Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Orphan Black: One of a Kind

If you are a fan of science-fiction, badass chicks, illegal experimentation, or you are simply a Canadian, then you surely have heard of Orphan Black. If you have not, you either live under a rock or are too busy recruiting zealots for The Proletheans. So sit down, grab some popcorn and read why Orphan Black is TV's hottest new show!

**This post may contain spoilers.

Same Chick, Different DNA

Orphan Black can seem confusing at first, especially when you try to explain it without spoilers. No worries, the whole premise of Orphan Black is laid out frantically by fan-favourite Alison Hendrix, one of many lead characters played by Tatiana Maslany, in the third episode of the first season. So you won't have to wait long to know why Alison looks like Beth who looks like Sarah who looks like Katia who looks like Rachel who looks like Cosima who...well, you get it. All these chicks are running around trying to figure out why they look alike and although it may seem cliché at first, the writers find enough wit between them to branch out of the mould (pun intended), once the secret is revealed. So take note, Maslany plays ALL of these characters. And the acting is beyond incredible.

Location Shots

Being from Canada and having visited Toronto multiple times, it's quite fun to catch glimpses of the city being passed off as Minnesota or a generic North American town. It is never explicitly revealed that the setting is in Toronto, with no mention of the city ever being dropped by characters, but there are several key buildings and artifacts that mark it as a product of the maple leaf.
  • Cars have clear Ontario licence plates;
  • They use money that can be identified as Canadian;
  • They mention nearby Canadian cities (and mock the suburbs);
  • Bridgepoint Health (Holla University of Toronto!) is used as the Dyad Headquarters. So is Don Jail;
  • Jim's Restaurant is used as the meeting point for Helena and Sarah (both played by Maslany.)
  • Check out this link for more on-screen clues.
"That Shakira-Haired Look-A-Like"

Helena is quite possibly the most terrifying "bad guy" to ever be introduced to television. Contrary to all the other characters played by Maslany, Helena was raised to believe that she was flawed, a product of evil, and that she must eradicate all the other look-a-likes. But like all good villains, Helena is self-tortured, corrupted, and confused. Add that to her manic hair-do and *batshitcrazy* attitude, and guys, you have yourself TV's most fucked up villain.

The Proletheans

It's hard to talk about these weirdos without spoiling too much and I really want everyone to watch this show without knowing all of the details. But these guys are the creepiest group of people to roam TVland since The Others. They do terrible things in the name of religion and then believe that they are righteous and above everyone else. They are basically the Westboro Baptist Church. How fucking creepy is that! They're like...an Amish mafia.

Evelyne Brochu

Evelyne Brochu may not be recognized outside of La Belle Province but here in Québec, she's a household name, notably appearing in Aveux and Polytechnique. She guest-stars in the first season and is promoted to the main cast for the second season. Although she is a native of Québec, her characters is of French decent and she pulls off the French accent effortlessly. She eases her way into the dramatic narrative and cements her place by the end of season 1.

Product Quality

If you've watched the show, that sub-header is a Big Pun (aha that was also a pun. You know, the rapper?! Nevermind.) I don't like bashing home-grown products but Canadian television is usually crap. Like below crap. Quality is just not there and there is no standard in television producing. Yeah, Orphan Black not only changed the rules of the game, it created new ones. The technology and the effects on this show are comparable to none, and above all. The way Maslany interacts with herself as different characters in one scene is breath-taking. Peter Jackson should take note.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Jordan Gavaris as Felix;
  • The pacing of this show has more adrenaline than 24;
  • Vic the Dick.

From the minute you start the show until it's incredible season 2 finale, you will be left breathless and heaving, scratching the screen for season 3 to start. I swear you will not be dissapointed!

Candles are out,
Eleven's Ink.

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