Since its debut in 2013, “The Americans” has been considered by many to be one of the best dramas — if not the best — on television. The American Film Institute, the Television Critics Assn., the Critics’ Choice Awards, the Peabody, the Writers Guild of America, and even our own Gold Derby Awards all honored “The Americans.” And it finally broke through at the Emmys and earned a Best Drama Series nomination this year. But the Golden Globes and SAG Awards have been late to the party. With all of this love from critics, fans and now the Emmys, will these other awards shows embrace it?
The Golden Globes like to award shows that are shiny and new, so “The Americans” may have a tough time getting in for its fourth season. It’s still shocking that Keri Russell hasn’t been recognized there yet, especially for the first season. After all, she won TV Drama Actress in 1999 for her breakout role on “Felicity,” so it made sense that they would’ve recognized her for her return to television.
Conversely, the SAG Awards like to hold onto series that are well-established with them. Since “The Americans” didn’t break out with guild voters initially, it’ll be hard for it to make a dent with so many returning nominees still eligible. The show’s path to Globes and SAG glory could play out like the way it did with the Emmys. It has two years left of eligibility, so I’m sure it’ll be properly recognized soon.
Its chances are better at the Critics’ Choice Awards and guild awards. “The Americans” has received four Critics’ Choice nominations each year of eligibility and even won Best Drama Series last year. It should get in again for drama series and its leads, but can it secure a nomination for either Holly Taylor or Alison Wright? Both actresses had standout turns this past season.
At the Producers Guild Awards, there’s an open slot with last year’s winner “Mad Men” out of contention. That drama series nomination at the Emmys helps make a strong case for the show. The Writers Guild Awards already has embraced it. “The Americans” received a new series nomination in 2014 and got a drama series nomination this past year. They’ll easily secure another drama series nomination in the upcoming awards cycle and could finally be nominated in the episodic drama category for their Emmy-nominated episode “Persona Non Grata” written by showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg.
In its first two years of eligibility at the Emmys, “The Americans” got nominations for title theme music and recurring guest star Margo Martindale. It wasn’t until last year that the tides shifted. The series picked up its first acting win for Martindale and received its first writing nomination for the Joshua Brand-penned episode “Do Mail Robots Dream Of Electric Sheep.” That latter nomination was a sneak peek of things to come. The writing categories at the Emmys have been the place where shows with critical buzz are recognized. Examples of this for drama series are “Battlestar Galactica,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Friday Night Lights,” “UnReal” and “The Wire.”
The series finally got its long overdue welcome from the academy this year with nominations for drama series, leads Matthew Rhys and Russell, writing, and picked up another guest actress win for Martindale. The reason why I think it took this long for the series to be recognized was it was up against heavy competition. With AMC giants “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” ended, their absence opened up two slots in the expanded drama series category.
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