We live through history unaware of history, carried ever forward through transformative moments we will only recognize in hindsight. Yet there are rare occasions, in rare lives, when human beings get the chance to knowingly alter the course of human events. Consider, say, the beginning of the sixth season of The Americans, when the undercover KGB agent known as Elizabeth Jennings embarks on a rendezvous with global destiny. She’s given a toppest-of-top-secret mission, a late-stage Cold War bit of subterfuge that reaches toward the highest levels of Soviet-American relations. It’s a complicated mission, and the final season of FX’s spy drama kept sharpening its focus on Elizabeth, played with subtlety and rage and existential weariness and so much more by Keri Russell.
And now history is calling to the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the voting body behind the Golden Globe awards. There is a profound wrong that must be righted, you see, a collective sin of our species that requires penance. Even though Russell spent six seasons of The Americans soul crunching Elizabeth’s morally ambiguous journey — even as she juggled wigs between espionage characters, sometimes resulting in two or three great separate performances per episode — she’s never won a major award for her work on the show.
Oh, she was recognized, sure. She won this year’s Television Critics Association award for Individual Achievement in a Drama, and critics always know best. And the Emmys nominated her thrice. In fact, this year the Emmys loaded up a few cannons full of trophies and fired a fusillade at everyone on The Americans except for anyone named “Keri Russell.” Showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg took the stage for a writing win. Russell’s costar/real-life partner Matthew Rhys landed Best Actor in a Drama. Continue reading Why The Americans’ Keri Russell deserves a Golden Globe