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?
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.
Now for a few . . .
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.
Spring 2014 isn’t coming fast enough.