What’s Worth Watching: ‘The Americans’, ‘Cleverman’, ‘Animal Kingdom’ and more for Wednesday, June 1
The Americans (10/9c, FX): The bad news: Only one more episode to go before the season finale of this exceptional spy thriller. The good news: FX confirmed there will be two more seasons before the story of those deeply embedded Soviet spies Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) is over. In the penultimate episode of the fourth season, Paige (Holly Taylor) is unnerved and understandably fascinated by Mama Bear Elizabeth’s killer survival tactics, as shown in her lethal encounter with muggers last week. “How could you be calm?” Paige wonders aloud to her stoic protector. “Have you done that before?” If she only knew. But she’s learning more by the week, which is taking her down an unexpected path of neighborhood deception. Elsewhere, the noose is tightening on our favorite secret Soviet spies, as the FBI gets the office “Mail Robot” to cough up its secrets.
Cleverman (10/9c, SundanceTV): Premiering the same week as it launches in its native Australia, this provocative fantasy series works as an allegory for our times, imagining an Australia that has segregated and oppressed a recently discovered aboriginal species—seen as “subhuman,” derisively described as “hairies” because of their primitive and hirsute appearance, and feared for their super-strength. “People can be animals, eh?” observes a “shaver” who has been able to assimilate into regular society and now exploits desperate families seeking to escape their third-world “zone” illegally. Supernatural mysticism adds an unpredictable element to this unusual story.
Inside Wednesday TV: Comings and goings: NBC’s hit American Ninja Warrior (8/7c) is back for an eighth season of extreme competition. New obstacles include the Floating Steps, Tic Toc, Escalator and Ring Jump. … ABC’s 500 Questions (8/7c) wraps its weeklong return with a two-hour episode. Can anyone even get close to the 500-question goal? … AT&T Audience Network’s Kingdom (9/8c, available on DirecTV and U-verse) resumes the second half of its second season with more family and personal drama brewing between all of the MMA action. … Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen competition returns with what’s being called a Time Warp Tournament (9/8c), with each of its five episodes devoted to a decade, starting with the 1950s, in which the contestants are jammed into a 50s-era phone booth to make the most important meal of any day—that’s right, breakfast. … NBC’s The Night Shift (10/9c) opens its third season with a two-parter that once again expands its focus to the war in Afghanistan, where Drew (Brendan Fehr) is now serving with a new colleague, Syd Jennings (recurring guest Jennifer Beals), and they team to treat a young Afghani woman despite cultural differences.