6. 'The Americans' (FX)
This FX show got even stronger and sadder in its second season, with Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as married deep-cover Russian spies living in Chocolate City's vanilla suburbs in the early Eighties. The period detail is part of the pathos: Rhys is truly the quintessential American dad of 1982, with his sideburns, turtlenecks and morose Don McLean eyes. The geopolitical dread gets even scarier if you happen to watch while reading Eric Schlosser's disturbing new arms-race history, Command and Control. And the whole cast remains top-to-bottom great, especially Annet Mahendru and Noah Emmerich as mismatched agents who find that falling in love and working deep cover are often the exact same thing.