back2black

I recently just finished watching the second seasons of two of my very most favourite shows: Orphan Black and Orange is the New Black. Both very different, but both mesmerising. (Coincidentally, they both have an IMDb rating of 8.5.)

 

Orphan Black is a sci-fi thriller about a woman who discovers she’s a clone. Before you think that it’s been done before—not like this. The characterisation of the clones is superb. Tatiana Maslany is an acting phenomenon, playing (to date) twelve different clones, at least five of them regularly. Although they are played by the same person, not once do you get the characters confused, so clearly are they depicted by the flawless Maslany (unless it’s one clone pretending to be another clone—it happens, trust me; these scenarios may also have made me love Maslany even more. Sometimes one clone might have to step in for another, and we know what’s happening, which makes it even more entertaining to watch a streetwise Londoner pretend to be an uptight American soccer mom). She holds her body differently, speaks differently, acts differently for each of the different clones she plays. If you watch Orphan Black for anything, watch it for her.

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(Above: Alison fixing Sarah-acting-as-Alison.)

The plot, as well, is entrancing. At turns edge-of-your-seat anxiety, and at others heartbreakingly tragic, and at yet others painfully funny. The atmospheres are handled masterfully, and everything ties into the greater mystery of how and why the clones came to be. Season two did not disappoint, picking up where season one left off, but steadily introducing even more minor mysteries that are actually part of the larger web. It mixes the stuff of science-fiction dreams with Greek mythology seamlessly, and is an incredible experience to be taken along for the ride. A little bit of violence, but nothing unwarranted (I don’t think). Highly recommended.

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(Above: Tatiana Maslany as Cosima comforting herself as Sarah.)

Orange is the New Black, on the other hand, is a drama set in a women’s prison. The first season followed, primarily, Piper Chapman, as she was sentenced guilty for a crime she committed ten years ago. I think we were meant to feel sorry for her, but I could never connect with her. However, apart from the early episodes of each season, each episode follows a ‘minor’ character, delving into their backstory and showing who they were before they were imprisoned, and why they ended up here.

Image(“V” trying to give The Fault in our Stars—a book about kids with terminal cancer—to Miss Rosa, a woman dying from cancer.)

The characterisation in this show, too, is phenomenal. Characters I’d dismissed as just quirky background noise suddenly became clear, and they had a voice. It was amazing to learn more about these characters, and they were presented magnificently (I think all of the actresses and actors in this show deserve an award). I think what was most satisfying though was that at the end of both seasons, all that you learnt about the characters tied in to the finale’s climax. The last scenes of the second season are still quite vivid in my mind (I think I’m still processing, although I finished watching it on Thursday!). I can’t recommend this show enough, although the sex (and sexual references) is quite gratuitous, so if you don’t like that, I’d steer away. There is violence, but it didn’t seem over the top or gratuitous (to me). Definitely, definitely recommend.

(Below, to leave you: Morello trying to describe Toy Story from her…unique…perspective.)

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So that’s what I’ve been doing when I should have been studying for my Modernism exam tomorrow. Whoops. Also, I’ve been cast as Mr. Teavee in a local production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It’s going to be a lot of fun, but I have to put on an American accent (not a forte of mine). What have you guys been up to? Has anyone else seen Orphan Black or Orange is the New Black? What do you think of them?

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18 thoughts on “back2black

      • You know, series like Game of Thrones, How I met your Mother, Oz and such…Films like The Railway Man, Maleficient, Winter’s Tale… all those works I read and talk about but never actually have the time to watch! I’ll catch up at the end of my degree:)

      • Haha—there sure are a lot of things to see and do. I don’t think we’ll ever get the time to do all that we plan to do, but I hope you get the time to watch the things that will influence you in the best way 🙂
        How much longer left for your degree? The end isn’t too far away, is it?

  1. I’m still to write my final dissertation, due September 8th, and then I’ll be free to join the working force…

      • I’m only in the research process at the moment, will soon start drafting but yes, at least I’ve picked something I like and already know about!

      • That’s a lot of work ahead of you — but it definitely helps that you like and already know about Les Mis. I have complete confidence in you! Go Ed!!

    • Pretty good! Just finished my last exam on Monday, and I’m going away with friends for a few nights next week so I’m really looking forward to that 🙂
      It’s nice to be on holiday, even if it is just for a few weeks 😛

  2. I guess it had to happen…but I had a dream about you coming to visit and shaving my head. Thought this had to be said. Hope you’re well!

      • Quite under pressure, a week short of my dissertation deadline, and still looking for a job for next year…but I’d like to say everything will be alright soon. And yes yes, one day it’ll be true 😉 I’ll send you a message soon to get some more news, once my life gets a bit more settled!

      • Wow, things are heating up! Good luck with your dissertation!
        I’ll send you a FB message soon…I think it was my turn, but I’ve been really really slack (since JUNE! Sorry!).

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