Kelley’s Korner Come to Clone Club
By Kelley Ware, Finance Manager
Every once in a while, a television show comes on that hooks you so much you simply have to share it with everyone. For me, that show is currently Orphan Black, a Canadian science-fiction thriller distributed by BBC America. Earlier this month, our production coordinator, Isabelle, came up to me to say she ended up watching the show. This made me realize I want to share this television show with more than just my close friends. So this issue’s Kelley’s Korner is all about why you should start watching Orphan Black before the season two premiere on 19 April.
Orphan Black follows Sarah Manning, a con artist and thief who arrives home after a period on the run to see her daughter. In the subway station, Sarah witnesses the suicide of a well-off woman who looks just like her – Elizabeth Childs. Being in a less than desirable situation herself, Sarah realizes she can benefit from Beth. By switching identities, she can capitalize on Beth’s $75,000 bank account and free herself from the people after her by letting them identify Beth as her and assume she is dead.
This is where the real story kicks off. Once Sarah assumes Beth’s identity she gets pulled into a conspiracy that she was not expecting. Beth was not a long lost twin that Sarah assumed she was. They are clones, and there are more of them. Not only that, but someone has been hunting them down. Orphan Black’s first season is a ten episode long roller coaster. It takes a rather clichéd and overdone science-fiction theme and does it right. It not only gives excitement with twists and turns paced out perfectly to keep your attention, but also explores interesting themes of the moral implications of cloning and its impacts on the idea of personal identity.
The true success of Orphan Black is its choice in casting. At the forefront of the show is Tatiana Maslany, a Regina native who is absolutely stunning in this show. This is a woman who gets to play four different main characters – one of which is pretending to be another person half the time – and several other supporting characters. This is the make-or-break point of the show. What could have been flat, cliché, and corny ends up setting the show apart and brings it into the realm of amazing. Each of these clones are their own person and are fleshed out so uniquely. From a British punk to a soccer mom, bohemian scientist, or crazed Ukrainian zealot, these characters are all so unique and interesting in their own way. Tatiana Maslany brings such life to each of them, playing these different characters with different personalities and different accents, it is hard to believe that it is only one person. In the scenes where multiple clones are together, it is easier to believe that it is a group of triplets instead of one person doing all the roles herself. The best example of Maslany’s acting chops are scenes where one clone pretends to be another. Instead of falling flat, it is so believably one character, with their own quirks and mannerisms, trying to copy those of another. It is truly unbelievable and Maslany’s talent alone is reason enough to watch this show.
Even though it is mid-semester and assignments are due, I highly recommend you start watching this show. It is the perfect time to get caught up, with the second season beginning in April. It is still small, but it is already being recognized. Maslany was even nominated for a Golden Globe. And with a first season that is only ten episodes long, it is not nearly the commitment it could be. Ten hours is all it asks of you, but it will get you hooked after the first.