After Tatiana Maslany’s shocking win over the likes of Claire Danes (Homeland), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), and Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards, I felt the need to watch her performance in Orphan Black. What I found, however, left me less than impressed.
The BBC America produced, sci-fi drama follows Sarah Manning (Maslany), a streetwise hustler, who so happens to catch a glimpse at a woman who appears to be her twin just before she jumps in front of a train. Thinking she can leave her troubled past and abusive relationship, Manning decides to steal this woman’s identity, becoming Elizabeth Childs. The conflict? Childs is a cop.
As the episodes go on, we come to learn that Manning is one of eight-or-so clones, and her creator is killing them off one-by-one.
Sure, Maslany is tasked with developing a host of accents, postures, and demeanors to differentiate the clones, but all of the characters are very one-dimensional. The “uptight soccer mom” clone is just an uptight soccer mom. The “German” clone is just German. And the “lab geek” clone is basically just a rip off of Abby from NCIS.
I think the leading factor in my dislike for this show is that it’s a British show. So far in my nineteen years of existence, I’ve had a hard time stomaching a show from across the pond. I’ve tried The Office (U.K.) with very little success, followed by Torchwood, which justified my dislike for British television even more. The only two exceptions I’ve made are Downton Abbey and Sherlock – but who wouldn’t?
Who knows – maybe I’ll give Orphan Black another chance once my Instant Queue has been depleted. But, for now, it’s a drop.