Orphan Black Season 1 Review

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Up until last week I hadn’t seen Orphan Black and knew next to nothing about it. But I kept hearing more and more buzz surrounding this show and Tatiana Maslany’s performance, so I finally gave in. It didn’t take me long to get hooked, the story line is completely engrossing. Normally, I go full spoilers on season reviews but I’m going to hold back on them because this is about trying to get more people to watch this really cool show.

Maslany plays Sarah, a scrappy ex-foster kid, a British ex-pat twenty-something who at the beginning of the season is trying to get her life together by reuniting with her young daughter. Sarah encounters a woman named Beth in a New York train station who looks a lot like her. But before Sarah can approach her to get answers, the woman throws herself in front of a train. Sarah’s first thought is to steal the dead woman’s identity, but as she tries to become Beth, she uncovers a terrible secret. She soon finds herself deep in a conspiracy from which she cannot escape. That’s all I can say without spoiling most of the show.

The show is very well written and each episode has a good pace to them. All of the episodes bleed effortlessly from one into the other, slowly revealing more and more of the massive conspiracy. After every episode ends, I feel like I need to watch the next one immediately (which I did for the most part) Sure, we’ve seen the whole identity-crisis story before. Orphan Black is different because it has an added layer of conspiracy and danger. Not only is Sarah trying to convince everyone that she’s Beth, but she’s also trying to figure out why Beth looks like her.

Orphan Black has a lot of great things going for it but the main reason everyone should watch this show is Tatiana Maslany. Without spoiling too much, Maslany plays at least six different characters, and every single one is flawlessly and completely unique. She transforms herself into these characters so well that you completely forget about the fact that you’re watching the same actor playing all these parts. Damon Lindelof, the co-creator of Lost, said during an interview a few weeks ago: “You could stick an episode in front of somebody who was uninitiated and say, ‘This role is actually performed by these triplets.’ And they would believe you. It’s easier to believe they’re super talented triplets than it is that it’s just one person.” I couldn’t of said it any better myself, she is truly excellent.

The season is only ten episodes, so there isn’t a huge commitment to catch up. I watched it all in a week and I sort of wished I hadn’t, simply because I have to wait so long until it comes back next string! I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NOW!!  8.5/10

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