Orphan Black

Yeah, I’m late to the party.  What can I say?  I’ve become spoiled with streaming and none of the streaming services — Hulu Plus/Netflix —  I had downloaded to my XBox were showing Orphan Black when ever I went to look for it.  I don’t want to wait for physical discs to arrive at the house so I kept putting off watching the show.  Then XBox Live offered a free month of Amazon Prime.  I knew Amazon had the series because I watched the pilot over at my friend, Mike Cassutt’s house and loved it.



Long story short.  I started watching.  I have just watched episode one of season 3.  Yeah, I binged on the first two seasons.  This is an extraordinary show made even more extraordinary by the monumental talent of Tatiana Maslany.  I’m in the industry and at some point in the second season I was having to constantly remind myself that this was the same woman portraying Sarah, Allison, Helena, Cosima, Rachel, etc. etc.  It isn’t just the switch in accents, it’s her physicality that’s selling this completely.

What has struck me is that despite being created by two men the show is really a meditation on how the world attempts to own women — their bodies, their minds, their spirits.  It’s brought to the fore visually by the number of times we see these women with their feet in stirrups, vulnerable, being probed, used, viewed as vessels as objects to be harvested.

The exploration of gender and sexuality issues is also one of the shows great strengths.  Cosima is a lesbian, Allison is one up tight lady, Rachel very much into being a dominatrix.  there is Tony the trans clone.  And the exploration of these issues isn’t limited to just the clones.  One of the other actors who deserves mention is Jordan Gavaris who plays Felix Sarah’s gay foster brother.  There is a fearless and yet vulnerable quality to this performance that deserves recognition.

Setting aside the performances and the underlying theme of the show I have to tip my hat to the writers ability to keep pulling more and more and more layers off the onion.  Each time you think you found the explanation for the clones another layer is revealed.  It may be that they are just winging it and haven’t thought this through, but so far it’s working and I haven’t gotten that feeling they are just throwing shit to see what sticks.  I hope they have thought this all out as clearly been done with my beloved PERSON OF INTEREST, but for right now I’m more then happy to go along for the ride.

3 Responses to Orphan Black

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    A friend on Facebook caught a really stupid typo. Fixed now, but apologies. I was tipping my HAT not hate. Stupid fingers.

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    I forgot to mention the genius of the opening credits on this show as well. It’s all very reminiscent of vaginas and other female sexual organs.

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    I’m into season three now. I’ve watched two episodes and I think the actor playing the male clones has a much harder task then Maslany. Some of this I think is due to the fact he can’t rely as much on clothing or hair style to help establish differences between the clones. In this respect a woman has it easier. Each of the female clones has a distinctive “look” from Cosima’s corn rows to Rachel’s coiffed helmet of hair and spike heels.

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