Jamie Harsip & Whitney Pierce
Content Editor & Staff Writer
You’ve probably heard of the TV show Orphan Black. If you’re like me you probably assumed it was some kind of goth, vampire-y, horror TV show. Those do seem to be in vogue now, don’t they?
Well, my friends, that is so not the case. The title Orphan Black refers to the show’s lead character, Sarah Manning, who was an orphan who was undocumented (or “in the black”). But even that doesn’t tell audiences what this show is all about. Sarah Manning isn’t just your average orphan – she’s an illegal human clone…and she’s not the only one. I don’t want to give too much away, but we’ve compiled a list of five reasons why you should start watching Orphan Black.
5. The Fandom
So maybe this one isn’t a reason to watch Orphan Black, but it’s still a really great benefit of watching the show. I’m talking about this fandom. Being a part of any fandom, for the most part, is great…even through the ups and downs. Right now, the coolest part about this fandom is the fact that we’re just getting started – and don’t lie, you know you love being able to say you watched a show before it was cool. This show premiered on BBC America right after Doctor Who, which obviously couldn’t hurt its chances. Thanks to the show actually being amazing on it’s own, plus the fans, it was renewed before the season had even ended! The show has spread so much in popularity, mostly due to word of mouth via social media, that they will be having their first panel at Comic Con in San Diego this year! It just feels really great to be a part of it all and to see a show that is very high quality do well and know that you helped in that. As a matter of fact, the panel is so highly anticipated that Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black’s leading lady, made it onto the cover of this year’s EW Comic Con issue!
Felix is awesome; so snarky, street-smart, and yeah…kind of weirdly attractive. He’s like the honey badger – he don’t give a f*&*! Felix is Sarah’s best friend and foster brother, and their relationship is fantastic. He’s not afraid to call Sarah on her bullshit and she’s not afraid to come to him with her problems. Felix is down for whatever, and he’s loyal to a fault. He’s a hilarious, original, and endearing character, whose one-liners make audiences laugh even during the most stressful scenes.
3. Sci-Fi Show…That Stars A Woman!
Um, a female protagonist in a sci-fi TV show…really, does it get any better than that? Not only are we short on decent sci-fi television, but female-led TV shows are also scarcer than they should be. Combining them both into one makes for a show that I can’t help but be loyal to! It helps that, while she is super attractive and there are a couple of sex scenes, any romantic plot stays strictly on the back burner. How refreshing! A female-centric, action-oriented, science fiction thriller of a TV show – it’s exactly what I’ve always wanted but have never been able to articulate!
2. Production Value
The people behind the scenes deserve one hell of an applause as well. Let’s start with the makeup and costume crew. Tatiana’s brilliant acting is only half of why the characters are so amazing and seem so different (we’ll get to that in a minute, though). The other half is because of the makeup and costume crews. They are responsible for the physical appearances of all of our favorite clones, and somehow they’re magically able to give these separate characters such distinct styles to reflect their individualities that it’s easy to forget that one actress plays them all. I’d also like to personally thank them for Felix’s wardrobe as well. Perfection. Next, I’d say the effects department, plus the double they used for Tatiana. That stand in is a pretty huge part of having more than one clone in the same shot. Take that and add in the effects team that puts it all together and makes it look like there are actually three Tatiana’s in the room? Absolutely amazing.
1. Tatiana Maslany
Tatiana Maslany. You should watch Orphan Black because of Tatiana Maslany, if not for other reasons. This woman is one hell of an actress, my friends. In this season she played seven different characters, three of which were heavily featured and shared scenes with one another. Though she had to film on different days for each character, she would have had to memorize seven different parts for those characters and be able to differentiate through the personalities to successfully deliver them. Then on top of that, while filming the scenes, she had to film each character at a time and perfectly time her delivery of the lines in order for it to look like she was talking to another clone in the final cut. I mean, come on, if that doesn’t scream talent then I quit. And that’s not all – these are characters from all over the world. Maslany mastered two English accents, a German accent, and an Ukranian accent – plus various dialogue inflections that helped create personas for the characters speaking plain old American English. And not only that, but Maslany also does a convincing Brit-pretending-to-be-German and Ukranian-pretending-to-be-British accents. She also manages to one-up Robert Downey, Jr., by being the chick playing the chick disguised as another chick who is disguised as a third chick. There is a reason Tatiana Maslany received the Critic’s Choice Award for her work on Orphan Black.