“Sorry. I Wanted to Float That Whole Clone Thing a Lot Softer.”

I have spent most of this summer doing what God intended people to do on sunny days: staying inside my air-conditioned apartment and catching up on television shows. The latest such show?

clones

Orphan Black had a pretty spectacular first season. I have a couple of nitpicks, per always, and I’m a little concerned about where a few things are going, but overall, I’m pretty impressed. Here a few thoughts:

1. I have always been attracted to clone stories, yet I find so many of them frustrating or unfulfilling. Clones are often used as one-note villains or sacrificial redshirts — I longed to see an interesting story that deals with the individuality of each clone. Orphan Black is that show. Orphan Black does clones right.

2. And it wouldn’t be possible without Tatiana Maslany, who TOTALLY deserved an Emmy nod for her performance — for her multiple performances. Honest to God, I sometimes forget I’m watching the same actress.

3. Tatiana Maslany is not English. I suppose there are lots of people who knew that — especially people actually from England — but I was surprised to find out that the only UK actor in this BBC show is Maria Doyle Kennedy, who plays Mrs. S. (She was also Mrs. Bates on Downton Abbey. How we loathed you, Mrs. Bates!)

4. Felix is kind of the best. I hope Felix has more of his own storyline in second season.

5. I started out kind of loving Cosima and ended up being frustrated with her. I started out kind of hating Alison and ended up totally loving her. Glue gun FTW!

6. But nobody beats Helena. When I go to Dragon Con next year, Helena is at the top of my Ongoing Cosplay List.

helena

Now for a few . . .

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

7. Seriously, Cosima’s storyline sort of drove me nuts. I ended up being okay with it, by the end, but I had a hard time figuring out her motivations. It seemed like she was being uncharacteristically and unforgivably stupid.

8. Also, she’s coughing up blood now, which is always a bad sign. Does she have something similar to Katja’s barely-mentioned respiratory illness, or does she have the consumption? (Ooh, if she does have the respiratory illness — maybe she and Katja were twins too! Maybe all of the clones have twins, not just Sarah and Helena. Okay, maybe not, but it’s an idea.)

9. My other problem — both smaller and weirdly more serious — is the presumed death of Aynsley. I say presumed because, even though I’m pretty sure she’s dead, I desperately hope she isn’t. Cause . . . I love some of the crazy/silly stuff that happens with Alison, like seriously, the glue gun torture was AMAZING . . . but for Aynsley to actually die because her scarf or whatever got caught in the garbage disposal, choking her . . . that’s actually too cartoonish for me, far too convenient. I don’t mind that Alison allowed Ainsley to die while still believing she was the monitor, but I needed it to happen some other way, almost any other way, really.

10. It’s okay so far, but I have my concerns about Kira the Wonder Kid. I’m curious to see how that storyline progresses. Also about Kira: my hand actually went to my mouth when she got hit by the car. I was like, Shit! They just ran that kid DOWN.

11. I’m pretty excited by how quickly this series moved over the first season. I hesitated watching it when it first aired on BBC America because a clone/identical twin pretending to be another clone/identical twin for a whole show is not actually my idea of a good time. So, I was happy when Sarah just quit working for the police, and even happier when they figured out who she was (if not exactly what she was). Plot advancement! Yes!

12. Oh, Helena. It was time for you to go — I know — but how I will miss you and your craziness.

TENTATIVE GRADE:

A-

CONCLUSIONS:

Spring 2014 isn’t coming fast enough.

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10 Responses to “Sorry. I Wanted to Float That Whole Clone Thing a Lot Softer.”

  1. Teacups says:

    Squee. I’ve watched a little bit of it, and am quietly going insane trying to hold off on the rest until my friend gets ’round to checking out the show – if she likes it, we’re going to watch together. But I’m loving it so far. It’s so tense and exciting and intriguing – I really feel like this is the show Ringer wanted to be… At least in the first couple of episodes, before the clone thing starts coming into play more heavily.

    It’s sort of weird seeing Tatiana Maslany again though, because I’ve only seen her before playing a 13-year-old in Ginger Snaps 2. I remember she was actually a young-looking eighteen at the time, but still feels like it’s too soon for her to be playing a married mother of two. Not that it really matters, she’s excellent.

    I’m slightly concerned about Cosima now. Geeky, cute, friendly, gay… I was sort of hoping I’d found a new girlcrush. Oh well. We’ll see.

    I’m relieved to hear that Felix will survive the season. He’s great. I love his little spiel about the suburbs and being rubbish backup at the end of episode two.

    • Yeah, I tried Ringer, mostly for Sarah Michelle Gellar, and I was just . . . bored. I gave up on that one pretty quickly.

      I still like Cosima. She’s kind of awesome. I just became frustrated with a couple of things. Maybe they won’t bug you — you’ll have to let me now when you finally get to finish it. 🙂

      I feel like I need to watch Ginger Snaps 2 now. I had no idea Tatiana Maslany was in it.

      • Teacups says:

        Me too. I saw the first couple of episodes out of loyalty to BtVS, and then just couldn’t be bothered continuing.

        Ginger Snaps 2 is a decent enough movie, mostly. Not as good as the first one but better than the third. I’d say that it’d be worth watching for fans of Tatiana Maslany and the original Ginger Snaps.

        • I saw part of the third one on Syfy once. I was like . . . wait, are we time traveling now? Oh, it’s a prequel. Why do we need a prequel? WHY? (On the other hand, I kind of love Ginger Snaps Back as a title.)

      • Teacups says:

        SPOILERS

        Okay, so I’ve finally watched the damn thing, and it was pretty awesome, if not always in the way I expected. Like, the episode with Alison’s husband and the neighbourhood potluck? I did not see that kind of thing coming in the thriller-drama I started watching, but it was a lot of fun. Someone on The AV Club described it as “Tarantino by way of Martha Stewart.”

        I was also surprised by how much I ended up loving Alison, the tightly wound bundle of crazy, hilarity, and awesome. She might even be my favourite of the clones. And I love her and Felix’s friendship.

        The only moment that I really couldn’t let go of with Cosima was when she left Delphine alone in the apartment so she could fetch post-coital ice cream. That was irritatingly, sacrificing-character-for-plot-ingly stupid. The rest of it I could understand, at least, as her being lonely, curious, maybe a little bored, and convincing herself that she was the one playing Delphine and Leekie, not the other way around.

        Also, what I was really impressed by acting-wise was that Tatiana Maslany didn’t just have to differentiate between the clones, like on Dollhouse or every other such-and-such-plays-a-multitude-of-characters story I’ve seen, but she had to develop them all as we spent more time with them and they got their own stories and emotional depths. And then she had to make their emotional depths different from each others’, as well. Not to mention having to play them all imitating one another. Holy shit, man.

        I too was also very appreciative of how fast this show moves, without feeling confused or convoluted. Here’s hoping they have a plan for the show’s backstory, so it doesn’t become confused or convoluted. And yeah, I’m a little worried about where the Kira Is A Miracle Child thing could go, based on how that trope’s been done in the past.

        Given the complicated morality, bond to Sarah, and pitifulness of Helena, I was sort of sad and sort of impressed that the show ended up just having Sarah kill her after all. Even though it was too dangerous (probably more to everyone else, more than Sarah herself) to just leave her running around, I feel like many shows wouldn’t have had their lead make that choice, morally, and Helena would’ve done a heroic sacrifice to save Kira or something instead.

        • SPOILERS

          Alison does become surprisingly awesome. I was a little thrown by that too. She and Felix together are kind of the best.

          I’m also glad they didn’t go with a self-sacrificing thing for Helena. I loved Helena, and I was sad to see her go, but I liked Sarah killing her too, and I think it was time. You don’t want your villain to hang around too long, usually. There are exceptions, but I feel like there’s this really annoying TV trend of bringing bad guys back simply because they’re popular, not because it serves the story in any way. I don’t think that’ll happen here, though, which is nice.

          Tatiana Maslany is really impressive, and I can’t wait for this show to come back. I read a quote by some TV executive who said Orphan Black was their favorite guilty pleasure show, and I was like, dude, no. This isn’t a guilty pleasure. This show is amazing. Just because it’s SF doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad.

          (Unless the Miracle Child thing goes bad, of course.)

      • Teacups says:

        You’re giving me Spike/BtVS flashbacks just talking about that trend re: TV villains. Although admittedly he didn’t remain a villain throughout the show.

        So that guy was saying that it was a guilty pleasure because it’s a sci-fi show? Man, fuck that noise. It isn’t even the kind of sci-fi concept which suggests it’s a guilty pleasure, like giant killer robots or anything – and there are some awesome, thoughtful, not-guilty-at-all shows about giant killer robots, even if the concept itself sounds kind of silly.

        • I was thinking of Heroes, myself. I can’t remember if you ever watched that show. It went downhill pretty fast.

          That’s basically just what I inferred from the statement. Because I’m not sure why else he would have suggested Orphan Black was a guilty pleasure unless he thought SF was, like, a lower art or something. To which I agree: fuck that noise.

      • Teacups says:

        I did, and I really liked it during its first season, sort of. I think it was the first TV series I got on DVD (my family hardly watches movies or shows except what’s actually being shown on TV, so it wasn’t until my mid-teens that I learned to do otherwise) but then I think the only episode I ever rewatched was Company Man. Then I quit during late Season 2, I think. Or maybe after the S2 finale, I can’t remember. Anyway, I’m going to take a wild swing and say you’re talking about Sylar?

        • Your wild swing is accurate. I loved Sylar, but I always thought he should be a one season villain — although at some point, he was probably the only thing keeping me going, less because he made any sense and more because I like Zachary Quinto. (I stuck with Heroes longer than I should have, but I finally couldn’t take it anymore and had to give up.) But it was like they didn’t know what to do with him because they kept changing his storyline every few episodes. It was bad.

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