Monday, August 21, 2017

Orphan Black

Review.

And so, it ends. 5 (small) seasons of Orphan Black, and it was good. There were some poor episodes, but even when the plot got thin the actors carried the show, especially Tatiana Maslany.

A must watch.


Clones

Of course, it's about cloning. (There's not much of a spoiler there, as you already know, it's hard to overlook that specific aspect of the show.)

The clone sisters are all played by the same actress Tatiana Maslany, and she did a very good job. At the start of the show, season 1, I had some worries it would become a 'standard run of the mill' episodic detective show, in which the ex junky Sarah would take over her Beth's life (another clone who also happens to be a police officer).

Fortunately, that didn't happen.

Instead we are treated to a roller coaster of ups and downs, in which Sarah meats several of her 'sestra'. And is it hard to pick a favorite!


Me myself I am a little torn between Helena and Allison, with Krystle as a great runner up. The one clone I would like to have known more about was M.K. but alas, it was not to be.


Season 1

Introduction, some standard fare, but things will get better.


Season 2

Full stride clone affairs.


Season 3

Okay (not in everyone's opinion, I know) and at the end 'team clone' appeared to be the winner. (And who doesn't love to hate Rachel 😊)

I think it must have been a hit or miss if the show would have been canceled right then and there, and perhaps that is why they more or less wrapped up everything in season 3.


Season 4

And then came season 4.  At the end of season 3 team clone had succeeded for the larger part, then in a complete turn around, they lost everything in the first half of season 4. Individual episodes may have been poor, but the change of outlook was great.

And then... then came the second half of season 4. And it was bad. Sloppy writing, uninteresting antagonists (read: baddies), plot holes the size of the Atlantic. Nah. And I expected an early cancellation.

I have said it before, and I say it again: a production company and a show runner should always be prepared for cancellation. It's part of the game, but I think the value of a show increases if it includes a proper ending. This way, a show could be re-run, sold to another channel, or be released as a collector's box. It also will keep the fans happy, who in turn will be willing to try the next show by those producers / show runners / TV stations. Never piss of your fan base...

Think of Firefly or Farscape... their cancellations were noisy and bad, and it took a lot of fan effort to get both properly wrapped up. Fringe's final season was a little too rushed, but better than nothing.


Season 5

Fortunately, there was a season 5 of Orphan Black. It was announced as a full season, and as the final season. With only 10 episodes (the regular season length) the producers had to wrap up many plots, so they now and again the solutions were a little abrupt but worked. I think they were planning to turn Allison into a religious nutcase, but they dropped that plot in time. Siobhan Sadler and Ferdinand Chevalier had their fates linked. The one missing was Charlotte's who's faith was left in limbo (but I think she just might be living with Art).

When the final episode started I felt uncomfortable. So many things left, and suddenly the action stops and the water just... flows. (No pun intended.)

That's when you realize this show isn't about cloning, or killing. It's about a very, very dysfunctional family, and that last half hour, in hindsight, is as close to perfect as things can get. Count me impressed. Just look at this...


Have a good life, sestra. May all of you find happiness. Even Rachel.


Final verdict

Good series, seasons aren't too long. Even the poor episodes have some great characters. You are an idiot if you do not watch.

Now excuse me. I have to fix some concrete in my garage...


Dapper / Retrotales 89



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