The Tatiana Maslany Snub: Does It Matter?


Today, the long awaited Emmy nominations list was revealed to the general public.  Many had speculated that the stellar first season of Canadian production Orphan Black would generate some award recognition, especially for the star of the series, Tatiana Maslany.  Maslany expertly carried the series throughout its inaugural season with a range of performances made possible by the series’ unique concept.  It was a breath of fresh air for Canadian television, a well executed, strongly written, and brilliantly performed show that wasn’t afraid to take risks. When the show failed to receive any primetime nominations, many took to social media to vent their frustration.

All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.  Reading Emmy nominations year after year is a fairly painful task of unsurprising monotony.  Unique, boundary-pushing shows are rarely rewarded.  The academy seems to prefer to extend their accolades to the same helping of pleasant, familiar shows and actors year after year.  Take a look at the revolving door of Modern Family winners and nominees  in the Supporting Actor/Actress in a Comedy series, for example.  In 2011 the Emmys famously nominated each male actor from the series, leaving only Jon Cryer and Chris Colfer to duke it out with the sitcoms stars.  This year, they reduced that number down to three.  With so many unrecognized comedic performances, the spaces allotted to the entire cast of the ABC sitcom are indicative of the academy’s preferences.  They like something, they stick with it.  If your show doesn’t fit in with those parameters, tough luck.

With that in mind, Maslany’s snub is no surprise.  Science fiction shows have always seemed to be the bane of Emmy voters existence, and it is after all the show’s first season.  Perhaps next year they will wise up to the superb performance(s) Maslany is putting out week after week.  The real matter at hand is just how many people are talking about the show’s lack of recognition.  For the first time in quite a while, a Canadian production is receiving inordinate amounts of hype and praise.  That can only be good for our television industry.  Hopefully, it paves the way for more risky, high quality productions that rival the output of any other country.  Frankly, so long as we’re making television like Orphan Black, I don’t really care what the American academy voters think.

Do you think Maslany deserved a nomination?  Do you care? Below, you can find a selection of the nominees.

Drama Series

Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men

Comedy Series

30 Rock
The Big Bang Theory
Modern Family

Miniseries or Movie

American Horror Story
Behind the Candelabra
The Bible
Phil Spector
Political Animals
Top of the Lake

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Damian Lewis, Homeland

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Connie Britton, Nashville
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Kerry Washington, Scandal

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Louis C.K., Louie
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Laura Dern, Enlightened
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series

Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire
Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Dowton Abbey
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Morena Baccarin, Homeland
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series

Adam Driver, Girls
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Bill Hader, SNL
Tony Hale, Veep

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series

Mayim Bialik, Big Bang Theory
Jane Lynch, Glee
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series

Nathan Lane, The Good Wife
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Rupert Friend, Homeland
Robert Morse, Mad Men
Harry Hamlin, Mad Men
Dan Bucatinsky, Scandal

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series

Margo Martindale, The Americans
Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones
Carrie Preston, The Good Wife
Linda Cardellini, Mad Men
Jane Fonda, The Newsroom
Joan Cusack, Shameless

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

“Dead Freight” by George Mastras, Breaking Bad
“Say My Name” by Thomas Schnauz, Breaking Bad
“Episode 4″ by Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey
“The Rains of Castamere” by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Game of Thrones
“Q&A” by Henry Bromell, Homeland

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

“Episode 209″ by Jeffrey Klarik, Episodes
“Daddy’s Girlfriend (Part 1)” by Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon, Louie
“Finale” by Greg Daniels, The Office
“Hogcock!” by Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock, 30 Rock
“Last Lunch” by Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield, 30 Rock

Lead Actor in a TV Miniseries or Movie

Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra
Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
Toby Jones, The Girl
Benedict Cumberbatch, Parade’s End
Al Pacino, Phil Spector

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie

Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals
Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake