In praise of Orphan Black (very brief)
I knew I was going to like Orphan Black. It’s everything I want in a TV show. It’s Alias with clones. There’s a conspiracy. Religious extremists in creepy long skirts? Yes please. It’s become something of a cliché to note that it’s a cliché to note that the lead, Tatiana Maslany, does an incredible job playing the multiplying clone leads. She’s dazzling and totally convincing. Whether or not each clone is as developed as you might wish them to be, TM does some witchy magic to make it seem like an incontrovertible truth that they are all different people even though you know that they are played by the same actress.
Orphan Black is fun and fast, and there is lots of edge-of-your seat tension but not a lot of long, drawn-out scenes of grueling misery or cruelty. As the main clone, Sarah Manning sees the future and then is quickly spared from it. Like the premise itself, we get the impossible horror of a world where bioethics goes wild and the possibility in each episode that even if the genie can’t go back in the bottle, maybe the genie can save herself.