Current obsession: “Orphan Black”
I’m not big on award shows.
They’re fun to watch but I feel like it’s nothing but big, glitzy ads for movies, music, TV or whatever. So I don’t put much stock into who wins or loses – I know what I like, what moved me or what didn’t, and awards do not reflect that.
That being said, last night was the Golden Globe awards, and as usual, I didn’t really care – except for one category: Best Actress, Drama Series.
I don’t have cable so I texted my best friend and asked him to tell me who won that award, because I was actually pulling, praying, wishing for one actress to win, and that’s Tatiana Maslany.
She’s the star of BBC America’s “Orphan Black,” a show I bingewatched last weekend, and it’s now my current obsession.
In “Orphan Black,” Maslany stars as Sarah. And Alison. And Cosima. And Beth. And Helena. And Katja… Basically, she plays a group of clones, and someone is after them, killing them off one by one.
The show opens with Sarah, a street-smart, troubled woman who’s trying to get her life together so she can take custody of her daughter, Kira. One night she meets a woman who could be her twin – and that woman kills herself right in front of Sarah. Desperate, Sarah steals the woman’s identity, and she soon finds out there are so many others who look just like her – a soccer mom, a scientist, a madwoman.
“Orphan Black” is incredibly intense. There were plenty of shocking and edge-of-your-seat moments (sorry, neighbors, for the crazy amount of screaming/shouting I did while I watched), but there’s plenty of heart, too.
That’s where Maslany comes in. She’s each of these incredibly different women, and she’s so perfect at each of them. She’s so good, sometimes it’s easy to forget one actress is playing all of these roles. Sarah is a troubled and sassy Brit; Alison is a play-it-safe soccer mom from Canada; Cosima is the bright American scientist; Beth is a stressed-out cop; Helena is an incredibly disturbed Ukrainian. And when clones have to stand in for clones, that’s when Maslany really has fun, as her characters have to trade accents and mannerisms (one of my favorites is when she’s Sarah pretending to be Alison). She’s so fascinating to watch. She’s one of the most perfect and enthralling actresses I’ve ever seen, and no offense to last night’s winner, but I have no idea how Maslany did not win.
On “Orphan Black,” you don’t just care about the clones. Sarah’s foster brother, Felix (Jordan Gavaris), is loyal and funny (he has some of the funniest lines, but also some of the sweetest moments). Sarah’s foster mom, Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy, who “Downton Abbey” fans may recognize as Vera Bates), tries to help Sarah as best she can, while Beth’s partner, Art (Kevin Hanchard) quickly becomes suspicious of Sarah. The clones themselves often aren’t sure who they can trust, so that only adds to the suspense.
The stellar cast, excellent writing and compelling storyline has me hooked. The new season starts in April on BBC America, so you have plenty of time to catch up on this fantastic show. (ps., you can download the season 1 premiere episode for free on the “Orphan Black” website)