With the Emmy nominations drawing nearer and nearer, two shows have emerged as contenders for a number of awards including Best Drama, Lead Actress in a Drama and Lead Actor in a Drama. The two shows in question? FX’s The Americans and Netflix’s The Crown. Here’s a look at which way the awards might sway.
Best Drama – The Crown vs The Americans
With the likes of Game of Thrones ineligible this year the Emmy for Best Drama is a wide open race, Homeland is a likely nomination but arguably that show’s glory days are over, Better Call Saul is another shoo in but probably doesn’t quite have the pull to win and although The Handmaiden’s Tale and Orange is the New Black are contenders neither really look like they’ll take the gold (Handmaiden edging out OITNB)
If you read around the hot favourite is The Crown, because of course it is. It’s a Netflix original (always popular) it’s Downton Abbey without the downstairs to worry about, it’s the Royal Family, what’s not to love, not to mention the beautiful cinematography and excelling cast. On paper it looks like the worthy winner but you simply cannot discount The Americans. Now in it’s fifth season, the Cold War spy-drama had been tragically overlooked in it’s first 3 seasons and only received any Emmy attention last year (aside from guest acting noms) Season 4 was arguably the best season to date and season 5 has been a bit of a slow burn, but having said that The Americans is long overdue some credit and voters may think that a show deep into it’s run deserves the win more so than a debutante.
Verdict: The Crown wins…by popular demand
Best Actress – Claire Foy vs Keri Russell
Similar to Best Drama this is a tough battle. Outside of these two shows competition comes from the likes of Claire Danes who always churns out a stunning performance in Homeland, Viola Davis looks likely for How to Get Away with Murder and Robin Wright from House of Cards cannot be discounted. Between Foy and Russell it’s an interesting battle. Foy has the easier ride, she’s already won the SAG and the Golden Globe for her portrayal of the young Queen Elizabeth II, an Emmy seems only natural. She also, however, has a relatively ‘easier’ character to play, in playing a real person she no doubt has a wealth of information and experts at her disposal to facilitate her performance. She can use dialect coaches, watch videos of the Queen to work on her mannerisms, read countless biographies to help her get into character. Russell on the other hand playing Elizabeth Jennings has developed the role herself and has, over the last 5 seasons really grown into the character with this last season really being her strongest so far, it really is deserving of an award.
With both Elizabeth’s being stoic characters a lot of the acting is done silently with the focus on subtle looks, expressions and movements rather than sprawling monologues, in the end, it’s likely to be whichever character’s story resonates most with Emmy voters and the chances are, it’ll be the non murdering Elizabeth Windsor
Verdict: Foy wins
Best Actor – Matt Smith v Matthew Rhys
With all due respect to Matt Smith I think it will be highly unlikely he’ll even be nominated. That’s not to say his performance of Prince Philip is bad in any way but his role in The Crown is a cross between comic relief and semi-antagonist, in short, it’s not that important, and compared to other actors this year his role isn’t particularly meaty. The likely front runner is last years OJ Simpson star Sterling K Brown for his role in This is Us and although I love Mr Brown I truly feel that this year has to be Matthew Rhys’ year. He was phenomenal as Philip Jennings last season (and every season to be fair) and it was such a shame he couldn’t nab the win, but this year the levels of stress and pressure his character has been put under are so intense that it seems jarring to see the real life Matthew Rhys laughing and smiling at events. His character has really transformed over the years from slightly disillusioned spy to a man at the end of his tether. Philip seems more and more depressed and drawn as each episode passes and it’s a credit to Mr Rhys that we as viewers still sympathize with a character so depressing that any other show wouldn’t dare have him as the lead character.
Despite easily knocking Matt Smith’s Philip out the water, Matthew Rhys still has stiff opposition not only from the aforementioned Sterling K Brown but from last year’s winner Rami Malek (Mr Robot), last year’s nominees Kyle Chandler (Bloodline), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul) and Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan) all of whom could be in with a shout.
Verdict: Rhys beats Smith no doubt, but Sterling K Brown may just take it, and Rami Malek could easily grab a second…
What do you guys think? Are The Americans and The Crown the front-runners or is there a better drama out there? What did you think of the performances mentioned? Let me know!