Emmys 2014: 'The Americans' snub for Season 2 is nearly treasonous
It's wrong and it doesn't make sense. Here are ** reasons why this omission borders on TV treason.
'The Americans' is good
This would be the first and most important reason why "The Americans" should have gotten some Emmy love. A show about a suburban couple who just happen to be KGB spies for the Soviet Union in the early 1980s, "The Americans" only improved in its sophomore season.
Led by Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as the central spies and devoted parents, "The Americans" tackled themes of love, identity, idealism and religion, in addition to the central issues of espionage and world politics. It seamlessly wove actual history -- a history that is easily remembered by many viewers -- into a fictional world.
And the characters! From closeted spies Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (Rhys and Russell) to the cunning Nina (Annet Mahendru) to the clueless and crashing FBI agent Stan (Noah Emmerich), there are few shows boasting richer or more intriguing characters. All of these actors would get Emmy nominations in a perfect world. When even the adolescent characters of the Jennings' children have moments of brilliance, you know the show has to be a winner.
The one exception to the "Americans" shut-out would be Margo Martindale's nomination for her guest-starring role as KGB handler Claudia.
'The Americans' is dark
It's no secret that the Emmys like to recognize the darker side of entertainment. Even in the comedy category, dark humor is often over-represented when nominations come out. Dramas, meanwhile, need to be violent or moody to even stand a chance much of the time.
This should be a no-brainer for "The Americans." Dark and complicated at the best of times, the show regularly descends into heart-wrenching tragedy. In Season 2 alone, you have Philip's emotional breakdown, Nina's desperation as the noose tightens around her double-agent neck, a horrifying multiple homicide (perpetrated by an even more horrifying killer) and even the death of an idealistic freedom fighter when faced with the cynicism of true espionage.
Few shows are darker.
'The Americans' is a historical drama
One look at Emmy-loved shows like "Downton Abbey" and "Mad Men," and it's no secret that awards are drawn to the past. The music, politics and even questionable fashion of the '80s are on vivid display in every episode of "The Americans." Real news broadcasts punctuate many of the storylines.
That's not enough this year.
'The Americans' appeals to multiple senses of nostalgia
It is more than just historical fiction that should make Emmy voters want to recognize "The Americans." Two other strong sources of contemporary nostalgia -- Keri Russell and Ronald Reagan -- should make viewers and voters alike happy.
After all, everyone loves Russell, ever since her turn as "Felicity." And in "The Americans," she gets to kick men through walls! What's not to love? Add in a whole lot of Reagan era politics and culture, and you would think the world should be in love.
'The Americans' is on FX
A few years ago, being on FX would be a reason for a show to get snubbed. Now it's practically the opposite. With 45 nominations, the cable network has the most major award nods out of all of television. Those nominations are not exactly evenly distributed -- "Fargo," "American Horror Story" and "Louie" account for most of them -- but FX is still the place to be if you want the Emmy voters to take notice.
It just seems like "The Americans" (along with fellow FX also-rans "Sons of Anarchy" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") gets lost in the FX shuffle.