12 Best TV Shows of 2017 So Far

From the Young Pope to the Black Lodge – the cream of the TV crop that's already made 2017 a banner year for the small screen

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'The Americans' (FX)

An ordinary suburban family in the Eighties, with the usual sinister secrets – in this case, Mom and Dad live a double life killing people and spying in the name of Mother Russia. The Americans has always been tense and emotional, with Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys breaking your heart as the Soviet spies who depend on Cold War espionage to keep their marriage together. But it got even darker this season, with a new nemesis in their adopted Vietnamese son (and fellow spy) Tuan. The show's 1980s period detail is top-notch, especially the music – R.E.M.'s "So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)" appears in the finale, summing up everything Mr. and Mrs. Jennings can't say to their godforsaken kids. (Though "I'm saaaw-rryyyyyy!" would be a nice place to start.) And in a year when Russia conquered America without having to fire a shot, the story feels more resonant than ever.

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