BBC America’s new show Orphan Black is about a girl (Sarah) who witnesses a woman who looks astonishingly like her committing suicide. Sarah decides to assume the dead girl’s identity, figuring it would be a quick in-and-out con; some free food, a place to crash for the night, maybe emptying a bank account or two. What she didn’t know that this woman didn’t only look like her, but was identical to her – in the most literal of ways. Turns out Sarah was one of many clones created by an unknown source who seems to be returning to “terminate” their experiment, one clone at a time.
Exciting, right? Well, if you need some more convincing, here are seven reasons you should be watching Orphan Black:
1. Tatiana Maslany
I don’t know where Tatiana Maslany has been all my life, but I’m so glad she’s here now. Not only is she fiercely attractive, but her acting ability is really put to the test in this show, where she plays many different characters. I’m talking completely different styles, backgrounds, accents, postures. And each is so very unique – you can even tell the difference between Sarah playing Beth and Beth playing Sarah. And three of the clones all have American accents, yet they all sound different. I often forget they’re played by the same actress and when it hits me, I nearly fall off my bed.
Honestly I could stop this list now because Tatiana is reason enough, but I have more to gush about.
Allison and Sarah
Sarah is fierce and feisty and funny. She has a killer fashion sense, including some of the most badass boots to ever exist, and I’m obsessed with her British accent. Especially the way she yells “oy!” when she’s annoyed. (Also she likes to walk around in just a rocker tee and underwear. Just saying.)
Sarah pretending to be Beth is also amazing because she tries so hard to have swagger, and she succeeds in small bursts but always fumbles a little. You can tell she’s uncomfortable in business attire and watching her run TOWARDS the bad guy when you could tell her instinct was to run FAR FAR AWAY is quite endearing.
Allison is a bitchy housewife but girlfriend has gall. She can handle a gun in a way you would never suspect someone who drives a minivan could and she would do anything to protect her kids. I am growing rather fond of her.
Cosima is quickly becoming my favorite Clone – it was love at first sight with the adorable glasses, dreads, nose piercing and tattoos, but she is prone to go into full-on, Lauren-Lewis-style geekout mode, and is often seen in her apartment surrounded by piles of books. She also has a bit of a queer vibe, but more on that later.
4. Mystery meets Humor
It’s been a good long while since I’ve seen a show that so delicately balances drama and comedy. It gets extremely stressful sometimes, but it never feels too heavy. The show doesn’t take itself TOO seriously, but it also doesn’t mess around. They sprinkle in jokes, sass and sarcasm at just the right moments. Even a dash of self-awareness here and there, especially when Sarah is muttering to herself.
Felix. Is. Hilarious. Silly, sassy, stylish, British, and gay. Does it get any better? He has found himself plucked from his world of blowing for blow and plopped down in the middle of this clone mystery and he thinks it’s just the strangest thing. Sometimes he’s a little annoyed he got dragged into it, but he makes his own fun by hitting on a mortician or getting Allison’s kids to dress in drag.
It seems the “penchant for tank tops” gene is definitely one all the clones share, and I am eternally grateful. But, no matter your favorite style, this show has you covered. Cosima has the nerd chic thing going on, Sarah goes from “punk rock ho” (the show’s words, not mine) to Beth’s “Jane Rizzoli” detective attire, and Allison has the pretty-in-pink suburban soccer mom thing down to a T.
7. Potential for Gayness
In the last episode, we learned that Beth’s boyfriend had actually been her “monitor” – someone sent by the powers that be to get close to the clones and occasionally submit them for secret experiments while they sleep. Allison suspects her husband might be one, too. Cosima doesn’t seem to have one yet, but in the most recent episode, she met a girl who had conveniently gotten her attention in the lab, then left behind a nearly perfect report card (aka nerd bait) that Cosima then returned to the French blonde woman, followed by a flirtatious conversation. In the preview for this week’s episode, they show a brief moment of Cosima and Frenchie kissing on the cheek while Cosima’s voiceover says, “Someone..wants to be..friends.” Now, it sounds a little spliced, and you know how preview-makers like to mess with our heads, but who knows, maybe we could get some sweet lady kisses someday!
What say you, gentlereaders? Will you check out Orphan Black?
(Tip: This page helped me figure out if I even got BBC America, and told me that I might even have it On Demand, which I did!)