I hope you all get BBC America. If so, you need to jump all over this suggestion I’m about to give you. In my opinion, the most entertaining show on television today is broadcast on that network. Please, do your brain a favor, and add Orphan Black to your DVR’s recording list.
Orphan Black stars Tatiana Maslany as Sarah, Alison, Beth, Cosima, Helena, Tony, Katya, Rachel, and Jennifer. No, that is not a misprint. I didn’t forget to add more actors. Maslany plays all of them. The show is about human clones, and Maslany performs each one so differently that you often forget that it is the same actress in all these different roles. Not only do they each act differently, they all have their own distinct speaking voice. I don’t know how she has been ignored by the Emmys during the first two seasons of the show. I don’t believe there is anyone doing a stronger acting performance on television right now.
In the show’s first episode, Sarah Manning witnesses a girl that looks exactly like her commit suicide right before her eyes. She does what any drifter would do and steals her identity. From there, the flood gates open as more and more versions of Sarah appear. Sisterhood is formed between some of the clones, while one in particular becomes a brutal enemy. The girls try to figure out the mystery of their origins, try to stop someone from killing them off, and discover the friends or family members that were placed in their lives to watch and report on them.
This show is mostly a sci-fi drama, for sure, but don’t expect to get through an episode without laughing. The situations these characters find themselves in are absolutely ridiculous, including several instances where the clones pretend to be each other. For instance, there is one episode where Sarah pretends to be Alison at a party at Alison’s house after Alison ties her husband to a chair, tortures him, and passes out drunk.
The program has an excellent supporting cast to go along with Maslany. Jordan Gavaris plays Sarah’s foster brother Felix Dawkins, who brings a lot of humor to the show. He also adds such an emotional performance to Felix that everyone would wish they had a friend/brother to have their back such as him. Dylan Bruce plays Paul Dierden, who was dating Beth - the clone that committed suicide. When Sarah takes Beth’s place she also takes over as Paul’s girlfriend, which leads to some interesting episodes. Kevin Hanchard, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and Evelyne Brochu round out the main cast.
You will have a good time picking out your favorite clone, whether it is the punk street drifter, the suburban soccer mom, the lesbian hippy scientist, the crazy Russian, the transgender, or the pompous corporate executive. Every single one of these characters is unique and has their own attractive qualities. You may even find yourself debating who the “hottest clone” is.
Season three of Orphan Black premieres Saturday, April 18th on BBC America. That means you have about three weeks to get caught up on the first two seasons (ten episodes each) on Amazon Prime, Netflix (mail order rental only), iTunes, Xbox Live, Google Play, Playstation Network, and VUDU. I promise you will thank me after.
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