Allow me to make one thing clear: I usually give a show that’s new to me at least 3 episodes to hook me in. And while I’ve only seen the first 2 episodes of “Orphan Black,” I was immediately hooked from the first one. I had planned to hold off blogging on this until I watched the third episode as per my rule, but I’ve been fighting a cold for a week now and just don’t feel in the mood. However, given my immediate interest in the show, I think that can be forgiven.
Now, as for the show itself, I’ll give a brief rundown. “Orphan Black” began a year ago and has one season under its belt with a second on the way this April. Made in Canada and set in it as well, it follows English con artist Sarah Manning. From the start, we learn about her ex-boyfriend Vic, her best friend/foster brother Felix, and her daughter Kira. After witnessing the suicide of someone who looks just like her, Sarah schemes to take the woman’s identity and gain access to her funds to help pay off some old debts while also faking her own death. The plan goes awry, however, when she discovers the woman, Beth, was a detective. Soon Sarah finds herself trying to juggle Beth’s life and get the money while also getting caught up in a bizarre mystery surrounding other women who look exactly like her.
Essentially, this is a sci-fi thriller type of show that involves cloning. While it’s outright stated in the third episode (even in the preview!), I knew about the cloning going in as it’s what drew me to the show. From the premiere, the show kicks into gear and doesn’t stop. You get to take enough time to get to know the main characters, and the two “plots” (Beth’s life and the clones) get their fair share of screen time. Given that these are your typical 45-minute episodes, I haven’t once felt bored or uninterested by the pacing.
A lot of that can also be attributed to the characters being interesting. Sarah has PLENTY of room for growth as she treads that line between likability and unlikability. Felix is essentially the one with common sense, even when he has to put up with a drunk Vic coming around his place. Despite all the bad things said about Vic, he actually is kinda hard to hate (at least for now) because of his distress over losing Sarah. And I have to give props to main actress Tatiana Maslany for pulling off convincing performances so far of Sarah and her clones.
Ultimately, this feels like a show that would be home among the best programs on the BBC (and is for you American viewers). It still boggles my mind that it comes from my home country, as we’ve had so much of our programming come from the States that it’s hard to tell nowadays. I’m hopeful “Orphan Black” continues to keep me invested and plan to finish season 1 before I decide if season 2 is worth jumping into. If a show that combines cloning and police thriller elements sounds fun to you, give it a watch.