After catching up with Penny Dreadful, The Big Bang Theory, and Daredevil, I’ve been in the search of a new TV series to watch. I asked for recommendations on Twitter, and the show with most mentions is Orphan Black.
The posters of this series are all pretty bland – showing the lead actress Tatiana Maslany in various versions. The posters weren’t very appealing to me, so I never gave it a try without the push of my Twitter friends.
The plot, as set up in the first three episodes, stands as follows: Sarah sees a woman who looks just like her jump in front of her train. Since Sarah is in dire need of money, she impersonates the woman to get into her savings account – but then she gets caught up deeper and deeper into the dead woman’s life, and the mysterious circumstances of their relatedness.
After the shocking initial scene the pilot episode meanders a bit, before reaching a wonderful crescendo in the last few minutes of the episode. At this point, I was hooked. Orphan Black is high on action and tension, not shying away from violence.
While I find the set up for the series appealing, the way it has been unfolding is not. I’m not a fan of the outsider-slowly-finding-out-his/her-identity-quest (think Bourne Identity) sort of plot, mainly because I find it very frustrating. This entire running around could easily be solved by some characters sitting down and having an open conversation. Now, I do think the plot is handled well in Orphan Black as far as these things go, because it all does make sense, but I’m simply not a fan of the device. Especially because at first Sarah is reluctant to truly dive into the mysterious circumstances surrounding her and her “twin”, while I as a viewer see this aspect as the most interesting one.
I heard wonderful things about Maslany’s acting, and I have to agree – she plays her roles exceptionally. She adapts to different speech patterns and body languages seamlessly and I found it completely believable that these were different “people” in the fictional world. I also commend Jordan Gavaris, who plays Felix, Sarah’s foster brother fabulously. He is my favourite character so far without question.
Orphan Black has a very promising start, complicating the plot with every episode, and features great acting. Though I feel a bit impatient because I want them just to dive head-first into this conspiracy everyone sees coming from miles away, I do understand the need to set the series up as they have done. I’m hoping they’ll really delve into new and deeper territory soon, and if they do, it might go from being good to being amazing.
The first impressions verdict: will continue watching.