For all the verbiage and hand wringing sure to arise in the wake of the 2015 Emmy Award nominees' announcement Thursday, Tatiana Maslany's inclusion in the lead actress drama series category is an undeniable case of the Television Academy finally getting it right.
Maslany, a critical darling for her portrayal of multiple clones in the cult BBC America series "Orphan Black" has never received an Emmy nod until now. On a weekly basis Maslany delivers five different characters with such seamless aplomb it's easy to forget you're watching the same actress sharing the screen with herself. If Emmy used a viewer-based voting system, it would be a safe bet Maslany's name would be called when the envelope is opened on September 20.
"Game of Thrones" leads the nominations with 24, including a nod in the outstanding drama series race for which the HBO fantasy series has yet to secure a win. Major snubs in this category went to the biggest show on broadcast "Empire," as well as the excellent "The Americans," while "The Missing" was sadly missing. The finale seasons of "The Newsroom," "Sons of Anarchy" and the always-solid "Justified" were left out in the cold, along with Golden Globe drama series winner "The Affair." And in what appears to have become an annual tradition with the Academy, "The Walking Dead" once again failed to get any serious recognition.
The laughs stopped for viewer favorite "The Big Bang Theory," which found itself sidelined in the outstanding comedy series race. Newcomers "Transparent" and "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" got well-deserved nods, as did the standout finale season of "Parks and Recreation." But the shutout of "Jane the Virgin" – a critical and audience fave – is a glaring omission. Other notable titles not in the running here include "Grace & Frankie" and "Black-ish."
Gina Rodriguez, the lead actress in "Jane the Virgin," has been awarded a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award for her portrayal, but there's no chance of adding an Emmy to that haul. At least not in 2015. Rodriguez didn't make the cut but finds herself in good company alongside Jane Fonda, who was passed over for a nomination in favor of her "Grace & Frankie" costar Lily Tomlin, and though "Kimmy Schmidt" got a series nomination, star Ellie Kemper's name failed to appear in the acting race.
On the plus side it's great to see Amy Schumer's name in contention for lead actress comedy for her work on "Inside Amy Schumer," as well as Lisa Kudrow for "The Comeback."
Funnyman and previous Emmy winner Jim Parsons suffered the same fate as his series "The Big Bang Theory." This omission is particularly baffling when taking in to account Parsons has won the statuette a record-tying four times for his role as the lovably awkward physicist Sheldon Cooper.
Jeffrey Tambor deservedly enters the race for his lead role in "Transparent," as does Anthony Anderson for "Black-ish," and a surprise, though deserved inclusion is Will Forte for his first season work on "The Last Man on Earth."
The drama acting categories delivered just that, a whole lot of drama: Two-time Emmy nominee Kerry Washington is a shutout for "Scandal," as is two-time Emmy winner Julianna Margulies for her continuing role in "The Good Wife" (which also failed to get a drama series nod). Maslany finally made the cut, along with Viola Davis for "How to Get Away With Murder," and fellow newbie Taraji P. Henson who rightfully joins the list for "Empire."
Though Henson's inclusion was expected, not only did "Empire" fail to make the list in the drama race but series male lead Terrence Howard is non-starter in dramatic acting competition. Not a surprise, Twitter was quick to voice outrage over the snub.
The 67th Emmy Awards, hosted by Andy Samberg, will air live on September 20 on the Fox Network.