For three years, 29-year-old Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany has wowed viewers and critics alike with her performance on BBC America's Orphan Black. Throughout 30 episodes, she has played 10 clones, each with its own specific, easily distinguished personality — not only that, but they often have to disguise themselves as each other, and yet viewers never lose track of the many layers of Maslany's masterful performance. And yet, the Primetime Emmys snubbed the actress two years in a row for Orphan Black's first two seasons, and no one expected this year to be any different — but the Emmy voters surprised us all by finally nominating Tatiana Maslany for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series!
This is a victory not just for Maslany specifically — although it is very much that — but also for genre shows in general. Emmy voters are notoriously biased against shows that are categorized in "niche" genres like sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, no matter how critically-acclaimed or highly-rated they may be (see: Hannibal, Fringe, Battlestar Galactica). Maslany isn't the only part of Orphan Black that the Emmys have been snubbing: the show itself hasn't been nominated for a single award, even in technical categories like Directing, Writing, Visual Effects, or Main Title Sequence.
Could Maslany's nod be signaling a welcome shift in Emmy voters' minds? Or is this just a one-off nomination based on the strength of Maslany's performance alone? We'll have to wait to to see if this trend continues in years to come, but it's certainly a promising sign. And in the meantime, we can all do our best happy dance to celebrate Maslany's overdue victory.
We're not the only ones celebrating, either. Check out this adorable exchange between Maslany and fellow Emmy nominee (for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series) Amy Schumer: