This year’s Emmys had some big wins for sci-fi and fantasy. This is monumental because it shows that these genres are now being taken seriously, and no longer perceived as substandard. For so long, they have been viewed as fluff genres, lacking of any substance, when in truth, sci-fi and fantasy are often used to reflect upon social and political issues impacting the world we live in. In a sense, society has viewed sci-fi and fantasy in the same way as the Game of Thrones world, Westeros, has viewed those they refer to as “bastard children,” like Jon Snow. But just like Jon Snow, sci-fi and fantasy rose to the top in several big categories at this year’s (2016) Emmys, and was nominated in many others, showing the world that some of the best TV shows and movies are in these genres.
Here’s a list of some of the best moments at the 68th Annual Emmy Awards for sci-fi and fantasy:
- Tatiana Maslany Wins Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
This has been a long awaited and very much deserved win for Maslany. Not only did she ingeniously bring to life the main character, Sarah Manning, she put as much hard work and talent into breathing life into the other sister-clones. In Orphan Black, Maslany takes on the roles of a variety of Leda clones, each with their own widely diverse personality. She’s been so masterful in creating nuanced and distinct body language and facial expressions for each character, that you’d sometimes forget that it’s only Maslany playing these roles, and not 14 different actresses. Since the clones were spread throughout different countries, Maslany had to adapt a different accent for some of the characters. For example, Sarah Manning spent her early days in an English orphanage but grew up in Canada, Helena was raised in a Russian church, and Cosima Niehaus spent most of her early life in San Francisco, California. How does she keep all those accents straight?
In her acceptance speech, she states, “I feel so lucky to be on a show that puts women at the center. Thank you so much to the Academy. Thank you.”
- Game of Thrones Wins Huge!
Game of Thrones takes the iron throne for winning the most Emmy awards for any fictional series. They were honored with 12 awards during the 68th Annual Emmys ceremony, bringing up their score to 38. Creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were honored for the writing of their script for the show’s ninth episode (in the sixth season), “Battle of the Bastards.” Miguel Spochnik won an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for this episode as well. Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams, Peter Dinklage, and Kit Harington received Emmy nominations for their acting. But the biggest achievement was that they won Outstanding Drama Series for the 2nd year in a row.
- Rami Malek wins Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Malek plays a young, anti-social computer programmer named Elliot in the psychological thriller TV series, Mr. Robot. Malek’s win is not just a step forward for genre-based television, but for the diversification of Hollywood. He’s the first non-white actor to win this category since 1998. Malek is an American-Egyptian actor whose parents emigrated here. His father worked door-to-door selling insurance, and his mother took 3 buses to get to work everyday while she was pregnant with him and his brother. His parents made these sacrifices in order to give their children the best opportunity in life. Sam Esmail, the show’s creator, is also of Egyptian descent.
In his backstage speech, Malek says, “For me to stand here as not the typical leading man, and to come home with this speaks a lot about where we’re headed, and I think we can just keep going further in that direction. Obviously not just limited to entertainment, but socially and politically to continue to strive to be as progressive as possible.”
Jimmy Kimmel does a skit in which he’s running late to host the Emmy Awards show. On his way, he receives rides from a variety of characters from different TV shows, but unfortunately, it doesn’t look like he’s going to make it there. Just when he’s at his lowest point, guess who successfully gets him to the show on time? Let’s just say, a dragon makes an epic appearance. If you don’t want to watch the whole video below, skip to about 4:35 to see the best part. Dracarys!