Spotlight on TV: Orphan Black

Orphan Black
I’m cheating! I’m straying from the Broadway world to talk about television! Gasp!

It’s true though, I can’t help myself: I watch a lot of television. I learn just as much from good TV as I do from live theatre nowadays. We are in a day and age of some excellent TV right now. Ten years ago people talked about movies: “What have you seen? What should I go see? What’s not to be missed?” But now? We talk TV. Catching up with a friend? I guarantee you’ll cover your new show obsession, whether it’s Breaking Bad, Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards, Veep, The Good Wife, Louie, Parks and Recreation. I could keep listing. The options out there are endless…as is my To-Watch list. It’s getting longer by the second, and I can’t keep up.

What often happens is I find out about another show and get distracted from what I’m already in the middle of. At the moment, I’m particularly fond of easy binge shows (aka fewer episodes in a season), because then I know I can catch up faster. This brings me to Orphan Black.

(Forgive me if you’ve already heard this spiel from me before when this was the only thing I was talking about a few months ago.)

I found out about Orphan Black on tumblr of all places. I saw a video of a woman winning the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series over Claire Danes. Now, I haven’t watched Homeland (I know, I know, it’s on my list), but Claire wins everything. I know that much. So for this new chick to win and to see the folks in the audience looking around in surprise, I knew this was something I wanted to pay attention to.

Orphan Black is on BBC America. Season 1 aired last spring (10 episodes), and I don’t know if a show has ever gotten so much buzz months after its season finale. Unfortunately there was not enough buzz to get Tatiana Maslany the Emmy nod she deserved, but she did just get a Golden Globe nomination a couple weeks ago!

This series is a weird mix of drama, sci-fi, dark comedy, and action. What you really need to know though is that it’s about clones. I want to share more, but I think it’s more exciting to find out about the twists and plot developments as you watch. Not into the sci-fi genre? That’s okay. The reason to watch the show is Tatiana Maslany. She plays the protagonist, Sarah Manning, and you know, some clones. What’s brilliant is that each clone is a completely new and nuanced character. Maslany absolutely transforms. Sure it helps with different hair and clothing, but even with the external stuff aside, she fully becomes the other clones. Maslany shifts her physicality, energy, accent, and even where her voice sits in her register. It’s mesmerizing to watch. And I’m not lying when I say there have been multiple occasions when I have looked at the credits trying to see who played a certain clone.

I know everyone is swamped with life and all that, but if you find yourself snowed in or hibernating some random weekend this winter, I recommend a good ol’ fashioned Orphan Black binge, and then together we can freak out during Season 2 (premiering April 19th).

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One Comment on “Spotlight on TV: Orphan Black”

  1. courtney says:

    okay i’m in. can’t wait to watch!


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