The Horror Honeys: Why You Should Watch Orphan Black If You Aren’t Already

Why You Should Watch Orphan Black If You Aren’t Already

A Sci-Fi Honey TV rave

Orphan Black

So I had been hearing good things about this TV series, Orphan Black (airing on BBC America), but had never actually gotten around to watching it. I had it PVR’d and everything, just sitting there. But did I watch it? No. I had so many things I’d rather watch, and this series never made it to the top of the list. Finally I got sick last weekend and had nothing to do, and my Person suggested that I should really watch this, that he loved the first couple of episodes.

I grumpily said fine, I’ll watch the stupid thing. I hadn’t been impressed by commercials for it, but had heard the acting was good. Sick and grumpy, I hit play, planning to just sleep through it.

Holy shit, this show is amazing. For reals.

For those who don’t know, Orphan Black is a joint Canadian/American Sci Fi TV series starring Tatiana Maslany as several identical women who are revealed to be clones. The series focuses on Sarah Manning, a long-time con woman who assumes the identity of a woman who looks exactly like her (who turns out to be a fellow clone), Elizabeth Childs, after the woman commits suicide in front of her.  Seeing how alike they look, Sarah steals the dead woman’s purse, and moves into Beth’s home, with Beth’s boyfriend, and (not on purpose) takes over Beth’s job.  She comes to quickly realize that Beth’s life is a LOT more complicated than she thought, and suddenly she’s caught up in danger and intrigue and HOLY SHIT THERE’S ANOTHER ONE WHO LOOKS LIKE HER! Her own life turns out to be not what she thought, as she and her fellow clones try to find where they came from and who is trying to hunt them down.

Let me tell you, this show moves like a juggernaut. I can’t remember when I have watched a show that has so much important stuff happen ALL THE TIME, it’s constant jeopardy for at least one of the clones, every episode. You think you know who the bad people are then you’re wrong, but OH WAIT maybe you were right! I seriously compulsively watched this series in three days and finished the season, all my non-working hours. I actually dreamed about it.

And Tatiana Maslany?  FUCKING AMAZING. She plays I think 10 clones by the end of the season, all completely different, sometimes sitting next to each other, once THREE IN A ROOM IN THE SAME SCREEN, and you can clearly tell them apart. And BTW, the effects to have the same person in the same shot with themselves has gotten really REALLY good when I wasn’t looking. They all have different accents and hair and mannerisms, all are completely convincing. I’ve never seen anything like it. This is not Alias. I liked Alias quite a bit actually, but Jennifer Garner’s skills at taking on identities paled compared to this.

The clone aspect is interesting, it touches on genetic engineering for altruistic reasons, genetic physical alterations (one guy is supposed to have grown a tail), what makes people different, who ‘owns’ a clone, are they people?  Really interesting. There is also nudity and ‘Adult subject matter’ that generally doesn’t seem too gratuitous, lots of people getting killed, tortured, I actually had to look away when a body part got chopped off at one point, I won’t say what. It’s occasionally very funny, the acting is overall great, even the kid.  The writing is excellent. The season finale is actually the only semi-weak episode, and it was still way better than most of what’s on television.

Orphan Black  is incredibly engaging TV, full of action and suspense and I seriously cannot WAIT until Season Two comes out. Oh yes, it’s renewed! Apparently sometimes TV execs make intelligent decisions, who knew??

The next season airs in 2014. Watch it. You won’t regret it.

Sci Fi Honey gives Orphan Black  4.5 CLONES OUT OF 5 !!