25 Best TV Shows of 2015

From female superheroines to cyberpunk hackers, the year's small-screen highpoints

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4. 'The Americans' (FX)

Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are two deep-cover Soviet spies in the D.C. suburbs, in the early 1980s. Their family life is based on lies and betrayals — which is exactly what makes them authentic Americans. The third season raised the stakes — especially in "Dimebag," the truly heartbreaking episode devoted to Yaz's Upstairs at Eric's. (New rule: Every prestige drama needs a Yaz episode.) The most shocking moment: after Russell's undercover agent breaks a tooth in a fight with a couple of FBI agents, they can't go to a dentist — so her husband performs some DIY dental work. When he pulls out her tooth, it's a long, gory, dialogue-free moment of agony ... one that weirdly also plays like the year's most intense sex scene.

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