Orphan Black - Season One

Credit BBC America

Orphan Black - Season One

My first response to Orphan Black was disappointment. It was a helpful response in a way because I didn't expect the show to be good from then on. The result was I enjoyed watching it because I had quickly given up on expecting the show to draw me in emotionally.

Emotion is of course what I come to TV for and without it Orphan Black remains an average TV show based on the criteria I use. However in place of substance there was plenty of fun to be had out of the clone saga. To see multiple version of the same face all coming to terms with their existence and occasionally impersonating one another was definitely entertaining. Often the more twisty the plot became the more enjoyable and intriguing the ride.

And I did turn around on Tatiana Maslany. Initially her accent work was so raw that it made it hard for me to buy her as each new incarnation. But after a while I was just so impressed with the sheer work load she carried that I began to admire her efforts. The accents became easier to listen to and at times I forgot that it was the same woman playing all of these parts. Her performance as Cosima was the most convincing though I suspect that's the role closest to her native accent.

However, as much as I enjoyed the ride the story is a conspiracy and I don't believe those work on TV. They are a con. They will never deliver emotional payoffs only more cliff-hangers and improbable twists. I would have preferred it if Orphan Black was a one season show and reached a climactic conclusion where Sarah, Fe and Kira disappeared into the sunset. Because that is where this show is going and I don't want to sit through endless variations on this story. I lost count of the number of times Helena played deus ex machina in these ten episodes and next season we'll get new clones, new agents and the whole thing will go round and round again.

I can see why the show caused a buzz. Congratulations to the creators for putting together a great concept and thumbs up to Maslany for a tremendous effort. But I've seen 24, Prison Break, Homeland, Lost, Heroes, FlashForward, Alcatraz, The Event and all those other shows. Conspiracies suck. They are all powerful until the day when the writers don't want them to be.  

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