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Tatiana Maslany, 'Orphan Black'
Nomination Status: Right on the edge, once again. I think she makes it. Barely.
In Her Favor: In last year's Contenders Gallery, I had Tatiana Maslany at No.8 and I felt like BBC America began its push just a hair too late. On the eve of the nominations, I was at 50-50 and I *think* I was telling people the night before that I expected a nomination? Well, I was wrong. Maslany did win the TCA Award, as I predicted, and she was nominated for a Golden Globe, which I predicted, but she lost the Golden Globe, messing with my, "If she gets nominated for an award, she'll win, because people will have to actually see what she's doing" theory. Well, guess what? In Season 2, Maslany is back to doing some of the finest dramatic work on television. She's added new clones, including at least one of the oddest clones to date. And while "Orphan Back" has made a concerted effort to push her limits to the extreme, I don't think she's failed at anything yet. We all have our favorite clones -- For me, it's Alison and Helena, by a growing margin -- and the show is becoming more and more aware of what the audience likes watching Maslany do and catering to fans. After sneaking onto the stage last spring, the Season 2 "Orphan Black" premiere had a fair amount of hype and with Maslany's excellence, I've always felt that exposure was essential.
Working Against Her: For all of that hype? Ratings for "Orphan Black" are pretty miniscule. Absurdly low, really, if you exist in the sort of echo chamber that I do and you become convinced that it's a hit and then you see that under 600,000 viewers are watching live on Saturdays. The only think working against Maslany is people still not having a clue who she is. And while I think more people know her than last year at this time, it'd be wrong to think she has any mainstream visibility at all.