My Short-Lived Run with ORPHAN BLACK

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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.

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4 thoughts on “My Short-Lived Run with ORPHAN BLACK

  1. Hi there. It’s actually a Canadian production, distributed by the BBC. Maybe you thought it was British because the Canadian actors do such a good job at the Brit accents 🙂 You should give it another go when you’re bored. I thought it was the best new show I’ve seen this year.

    Natalie.

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    • Oooh, I didn’t know it was Canadian. I usually like sci-fi shows (Heroes was one of my favorites) but I felt like Sarah was too blasé about being a clone… it seemed like to she went too far too fast.

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      • I think I know what you mean about it being like a British show, but it gets more ‘American” feeling as it goes on – if that’s what you prefer lol. I kinda felt like it was an idie show, maybe not too big a budget, so I forgave it for a few things. I also know what you mean about the too far too fast, but I guess it’s entertainment and they want to grab the audience’s attention. Anyway, there’s plenty out there for everyone 🙂

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  2. Some characters are more developed than others, but I wouldn’t be so quick to write-off any of them of as typical. It’s just like meeting people in real life, once you dig deeper and get to know them outside of just how they portray themselves on the surface, you’ll find something much more compelling, and perhaps not what you expected.

    As for Torchwood, depending on what season you watched, your results may vary greatly. Nearly everything about the show changed in the last two seasons. It is clear watching the earlier seasons that they didn’t quite know exactly what they wanted the show to be.

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