-winning series in a new direction.
“We’re never interested in trying to do the same season over again, no matter how successful it might have been, and we feel like, for better or for worse, we sure did that this year,” Fields said. “This was a deeper dive into those relationships, which also was really exciting and incredible to see those actors bring that stuff to life.”
Weisberg pointed out that he and Fields have had a potential ending for the show in mind since back in Season 2, and they plan to stick with it for the time being. But he acknowledged that it’s hard to completely ignore the feedback as they plot out the sixth and final run.
“A lot of it is mapped out, but also we’re always continually working on it, and I think there are ways in which you want to listen to your fans and your critics — and have to listen — but other ways in which you don’t want to be overly influenced,” Weisberg said. “You don’t know what your unconscious is doing — your unconscious is what runs this whole process. You don’t have total control over it.”
“The Americans” returns to FX for a 10-episode Season 6 in 2018.