Monday, June 24, 2013

New show, new muse

From Lisa Kudrow to Sarah Michelle Gellar, an actor playing different roles on one show isn't new - but perhaps no one has done it with such brilliance as Tatiana Marsley, the star of the BBC series Orphan Black.

Up until about two weeks ago, I knew nothing about Orphan Black - but hearing a steadily increasing buzz about the series, I opted to check it out. By episode three, it had quickly become one of my favorite shows of the season - maybe one of my favorite shows of all time. I know, high praise indeed.

Orphan Black didn't suck me in with eye candy - though this week's muse Dylan Bruce, certainly has my attention. It isn't even a series I thought I might like: cloning is generally a bit too sci-fi for my tastes. But the science fiction element is subtle, believable even, and anchored by stunning performances from one of the most ingenious actors I've seen in a long time. It's more than just being in several places at once - Tatiana gives each of her clones distinct personalities, accents, lives. It's mind-boggling!

The first season - only 10 episodes, gah! - centers around Sarah, a con artist and criminal who discovers that she is one of 9 clones. As if that isn't cool enough already, the storyline is full of awesome twists and turns, and moves at a breakneck pace, somehow without spiralling out of control. It's almost as though you've just started the episode before it suddenly stops, leaving you at the top of a giant cliff, where you, and the characters, are hanging on for dear life. If Orphan Black is an amusement park ride, I don't ever want to get off.

Except that I had to - because yeah, only 10 episodes. I whipped through those in two days, and now have to wait over a year (gack!) for season 2.

I've been latching on to a few BBC shows as of late, mesmerized by the quality, the gorgeous cinematography and the blunt storytelling style. I loved Broadchurch, Being Human, and The Killing. But I am obsessed with Orphan Black.

I've given myself a hard deadline to complete one of my WIPs - July 1 - before I launch into edits for Killer's Instinct, the creeptastic novel I am co-writing with Judith Graves. I've a lot of work ahead of me, but it isn't impossible. Especially not with Dylan Bruce in the role of muse avatar.

For the next week, I'm halting all TV binge watching, but when the ban is lifted, I'll be re-watching the first season of Orphan Black. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.

- Dawn

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