'Orphan Black' Star Tatiana Maslany's Emmy Snub Is Beyond Baffling

Well, we hoped and dreamed it would go our way, but it turns out those Emmy voters are cruel. Somehow, Canada's Gift to Acting (sorry, Gosling), Tatiana Maslany of BBC America's Orphan Black, was not nominated for an Emmy. And to that, we have but one question: what in the ever-loving fuck were these people thinking?!


Well, clearly, the answer is that they weren't. Thinking, that is. Because if they were, they would have seen the err in their ways before their ballots were even in the box. So I — taking it upon myself to be a bit of a Maslany bloodrider — feel it is my duty to enlighten said voters about their truly egregious error. But with GIFs, because this is the Internet and attention spans are now for pictures, not words. Get ready: you're in for a bumpy ride.


Dear 2013 Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Voters,

What in the actual fuck were you thinking? Oh, sorry — too harsh? You'll have to forgive me, as I'm in a bit of an emotional tailspin over what some of you deigned to call this year's Emmy Award nominations. Why? Well, because Tatiana Maslany, star of BBC America's Orphan Black, was not a nominee in the Best Actress in a Drama category. Who are you monsters and how did you let such a wrongdoing occur? 

Oh. Wait. Some of you don't know who Tatiana Maslany is? Well, here's an education.


Orphan Black is a series about a crazy, secret science experiment involving the cloning of human beings. Human clones, and Maslany plays all of them. But there aren't just one or two clones: no, we've seen at least nine clones so far — six of which have been given significant story lines. There's Sarah the wandering punk, Beth the cop, Alison the soccer mom, Cosima the science genius, Helena the feral religious extremist, and Rachel the clone that grew up in the system and is decidedly pro-clone.

And Maslany plays all of them with a ferocious authenticity that is so unique to each character that you forget it's the same actress playing each of the roles. I repeat: you forget that it's the same actress, even though they clearly resemble one another. She is that good.

And not only that, but sometimes the clones have to pretend they're other clones: most of the series follows Sarah around as she assumes the life of Beth in order to find out more about her origins. So, Sarah plays Beth. Sarah has also had to pretend to be Katja (a sickly German clone who is killed by vigilante justice-seeker Helena) and Alison. Alison has had to pretend to be Sarah. And Helena has done double duty by pretending to be Sarah pretending to be Beth.


But the complexity game doesn't stop there: the clones are from all over the world, which means nature and nurture are twisted around aurally, mentally, physically, and emotionally in addition to visually. Sarah's from London; Helena raised in the Ukraine; Alison a Canadian soccer mom; Cosima a Bay-area American. So, there's accents involved. Lots of accents. (A particularly wonderful reverse Eliza Doolittle moment occurs when Felix — Sarah's foster brother — tries to teach the uppity Alison to sound like a punkish, British Sarah.) And guess what? They all sound authentic and amazing. I had no idea that Maslany wasn't British until probably three episodes into the series, she's that goddamn talented. She's so good that if they asked her to solve a coded genetic mystery in real time as her character Cosima, I have half a mind to believe she would pull it off.

So why didn't you fuckers even nominate her? What more does this woman have to do to win your vote?! How is single-handedly reengineering the television acting game not enough for you people? 


Did you not know about it? Were the endless accolades, interviews, Television Critic's Association Award win, and articles not enough for you? Because, truly, you would've had to have been enduring a 3-month Internet blackout in order to miss all of this. I understand that Orphan Black is a niche show, and therefore easy to write off thanks to its sci-fi leanings, but it's so much more than that. If anything, it's more of a character study on how so much of our own human existence lives on a spectrum that's subconsciously affected by our surroundings. And so much of that transcended greatness comes from the work that Maslany does on-screen. If an awards show truly wants to at least pretend its about giving out the goods to the most worthy of the field, shouldn't you make your decision based on merits at least sometimes?


If there was any justice at all in the world, the nominations would've looked more like this:


So, thanks for nothing, Emmy voters. Season one is out on DVD now, as well as On Demand with most carriers, and season two starts production in September. That gives you plenty of time to join the Clone Club. But a word to the wise about next year's nominations, y'all:


Alicia (and, frankly, most of the Internet)

Photos: OrphanBlack.Tumblr.com

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