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!