Notable TV roles: Several clones, Orphan Black (BBC America)
The buzziest new show of the TV season has a premise that calls for an actress capable of intense heavy lifting. Orphan Black went with a relative unknown, and the result is one of the most surprising performances of the year. Plenty of actors have pulled double duty playing twins, doppelgangers, or in this case, clonesâ€”but Maslany played seven on the first season of this upstart. That she's able to give each and every one a distinct personality is remarkable, and as the show gains more popularity, so will she. This is the show your geeky friend (read: us) has been telling you to check out for the past few months. Hop on the bandwagon.