Is the TV Academy finally warming to genre series?

Last week’s Emmy nominations are so chock full of science fiction, fantasy, and horror shows that even the most ardent fans are almost satisfied. (Because, hey, they we can never be happy no matter what, right?)

It’s so obvious that even the very earthbound Los Angeles Times has noticed. Will genre-love be the wave of television’s future?

Tatiana Masiany is recognized at last!
Tatiana Masiany is recognized at last!

by Meredith Blake

Amid the usual cries of snub that followed Thursday’s Emmys nominations announcement — where was “Empire” or “Jane the Virgin”? — were some audible sighs of relief. Finally, Tatiana Maslany had been nominated for her virtuoso performance on “Orphan Black,” a possibility most fans and even the most optimistic prognosticators had written off after back-to-back snubs by the TV Academy.

In the inventive drama about a streetwise young woman who discovers she’s the result of a top-secret cloning experiment, Maslany plays something like 10 different characters (depending on how you count), each with wildly different accents, mannerisms and personalities. Though she’s assisted by a fantastic wig collection, Maslany gives the kind of obviously dazzling performance you’d think even stodgy Emmy voters could understand.

So what took them so long to come around? Though it eludes easy categorization, “Orphan Black” is, at least broadly speaking, science fiction, a genre that tends to attract rabid fans but little awards recognition.  The list of sc-fi, fantasy and horror shows slighted by the TV Academy includes “Battlestar Galactica” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”; even “The X Files,” though honored for its writing and acting, never won the series crown.

“Game of Thrones” is consistently one of the most-nominated series at the Emmys, but its wins — outside of an Emmy for supporting actor Peter Dinklage in 2011 — have largely been relegated to technical categories, an outcome consistent with the academy’s “cool costumes, but we’ll never take you seriously” attitude to anything with a whiff of geekery about it. And even though unlike many of its drama rivals, it’s both a huge ratings hit and — until this season, anyway — a critical darling, “Game of Thrones” has never taken the series title.

Read it all at L.A. Times