'The Americans' creators tested 'hundreds' of songs for a pivotal scene in the series finale

FX


The AmericansFX



Warning: This post contains major spoilers for the series finale of FX’s “The Americans.” Please read at your own risk.

  • “The Americans” series finale featured a montage set to an iconic song from the 80s, one of the things the series always did best.
  • The showrunners said they listened to hundreds of songs before making their final choice.
  • But they won’t say what other songs they listened to because they don’t wan fans making edits of the sequence on YouTube.

In the series finale of “The Americans,” the critically acclaimed Cold War drama that ended its six-season run Wednesday night, a pivotal montage set to U2’s “With or Without You” wraps up storylines for all of its main characters.

Showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg said they listened to “hundreds” of songs with the montage before figuring out the right fit. During a conference call discussing the finale, Fields and Weisberg refused to tell journalists what some of the other song options were, because they don’t want fans making edits on YouTube.

“We just think about what’s going to be most emotional,” Fields said. “In fact, if anything, we want to find something that’s going to support the emotion, but not distract and become about a particular song. And we listened to probably … I mean I want to say hundreds [of songs]. And I don’t think that’s hyperbole – I actually think we listened to hundreds of songs next to that montage. And there were a lot of great songs that didn’t work, some songs worked really well, but when we heard that U2, it was just magic.”

When asked what some of the other songs that didn’t make the cut were, Fields said he’d prefer not to say.

“We’d hate to have people do a YouTube mashup of that sequence with other songs – at least not the ones from our heads,” Fields said. “We’ll leave it. Now that I’ve said it of course, I imagine somebody’s going to do a very knee slappingly funny version of that. But that’s ok. It won’t be our fault.”

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