For the first time ever on Just Sammthing, I post an article not written by myself, but by a special guest writer. That special author is no other than my sister Fleur; much like me a fashion and pop culture fanatic. Right before the Emmy Awards she has written a review of TV series Orphan Blac, star of which, Tatiana Maslany, has been one of the most talked about snubs of the year. Please enjoy!
by special guest writer FLEUR
Right when I was in desperate need of a new addictive tv series due to hiatuses of my current favourite shows, the name Orphan Black seemed to pop up everywhere. After a quick IMDB search I was instantly intrigued by this one succinct sentence: ‘A streetwise hustler is pulled into a compelling conspiracy after witnessing the suicide of a girl who looks just like her.’ The so-called ‘streetwise hustler’ is Sarah Manning, who witnesses Elizabeth Childs ending her life by jumping in front of a train. Consequently Sarah, who has no idea what she is getting herself into, decides to take on Childs’ identity in order to steal her money. Soon she discovers that she is a clone and that she and her fellow clones are in danger. From that moment on Sarah struggles to keep her cover as Elizabeth Childs, to keep herself and her loved ones safe and above all to find answers. This Canadian science fiction television series is created by screenwriter Graeme Mason and director John Fawcett and has been critically acclaimed. Currently the series has been renewed for a third season which is set to premiere in 2015.
As a result I started watching the first episode with fairly high expectations, although it did not quite live up to it. The first episode remains rather vague on what direction the show is going to take and it left me somewhat puzzled. However, this is a familiar feeling for me that I often have starting with a new series and which I have experienced for example with Homeland and Orange Is The New Black, which are now among my personal favourites. Therefore I did not give up hope yet and continued watching anyways, which turned out to be a very wise decision because from the second episode onwards I was hooked. Throughout the first season there is always a feeling of imminent threat of danger which keeps you at the edge of your seat. Also you are as desperate as the clones to finally get some answers. A hunger which is stilled by small bites to keep you from starving yet you are never left completely satisfied since there remain so many questions. Also the subject of cloning raises important ethical issues concerning how far science can or should go. The clones themselves also struggle with their own identity, because to what extent are they their own person? Are they merely a scientific experiment or can they be and live just like any other human being?
The true star of the show however is Tatiana Maslany who carries this television series almost by herself by portraying all the different clones. Something which she does so brilliantly that you would almost forget that the clones are played by one and the same person. Every clone has their very own characteristics, such as little gestures, which immediately indicate who you are dealing with. For the viewers there is almost no question that the clones indeed do have their very own identity. Which is logical, because identities are formed by nature as well as by nurture, as can be seen in this series. Also there are slight variations in looks so you never get confused at all. Therefore it baffles me that Maslany is not even nominated for an Emmy, because it is one of the strongest performances that I have seen recently and definitely one that needs to be rewarded. Furthermore Michiel Huisman, our national Dutch pride who is currently also starring in Game Of Thrones, will have a recurring role in the second season.
Thus if you are in for a true thrill ride with a good storyline and impeccable acting, this is the series for you. Fortunately I have the second season to get to.