Sunday, August 27, 2017

Emmy Episodes: The Americans

It’s always my policy to watch every Emmy-nominated episode each year, which leads me to sample a handful of shows that I don’t tune in to on a regular basis. For the second year in a row, I’m making a special effort to spotlight each of those installments to offer my perspective on shows that I don’t review each week.

The Americans: Season 5, Episode 6 “Crossbreed” (B-)
The Americans: Season 5, Episode 11 “Dyatkovo” (B-)
The Americans: Season 5, Episode 13 “The Soviet Division” (C+)

I watched more of this show last year than ever before since it cracked the Best Drama Series race, and I and everyone else expected the same thing to happen this year. The fact that it didn’t is strange, since the most comparable show – “Friday Night Lights” – finally made the cut in the top acting races its penultimate year and then the drama series category for its last one. Season six will be this show’s last, so maybe it will return again then. For now, here are the three episodes nominated. The first, “Crossbreed,” is Matthew Rhys’ submission for Best Actor. It is indeed a Philip-centric episode, as he contends with the revelation that his father was a prison camp guard and not what he had always thought he was. For a casual viewer, that doesn’t mean much, but Rhys is decent in the hour. “Dyatkovo,” which is Keri Russell’s submission, reminds me of the season three Emmy-nominated hour “Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?” Philip was with Elizabeth while she was threatening an old woman this time around, and it was Elizabeth who didn’t seem to have any sympathy for a woman who might not have been a Nazi traitor. She’s still the one who took the shot evn after the sob story and killed the woman’s husband. The season finale earned two nominations, one for writing and one for guest star Alison Wright, who barely even appeared in it. Based on the “previously on” segment, I thought that they were going to go to Russia and encounter Martha in person, but this slow-moving episode didn’t actually accomplish anything, ending on a whimper. Honestly, Paige contemplating ethics is the best part of it all, but this show just doesn’t do it for me. These episodes weren’t bad but they weren’t all that good either, and I wouldn’t give the show any of its four nominations this year.

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