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Opinion: FX is Today’s Best Television Channel

Victoria Stuewe ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Assistant Movies Editor

It’s safe to say that people are watching live television less and less over the past few years, favoring streaming and premium services over networks and cable. Because of this, great series are being overlooked by shows like Game of Thrones or Orange is the New Black. While these are phenomenal shows, the TV channel FX has even more to offer. Their completely underrated shows are arguably some of the best produced shows of all time, acclaimed by critics but unseen by wide audiences.

Thankfully, FX has recently been recognized by the Emmys and Golden Globes; however, it still needs more attention. Their content is incredibly unique and extremely well done, but it simply doesn’t have the crowd it deserves. With dramas like The Americans and American Crime Story, comedies like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Archer, and sci-fi and horror shows like Legion and American Horror Story, FX has just about everything to offer. And they do it right every time.

Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings and Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings in 'The Americans'. Photo Credit: FX.
Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings and Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings in ‘The Americans’. Photo Credit: FX.

With these fantastic shows, it’s no wonder that FX has been gaining momentum in the awards circuit, yet they still don’t get the ratings like Game of Thrones, despite being on a subscription service. Awards ceremonies like the Emmys and the Golden Globes usually reserve positions for highly popular shows that end up becoming repetitive, even if they don’t end up winning, leaving more deserving shows forgotten during the nomination process – though, it should be noted that last year the Emmys did highlight the underdogs, awarding Rami Malek of Mr. Robot and Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black, both of which strongly deserved their respective accolades.

While FX’s limited and anthology series seem to be consistent with their wins, as Fargo and American Crime Story have been rampantly successful, The Americans are constantly – and dreadfully – snubbed, until, thankfully, last year, when the show was finally nominated, along with stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. The spy drama has been noted by many critics as being one of the best dramas on air right now – in fact, it has been voted as TV Program of the Year by AFI for the past four years in a row. And yet, the only wins they’ve received from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences were for Margo Martindale, who received two Best Guest Actress Awards. With captivating writing and increasingly fantastic and suspenseful episodes, The Americans should finally receive something for their efforts.

Donald Glover in 'Atlanta'. Photo Credit: FX.
Donald Glover in ‘Atlanta’. Photo Credit: FX.

However, probably its most snubbed comedy has to be It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Beloved by fans and acclaimed by critics, this long-lasting show has yet to be nominated. It might be because of its pitch black comedy, which could be polarizing. But it definitely deserves the notoriety, as it’s one of the smartest comedies airing now.

Over the past year, though, FX has gained momentum with other shows like Atlanta, which is looking to be nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, especially after its notable run in this year’s Golden Globes. Donald Glover’s new passion project gives a new view of Atlanta and allows some drama to enter the comedy, putting heart in an otherwise great comedy series. Glover and the rest of the cast have great chemistry, proving FX has strength even in comedy.

Dan Stevens in 'Legion'. Photo Credit: FX.
Dan Stevens in ‘Legion’. Photo Credit: FX.

Along with this new series, Variety has even considered the idea of Legion being nominated for Emmys, including one for its star, Dan Stevens. Arguably the best superhero series on air, the show pushes boundaries with its new look on the genre and its great cast and direction. Its creator, Noah Hawley, also created FX’s Fargo, proving his greatness as a TV writer. Adding Legion to FX’s current repertoire can showcase their aptness for selecting and producing excellent concepts with great potential, despite the fear of getting low ratings.

Even when FX is nominated, HBO trumps it with the main lead for nominations. FX should not only be nominated for its limited series, but also for its drama and comedy series. Being underrated, people don’t choose to see these deserving shows and end up missing out on some of the best writing and performances on television. Though it might be hard to believe, every show in its lineup never ceases to impress from season to season, making FX one of the best channels on modern TV.

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