Anytime I manage to binge 4 seasons of one series in the space of a couple of week, it usually means it’s ticking a lot of boxes for me. Orphan Black was one of those shows. This is my non-spoiler review on the first 4 seasons.
One of my favourite shows of all time will always be Dexter. The way it was a mystery and managed to flip the situation when you least expect it, is what made me love Dexter as a show. Those feeling I had when watcher Dexter were so heavily present when watching Orphan Black. What I loved about this show was it’s ability to keep you guessing who everyone is actually alined with and what is actually going on. Something I found that really stood out for me was how the things you were waiting to find answer for usually wasn’t the big reveal, it was to a point in some cases a little bit of a let down, yet the big reveals of the show usually came from side not things that you thought that was completely addressed and done with for the show.
By far the thing that actually makes this show work though is Tatiana Maslany. Playing a series of clones is one thing but playing clones with all different backgrounds and behaviours is another. The fact that as an audience member, I didn’t see Maslany playing Sarah, Allison, Cosima and Helena, I saw separate characters that all shared the bond of being clones. They way she was able to transform herself in both her accents, poseurs and general body language was simply amazing. The thing that really stood out to me with her performances though is when she had to play a clone that was imitating another clone. What was so fantastic about this was that when she was playing an imitated clone, she didn’t just play the clone she would normally play, she would play what it would look like if another clone was trying to imitate her. For example when Sarah is pretending to be Cosima, as an audience we can see straight away that it was not Cosima based purely off the way she spoke and body language.
Without giving too much away, Helena is by far my favourite clone. She is an interesting character that I feel even if she wasn’t a clone, the way she is portrayed through the show is fantastic. What makes her so different is the qualities she has in comparison to the other clones. While the other clones to a point fit into the social profiles of the trouble maker, the soccer mum and the nerd, Helena is a type of psychopathic character that we rarely get to see on the screen. What I loved about her was the naive sense she brought because of the way she was raised, and how she really attached herself to the other clones as her sisters. Helena is in many ways the comedic relief. Her sound board of noises and uses of words in situations often had me physically laughing. This is a massive juxtaposition to her as a character because she is linked to what is one of the stand out pieces character theme music in the whole show.
This show is just amazing. Full credit to the creator and the writers who took such an unusually concept of clones and was able to put a thriller spin to it. Of course also full credit to Tatiana Maslany for not only playing just one but several amazing characters that makes this show what it is.