Rewatch: “Orphan Black”

  

The great thing about re-watching a series before a new season begins isn’t that you can re-familiarize yourself with the many storylines that occurred, or that you can get excited for the new season. It’s more that you can become excited for the series as a whole. One could wonder if you’d even seen it before or not.

The BBC America and Temple Street Productions series “Orphan Black” was still just as engaging, exciting, and dramatic that I did feel as if I’d fallen in love with it all over again.

This sci-fi drama stars Tatiana Maslany (“Woman in Gold”, “Captain Canuck”), Dylan Bruce (“A Novel Romance”, “Petals on the Wind”), Jordan Gavaris (“Cracked”, “Unnatural History”), Kevin Hanchard (upcoming seasons “The Strain”, “Hemlock Grove”), Evelyne Brochu (upcominng “Pawn Sacrifice”, “X Company”), and Maria Doyle Kennedy (“Call the Midwife”, “Jupiter Ascending”). Michael Mando (“Better Call Saul”, “Elysium”) was a series regular in the first season, but downgraded to guest star for season two.

The series was created on by John Fawcett and Graeme Manson (“Being Erica”, “Endgame”).

The series began airing on March 30, 2013 and is slated to begin season three on April 18, 2015 on BBC America.

  

Maslany is the show. She’s the star. It’s not just because she’s billed first and plays the first main character introduced. No, she plays many characters with very different personalities and looks, that you’d think someone else was doing this acting. Think of what they did for “The Social Network” and the twins. It’s all her. She’s plays all the clones. Even the ones that don’t stick around for too long.

I won’t go into the many great things about the different characters she plays, mainly as that would take too long, but I will say this one thing; it’s hard to pick a favorite one. I just can’t. I’ve tried many times to think which clone I like the best or most, and I can never come up with a single one. Each one is just as amazing as the other ones we meet. What it comes down to, is the sheer abilities as an actress that Maslany has and the creativity from the writers. Take my word for it (hopefully you do) but when it comes to this show, the different characters and work Maslany puts in, should be enough to warrant at least one run through.

From a character standpoint, especially since she’s playing so many, and sometimes many in one episode, the way the show’s been created, has allowed each one to flourish. They’re not just there for quick moments to show that there are in fact multiple clones, but to have you, the viewer, become invested in their lives. I applaud the writers, creators, and Maslany for successfully doing this. This, again, is probably why I can’t pick a favorite clone. They’re so fleshed out, that picking one just won’t do. Then, you have to think about how each one interacts with the other. Going beyond a filming standpoint, the relationships with these identical, yet vastly different characters, is just as rewarding as discovering new pieces to the ever growing puzzle. If these base characters weren’t so well written and portrayed as they are, I’m sure this show would not have been able to last. The premise would’ve come apart quite easily.

The other actors that support Maslany, in various storytelling ways, including guest actors, are just as capable as she. They continue to bring many eccentric and mysterious characters to life, and that’s what makes this show worth it. These characters, along with Maslany, make for one helluva character driven show. While a strong majority of the show is about the smaller and overarching mysteries, it’s also about the various characters. They all have lives, many of which we come in on the middle of when the show starts.

Some of the characters like Bruce’s, Kennedy’s, Hanchard’s and Mando’s don’t seem to have much of a purpose beyond pushing the mysteries forward. Sure with Kennedy’s you’ve got a bit of a maternal aspect coming into play, but most of the time she’s barely on screen, and when she is, it’s to be mysterious. To keep secrets. Really what a lot of these characters offer has more to do with likability. You’ll either like a character, or you won’t. Mando’s character is primarily there to cause problems. There’s sometimes some good funny moments, but that mostly stems from a situation he gets himself into that goes wrong in some way.

The score for this series is unique. Seldom do I get excited about the score, regardless of type of score, but with this show, it’s hard not to. With that said, the question before me now is, how do I explain my thoughts about this score? I think the closest thing I can describe it as is being in the electronic genre. If you’ve seen “It Follows”, or “Tron: Legacy”, than you can pretty much get a close idea as to what I’m talking about. I’d say more with the latter film than the former. Either way, it fits perfectly with this series, and not just because I’m used to it even more now. The show is about science. It’s about cloning. It’s a drama too and a thriller. All these things rolled into one demands a unique score. This show’s composer(s)? really bring that. It definitely works well when it comes to the twists, turns and thriller aspects are needed. You’re forced right into the action, because of this score, from the very first episode.

If you were expecting a re-watch overview that included discussions of plot elements, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I had to grapple with this too for a bit and wound up deciding it’d be tricky if not outright impossible to pull off. It’s all in an attempt to avoid spoilers of any sort. Small or big. Trying to talk about most of the storylines is pretty much impossible, as there’s always something that could and shouldn’t be given away. You may not agree, but it’s how I see it. Even if the storyline isn’t connected with the big overall mystery or many little mysteries, there’s still something elsewhere to be spoiled. I refuse to be the one to spoil you. If you want to be spoiled, I’m sure the Wikipedia page for the show can do it for you.

Excited for the new season? No. Well, you should be! I know I am, and must say I’m surprised I got through re-watching two seasons as fast as I did. Guess it helps when there’s only 20 episodes thus far. But that’s also why I’m super excited. I want more “Orphan Black”! There’ not enough episodes in the season! This is one time where I wish a series had the standard amount. Oh well, the new season starts soon, so I’ll at least be getting my wish that way!

Take a peek at the upcoming season, if you haven’t already done so!:

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