First Impressions: Orphan Black

Identity Theft

Addictive. Award winning. Absolutely fantastic. A must watch. These are all words that have been, in recent weeks, associated with season one of BBC America’s hit, Orphan Black. It’s everywhere you go, in every conversation you have. It’s quite impossible to avoid. I guarantee someone, somewhere is saying: Have you seen it? Oh, it’s so good.

Yet, there is one person who remains (mostly) unaffected by its charm.

Like many, I had been naturally curious, of course, in the beginning. Although, the initial stage of my Orphan Black experience had been associated with a feeling of obligation – to watch the super-hyped show and relay my reactions and expectations to you like a good fangirl – I still wanted to watch. Even before the first episode aired, I had been prepared to share my Saturday nights, but my feelings by the end of the pilot were muddled at best. I couldn’t tell up from down, good from bad. So I waited, hoping the succeeding episode would clear my clouded vision. It wasn’t until the fifth episode of the season I started to get the impression there was something much more exciting hiding beneath the surface of Orphan Black.

Nothing is as you initially presumed. Nothing. This sci-fi series goes from relatively out of the box to that’s some messed up s**t in no time flat. Which is kind of self-explanatory when you’re talking about a band of clones. However, having discovered she is only one of several genetic identicals is just the tip of the iceberg for Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany). What follows is an unyielding road of twists and turns intertwined tightly together, and secrets ever so slowly being unbound.

Maslany switches from one alter ego to the next almost seamlessly, but sometimes, it all becomes a little too much. I found myself yearning for a little less clone time and a lot more one on one interaction. Specifically, between Sarah and her not-really boy-toy Paul (Dylan Bruce). There seems to be so much going on at times and not enough clear conversations, the storylines become obscure and muddled. I think the writers have focused so much on the big picture for season one, they didn’t take the time to develop these unusual, prospective relationships standing directly in their eye sight. There is still much to discover, to unlock. The potential is there, I see it, I know it’s possible. However, I don’t think they’ve reached that point yet.

I won’t lie to you. I don’t dislike the show (at all, really), but I can not say that I love it either. I like it. I like it enough to continue to watch it, though I am nowhere near the type of obsession I’ve been reading about these past few days. Nor will I criticize the amount of praise and acclaim the show has received, even if I don’t think it’s all justified. Where does it state that you have to be utterly infatuated or entirely repulsed by a show? I will remain neutral until I am persuaded to be otherwise. When it comes to Orphan Black, I am Switzerland.

Orphan Black returns to BBC America for season two in 2014

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Have you watched Orphan Black? What was your first impression of the show? Will you continue to watch? What did you think of the first season? Are there any other new shows that you think are worth watching? Tell me in the comments!

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Emma says:

    I saw this advertised but I haven’t watched it yet. Must give it a try.

    1. You should! Definitely. I think you’d really like it. There’s just enough creepy, science fiction style to make it weird and mysterious. Plus, Dylan Bruce is a hunk. Who doesn’t love some man candy? Lol.

      1. Emma says:

        Eye candy – definite bonus!

  2. setinmotion says:

    This is the first I’ve heard of it! Sounds like I wouldn’t like it, as I’m a big fan of connecting with characters.

    Also, I just Googled Dylan Bruce and he doesn’t really do it for me. There goes that one.

    1. Hmmm . . . I’m not sure. I think you’d be on the fence, like me. It has a lot of out of the box stuff, which I know you’d like. And it kinda splits itself between mystery and insanity. That’s always a good quality. You never know. You might like it. 😀

      Haha! You know, normally I would say he wasn’t my type either. Well, maybe that’s because Dior Rob has ruined me for all other men (And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, shame. Shame, Hannah. Shame). Or maybe it’s because he’s the only relatively nice looking guy on the show. But, he’s quickly becoming one of my Orphan favorites.

      1. setinmotion says:

        Hahaha ‘Dior Rob’. For a moment there, I thought that was a guy’s actual name and I was like ‘Oh how unfortunate for him’. This IS news to me. Good to know he’s been keeping busy since he and KStew broke up, eh?

        1. Yeah, and killing us slowly picture by picture in the process. Lol.

  3. Elle says:

    I’m back! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Easter and (once again) Happy Blogaversary. Now, I love Orphan Black. Hannah , should definitely watch it!.I’ve been trying to get people to watch it because I think it’s an awesome show. It’s not the kind of show where I get super excited and cannot wait for the next episode. But the characters really make the show for me. There’s something about ALL the characters (not just the clones) that somehow make me really interested, all their interactions really ring true and everyone, EVERYONE is shrouded in some kind of subtle mystery that may or may not be the case. The show is also very visually appealing. For some reason I’m very aware of the use of color in the show. But that’s just me. *shrugs*

    1. Yay! *breaks out her happy dance* 😀

      Totally agree. I like it, I wanna watch it, but I’m not waiting on it. Actually, by the time the middle of the season rolled around, I might have been like “how are they going to top last week’s hour of crazy?” But I’m not super-wowed by it. I can tell you like it a lot more than I do. I may have to watch it over again.

      Yeah, all the characters are captivating. Alison and her rivalry with her neighbor was hilarious. The evil evolutionist with the *Spoiler.* Where the heck did that come from?! By the way, what do you think of Felix? In the beginning, he seemed like an unnecessary character. Then, he was really annoying. In the end, he was okay. I think he needs a more complex plot line and a lot less stereotypes.

      No, you aren’t alone. The visuals are great, very deep clear color.

      I’m really interested how they’re going to tackle next season. With a few exceptions, they really haven’t explored that much outside of the main plot line. Plus, the last episode made things a lot more complicated. There’s endless possibilities. Hopefully, it will included a lot more Paul and Sara time. But maybe that’s just ME.

      1. Elle says:

        For me, I found it so weird that during the 1st season, even though you found out they were clones, it didn’t seem very sci fi until the dude had that thing that he doesn’t have anymore! I guess next season they can make it it more sci. This season was really all about the people interactions and to me that was fascinating enough.

        I love Felix. I’m here for his stereotypes and snarkiness but I’m sure his character will expand. I mean they took their time with Paul didn’t they? Also that scene when she “saved” him and his head on her stomach? *Squeee* My emotions!!!

        1. Exactly! It wasn’t really sci-fi, and you were kind of expecting it to be – they aggressively labeled it as such – but it worked. You’d probably never know it was science fiction if that guy didn’t show up with that thing. *Giggle*

          Don’t get me wrong, I love character advancement (like, a lot). However (I can’t believe I’m saying this), they didn’t push the plot forward enough. Especially, in certain ways. I love the stuff with Art, but the cop stuff was too heavy – in the beginning, mostly. Not to mention, Sara’s ex. He was kinda over the top.

          Yeah, I know I seem too critical, but I keep pushing for more, because I know they’re capable of it.

          Gah! I’m such a nag. Lol. 😉

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