Emmy nominations 2016: Dramas

The 2016 Emmy nominations were announced at 1:30am local time yesterday, and I decided that I’d sleep through it. I’m perfectly happy with that decision. I don’t really have much to say about the Emmy nominations that haven’t already been said, but as usual there are some things that are great, and some not so great. You can find the full list of nominations here (okay, it’s not the full list, it excludes the Creative Arts categories, which I’ll peruse later).

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Emmy Predictions 2015: Drama

In a stroke of luck, I have found myself incredibly busy this week, and thankfully the Emmys are here for me in my time of need. I don’t have time to review anything today, so I’m going to do predictions for Drama Series today, and then the Comedy and Miniseries/Movie categories will have to wait until the weekend. You can find a full list of nominees over on Variety. I’m not 100% up to date on all of these shows: I’ve stopped watching Downton, House of Cards and Homeland, I didn’t finish the first season of HTGAWM, and I’m in the process of watching the first season of Empire. Australian broadcast dates are difficult. Onto the predictions!

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The Americans, Season 3 Episode 13: “March 8, 1983”

I can’t keep doing this. Buying back my life. – Nina

I try not to read reviews before I write my own, but I needed a bit of time to absorb everything that happened in “March 8, 1983”. A lot happens, but at the same time, not much happens at all. Erik Adams pointed out in his review that the show focuses on how Phillip, Elizabeth, Stan and Paige all need to grow up, which is just what Gabriel told Phillip. One of the best things that The Americans did this season was focus on Phillip’s emotional state, as all the lies he told to people he cared about – Paige, Martha and Kimmy – took their toll. Yousaf asks him if it was worth it, and Phillip starts to give the speech he gives to most people, but then he just admits the truth: “I feel shit all the time”. It doesn’t matter when it started – when he found out he had to recruit Paige, when he stuffed Annaliese into a suitcase, or when he took his wig off for Martha. The cumulative effects of the various missions are taking their emotional toll on everyone, except perhaps Elizabeth, who sees her mother for the very last time.

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The Americans, Season 3 Episode 12: “I Am Abassin Zadran”

The third season finale of The Americans airs in Australia next week and I have no idea where it’s going. Based on Elizabeth and Paige’s final conversation this week, they could end up in Russia visiting Elizabeth’s mother, but is that likely to happen? I tried to use a dominos analogy to explain the setup for the finale, but it’s been more like three dimensional chess, which I’ve never played. The Jennings have multiple missions going on: Martha, Northrup, Elizabeth’s hotel trysts that paid off this week, as well as having to deal with the fact that their daughter finally knows their true identities. She’s not mad at them for who they are – at least she doesn’t seem to be – she’s still getting over the fact that they’ve lied to her for her whole life. And when Gabriel meets Claudia at a diner, the audience learns that the Soviets nearly shut down Directorate S after the end of last season, but for some reason they wanted to move forward with Paige. It’s ridiculous.

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The Americans, Season 3 Episode 11: “One Day in the Life of Anton Baklanov”

At least we know the vending machine is broken.

Okay, I had choir this evening and it’s nearly 10 pm, so this isn’t going to be the best or even longest review. “One Day in the Life” was a good episode of The Americans, it’s just that “Stingers” was one of the best episodes of television I’ve seen all year, and “One Day in the Life” was always going to be a step down. This week Phillip and Elizabeth still have to keep going with their various missions while their daughter knows their real identities. Paige doesn’t know exactly what they’re up to, which is probably a good thing, since she’d probably be even angrier at them if she did.

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The Americans, Season 3 Episode 10: “Stingers”

Paige Jennings knows that her parents are Soviet Spies. After they get back from a mission, she confronts them in the kitchen and demands to know the truth. Paige is one of the most well-written teenage characters on television – now that Mad Men has finished, she has taken the mantle from Sally Draper – and I like that the show respects her intelligence enough for her to figure out that her life isn’t normal. We’ll get to that later though. Before I get to the best scene of the episode, I’m going to touch on the other things that are going on with Stan, Nina, Oleg and the Centre. Kimmy was also back this week. I like that there is so much going on with this show that we can’t follow every storyline every week (because there are fewer characters it works better than it did on Game of Thrones this season), but we touch in on all of them when we need to.

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The Americans, Season 3 Episodes 8 and 9

I ended up recording “Divestment” last week, but I didn’t watch it until just before I was able to watch “Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?”, which might be one of the best episode titles in television history. It made for a better watching experience overall, but it did mean that I’d forgotten that they had that mission where they abducted the pro-Apartheid terrorists. It also makes it difficult me to separate these two episodes of television, which is why I’m reviewing them together. Phillip and Elizabeth’s marriage is the core relationship of the show, but that’s not where the trouble was this week, as Martha finally tells Clark that Gaad found the bug she planted in his office.

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