GeekOut: Orphan Black
DareDevil is on Netflix! I really want to watch it, but I have to wait for a friend so that we can binge watch it over the weekend. Annoying friend.
Let’s talk about an underrated show this week.
Orphan Black is a science fiction TV series that premiered back in 2013. So far the series has aired two seasons with the third premiering next weekend, April 18. I didn’t know much about the show until my aunt recommended it to me during one of our “what you been watching” phone calls. Anything my aunt recommends I usually like and Orphan Black was no different. I caught up on the show using on-demand and quickly got my mom into it. From there I haven’t looked back. The premise of the show, which is about the lives of various clones, instantly captured my attention. The show follows Sarah, the primary clone, and how her normal life is upended by the revelation that she is a clone.
Actress Tatiana Maslany is superb. She has the tough job of portraying 8 different but similar characters throughout the shows first two seasons. Each clone has their own distinct personalities, but in the end they are all trying to figure out the same thing, why they were created. Her acting range is constantly on display and the fact that she makes them so distinct is amazing. For example, Sarah is a survivor. She comes from a broken home and grew up in the rough streets of London. She’s a con-man at heart, but it’s mostly so that she can provide for her daughter. On the flip side though Maslany has to portray, Helena. Helena is a damaged character. She was taken in by a religious cult known as the Proletheans and they warped her mind into having her believe that she is the original out of all the clones. With a bit of pushing from the Proletheans, Helena becomes an assassin that kills her clone sisters. Orphan Black lives on the performance of Maslany and right now the show is alive and kicking. She brings her best to each and every clone and the fact that she is snubbed from the Emmys is a crime.
The show’s supporting cast is just as great. Felix, who is played by Jordan Gavaris brings the shows comedy in spades which helps keep the show balanced. Dylan Bruce plays Paul, the boyfriend of one of the clones, and he does a good job as well. Paul’s a mystery for the majority of the first two seasons and where his allegiance lies is always in question. Two other standouts from the shows supporting cast are Michael Mando’s Vic and Skyler Wexler’s Kira. Vic is Sarah’s ex-boyfriend and is downright hilarious especially when he’s on the screen with Felix. Mando plays the character well, achieving the perfect balance of humor and drama. Kira is Sarah’s young daughter and Skyler Wexler is great in the role. It isn’t major role initially, but her character becomes central to the shows plot and she escapes being annoying like how most kid characters are in TV shows. I’m looking at you Henry from Once Upon a Time.
Orphan Black is a great show, but I wish that it could get more exposure. That’s why I’m writing about it. It’s on BBC America which I believe is a perfect home for the show. It fits with the channels programming and the success of Dr. Who in the United States has more people watching the network. Honestly, BBC America should market this show as strongly it does Dr. Who. Combined the two can provide the network more viewers as they’re both strong science fiction shows. BBC America is what the Sci-Fi channel should be, but that’s an argument for another day. Orphan Black isn’t for everyone, but I highly recommend that anyone reading this to give the show a chance.