Lunchtable TV talk – Orphan Black: Character study

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I stumbled on the first season of Orphan Black by chance, and I was never really able to determine whether I liked it or not. The first season showed a lot of promise, while the second season had a progressively less interesting plot. It is a character-driven show – crazily character-driven. One actress, Tatiana Maslany, plays almost countless roles as clones of herself. I have written about the show before, always willing to give it another chance. After all, I watch a lot of stuff that is clearly crap, and this shows promise. And continues to even when there is grey area. I need ways to disconnect, so this character study will do it while at least exploring on a surface level the ethical debate about cloning and identity.

After two seasons, we are nearing the beginning of a third season. Even when the plot falls apart or drags, Maslany’s performance is reason to keep watching, and I am not alone in thinking it. How one woman can breathe life into so many seemingly fully formed, distinct characters in the course of such a TV show is crazy. She is one of the best actresses I’ve seen anywhere, based solely on the strength of this work. It’s impressive.

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