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Geekdom wins at the 2016 Emmy Awards

Tatiana Maslany and Rami Malek with their Emmy Awards.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

It’s a good time for nerd TV, and it looks like the Emmy Awards are finally catching on.

“Game of Thrones” was once again crowned best drama series Sunday night, and its second consecutive win in the category cemented its place in Emmys history. Combined with the wins the series earned in the writing and directing for a drama series categories, HBO’s fantasy epic has tallied 38 total Emmy Awards, more than any other drama or comedy series ever (the previous record was 37 awards held by “Frasier”).

While this was only “Game of Thrones’” second drama series win, the television academy bestowing honors to the series is nothing new at this point. But this year the Emmys spread its love to contemporary genre shows that don’t even have dragons.

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Tatiana Maslany (finally) won the Emmy for lead actress in a drama series, an honor many “Orphan Black” fans felt was long overdue. Maslany’s many performances are the highlight of BBC America’s sci-fi thriller about clones, which has been praised for its exploration of the complexities of female autonomy, agency and identity. Her characters range from an uptight soccer mom with substance abuse issues to a trained assassin raised by religious fundamentalists (and those are just the main characters).

Rami Malek of “Mr. Robot” was the winner in the lead actor in a drama series category. Malek plays a cybersecurity engineer who struggles with social anxiety and clinical depression. And while a series about a cybervigilante who finds community amongst a group of hack-happy anarchists may not seem particularly science fiction, Malek’s character’s imaginary ally is an actual character viewers can see him interact with — which does distinguish “Mr. Robot” from other dramatic thrillers.

It wasn’t just the dramatic categories that notched victories for genre fans — Kate McKinnon’s win for supporting actress in a comedy was a definite highlight for fans who have watched the actress’ journey from wee Fitzwilliam to Jillian Holtzmann.

In the TV movie category, geek fan-favorite “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride” beat out the two HBO nominees in the category, including the adaptation of the Tony Award-winning “All the Way.”

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Then there was “Key & Peele’s” win in the variety sketch show category. While the show on paper may not seem like your average genre fare, stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele waved their geek flags proudly in many sketches that spoofed alien invasion, vampires, “Game of Thrones” fans and even “Star Wars.”

Let’s hear it for pop culture.

tracy.brown@latimes.com

Twitter: @tracycbrown

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