If you follow me on Twitter, you may know that the show Orphan Black (BBC America) is one of my lastest obsessions (unless you muted me, in which case, I understand -- I talk a lot).
As a fan of shows like Sherlock and Doctor Who, I hear whispers of new BBC-related shows every now and again. Sometimes they're more like stage whispers. Inches from my face.
I kept hearing about Orphan Black, and as the title sounds terrifying, I didn't think I would like it. My husband wanted to give it a shot, so I committed to watching one episode on the condition that we would turn it off if it got too scary (usually a condition in our household).
Y'all. That pilot.
I had no idea what the show was about. Zero concept. I just blindly watched the first episode -- and it won me over immediately. So here are some reasons you should be watching Orphan Black:
1) The concept. The basic premise is that a woman stumbles upon the fact that she is one of who-knows-how-many clones by meeting people that look exactly like her. Only with different hair, personalities, and lifestyles. And they’re being killed, one way or another. It’s a very interesting concept to me. Here they are, 28-ish years after the experiment, trying to piece together who cloned them, why, and why/if they are in danger.
2) Tatiana freaking Maslany. I mean, you guys. She plays about 8 characters so far — they’re clones, remember — and I literally forget it is the same person. I was watching an interview with a few of the cast members, and the host asked one of the love interests and, assumably, the person who plays the other character, about the chemistry between the two. I actually had the thought, “wait, but she’s not there…” and then Tatiana Maslany started talking, and I remembered she plays the character. Like every other character. She is insanely talented. Plus, the way they make it so seamless as she acts in a scene with THREE of herself, and even touches them or hugs them, is just ridiculous.
3) The characters in the show are round, not flat. They’re all complex. They have good and bad within them — they’re all flawed. Some you root for more than others, obviously, but they all make terrible decisions in one way or another, even if they’re protagonists. You also never know whose side the secondary characters are on. Are they trying to protect the clones? Are they being forced to do something against their will? Are they lying to pretend they know nothing about the experiment or were they in on it all along? It’s almost impossible to know with most of the characters, and I love it. They aren’t aligned as “good” or “bad.” Everyone has their own individual agenda and goals, and they don’t always fit nicely into one side or the other, which makes it even more exciting.
4) The cliffhangers -- but not like, in a Scandal sort of way. In fact, I think this show could easily beat up Scandal in a fight. Which is why I have all but abandoned Scandal altogether a few episodes into season 3 (there's only so much quivering and idiot Fitz I can handle). This is why you will watch the first season (10 episodes) in less than a week. I mean, unless you have a life, I guess. Almost every aspect that’s revealed leads to more questions. The show isn’t hard to follow, but you do have to pay attention. You’ll be reworking the episode in your head the next morning trying to sort through all the new information. I think if you wake up thinking about it the next morning, it’s usually a good show.
5) Thrilling, but not too scary or depressing. There are definitely moments that will have you biting your nails, but nothing is so intense you won’t be able to sleep. It’s a fine line, and I have to walk it delicately or I’ll be up for days.
In conclusion, just watch the pilot. If you’re not hooked then, I don’t know what to tell you, because I was hooked within the first three minutes. The first season is on Amazon Prime, and the second season is airing now on BBC America. (We DVR’d a marathon on BBC America to watch season 1, so that might also be an option for you if there is one coming up.)
Do it, you guys. TATIANA MASLANY. (Just watch an interview with her and you'll want to be her best friend. Plus she was in a Lonely Island digital short this past week, too. I mean, come on.)
Have you watched Orphan Black? If so, what do you think? If not, what’s your latest TV obsession?