Orphan Black: Formalized, Complex and Costly

Posted on May 03, 2015

Orphan-Black-Season3-Episode-3-BBC-America-Television-Series-Review-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO       Tatiana Maslany and Kevin Hanchard in “Orphan Black” on BBC America

Hey, remember when there was a guy on this show who had a tail? Remember when Sarah ate soap to vomit her way out of an impossible situation? Remember all those great scenes of the clones actually interacting with each other, instead of skypeing or calling each other, which takes all the magic out of Tatiana Maslany’s performance?

We’re really starting to miss those rough, early days of the show because what was once a series that seemed to have too many ideas at once is now one that seems content to spin its wheels, sadly. As if adding lots more characters is a substitute for not having anything new to say. This was the second episode in a row where we had to fight to pay attention because it all either felt like rehashes of old plot lines or because the new stuff simply isn’t interesting. Even worse, the boyclones remain center stage in the story and they also remain nearly indistinguishable from each other and frankly, not all that interesting. Why are we supposed to care that they’re looking for their original genetic material?.

Also, something-something Proletheans. And Helena’s still in a box. And Alyson is still in a suburban sitcom. And Felix is still the gay assistant. But here’s a new twist: Art is kind of in love with Sarah!


That’s our cue. Honestly, we weren’t even going to put up a review of this one but we figured we might as well close things out and end our Orphan Black reviews for now.  Not out of a sense of punishment or pique, but because when you wind up saying the same things over and over again in your reviews, it’s both an indication of how little the show’s working to engage you and an indication that as a reviewer, you don’t have anything fresh to say. We learned that lesson from our Sleepy Hollow reviews. And since the Castor clones are Orphan Black‘s version of Katrina (i.e., something only the show creators seem interested in), that’s a good enough reason to bow out for now. We heard good things about the season later on down the line, so maybe we’ll return to it then. But there’s so much good TV right now, what with Mad Men and Daredevil consuming us, as well as Outlander, the upcoming Orange is the New Black, the poor neglected The Flash (which we’re getting to this week, we promise), and a bunch of other shows we want to check out, there’s no point in expending the energy on a show we’re not enjoying and have little new to say about.

Bottom line: If this isn’t a show about Sarah, her sisters and her extended family fighting for answers about their origins and the right to own themselves, then we don’t much see the point of it.



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[Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie for BBC AMERICA]

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