For the women of Orphan Black, the world is an open prison, and self-determination is a tenuous contract with The Powers That Be, who view them only as property. Some take this raw deal to survive. Prim, panicky Alison sells out for security in the suburbs with a schlubby hubby who is secretly her jailer. Brainy Cosima bargains with a Faustian devil for a gilded cage — her own super lab — where she and her ladylove can pursue a cure for the disease that’s killing her. But woe to the one who refuses to settle: Sarah and her daughter are on the run from men who wish to exploit their bodies and all of Clonekind. Did I not mention the clone thing? Sorry. All these women are clones! Does that make a difference? READ FULL STORY
Tag: Orphan Black (1-10 of 10)
Secret identities and a whole lot of scandal — that about sums up television’s big premieres and finales this week. From whatever (ahem, or whomever) Don Draper/Dick Whitman is doing on Mad Men, to the deepening mystery behind the origin of the clones on Orphan Black, and however the heck Olivia is getting out of her latest jam on Scandal, there’s plenty of must-watch-live TV this week. But there are lots of reasons to get off the couch, too. Here are our picks over the next seven days:
The University of Georgia’s 73rd Annual Peabody Awards set a record with 46 recipients, which were announced today on CBS This Morning. The winners, chosen from nearly 1,100 entries, were selected by the Peabody board to be named the “best in electronic media for 2013.”
You may not have seen it, but you’ve likely heard the name: Orphan Black. What is it? It’s the show that came out of nowhere — well…Canada, actually — to become a buzzy underground sensation on the strength of a twisty-turny clone conspiracy story and a remarkable performance from a previously unknown Canadian actress by the name of Tatiana Maslany. Boasting a small but super-passionate audience after its first season on BBC America, this fan favorite was the perfect choice to grace EW’s cover and lead off our package of criminally underrated entertainment.
We track exactly how the cult of Orphan Black was born, from the unlikely genesis of the program to the even more unlikely casting of Maslany, who had never even played one truly adult role before, much less seven. “I’ve always played 10 years my junior,” Maslany explained. “This is definitely the most adult role I’ve ever gotten to play. I think that’s why I was so afraid of Alison, because she has two kids who are…you know, kids! And just that knowledge of what it is to be a mother is something I have never tackled on screen.”
Maslany’s ability to tackle that clone character as well as six others led to widespread acclaim both inside the industry (with a Golden Globe nomination) and out (with fans like the #CloneClub obsessing online over the show). But the ride is just getting started, with season 2 kicking off April 19. And the producers promise plenty more action and intrigue is in store. “We want to expand the world,” says co-creator John Fawcett. “We want to make the show a little bigger, make the show a little badder, make the show a little more off-center. There are more rabbit holes to go into.”
To find out exactly what rabbit holes he’s talking about, and what’s in store for Sarah, Alison, Cosima, and Rachel, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on sale Friday, March 14. Or click to the left to buy it right now! Also, for an exclusive photo of Maslany as three of the clones, be sure to like Entertainment Weekly on Facebook. And set your alarm to come back at noon on Thursday for a super-special treat: the exclusive reveal of a brand new clone!
Leave it to BBC America’s Orphan Black to figure out how to clone our sheep trophies. The show took home two today when winners of EW.com’s 6th Annual reader-voted EWwy Awards, which honor the Emmy-snubbed, were announced live on Entertainment Weekly Radio’s TV Recap hour. Orphan Black co-creators John Fawcett and Graeme Manson dialed in to accept the Best Drama honor, while star Tatiana Maslany phoned after she was named Best Actress. (She had 43 percent of the vote in her category, which had this year’s largest margin of victory — 3,331 votes.) Listen to them chat with EW’s Dalton Ross, Jessica Shaw, and Mandi Bierly below.* Because someone was out scouting a location for season 2 (which will premiere in April 2014), we got a bit of bonus scoop. READ FULL STORY
Yes, it’s the weekend, which means you should have plenty of time to scroll through the nominees for the 6th Annual EWwy Awards, which honor the Emmy-snubbed, and vote for your favorites. As I’m typing this, 10 votes separate first and second place in one category; 46 votes in another, and 194 votes in a third. You could be the difference between someone having to explain why they have a tiny statue of a
black gold sheep on their mantle and someone not having that pleasure. Vote now!
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I get it: Tax breaks are good, taxes are the devil. Everyone knows that. Hollywood likes to take advantage of any and every money-saving tool in the movie and TV magic toolbox. This includes shooting features and shows in Canada. Shows such as Fringe, Psych, and Being Human are set in U.S. locations but filmed in Canada — the first two in Vancouver, and the Syfy show in Montreal. Canada also has a healthy film and TV industry, including many shows set and shot in America’s northern neighbor that gain U.S. distribution such as Degrassi and Rookie Blue.
Canadian-shot series have varying degrees of success in transforming the Great White North into the Home of the Brave. The Killing manages to pull off making Vancouver look like Seattle, as both are in the Pacific Northwest, whereas Being Human‘s “Boston” is laughably inauthentic, as the series is actually shot in Montreal. (Montreal is a cool city! Why don’t they just set the series in Montreal? The fact that the Syfy series is set in Boston manages to be the most baffling part of a show in which a vampire, werewolf, and ghost are roommates.)
What is even more baffling and exasperating are Canadian-set shows that refuse to acknowledge whether they take place in the U.S. or Canada. Instead, these series are set in Ambiguous North America, a state of limbo that avoids any definitive landmarks, all the while completely and utterly infuriating me.
READ FULL STORY
Here at EW, Fall TV Wish List is a new weekly series in which our TV critics Melissa Maerz and Jeff Jensen weigh in on what they hope the coming season will bring for some of their favorite shows. Today: NBC’s Parks and Recreation, which premieres its sixth season on Sept. 26.
WHERE WE LEFT OFF
Ace “detective” work by Bert Macklin revealed that manly-man master woodsman Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) and his mustache (as himself) had conceived a child with his single mom girlfriend Diane (Lucy Lawless). After refusing to sell Rent-A-Swag to a mystery buyer (Diddy?!), Tom (Aziz Ansari) learned that said mystery buyer was opening a rival shop across the street. April (Aubrey Plaza) was accepted to Veterinary School; wither the impact on her marriage to Andy (Chris Pratt)? And after a seemingly successful rookie year as a crusading councilwoman, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) was sandbagged during Founders’ Week by a flotilla of Knope haters who announced they were launching a recall campaign. At least she has local porn star Brandi Maxxx in her corner. That’s gotta be worth something, right?
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BBC America’s 10-episode first season of Orphan Black flew a little under the radar. Airing Saturdays after Doctor Who as part of the network’s Supernatural Saturdays, it garnered fair attention during its run, which ended earlier this month but failed to make a huge splash. That is, until Emmy season rolled around. With lead Tatiana Maslany among the dark horse contenders for a nomination, buzz for the show has grown. Here at EW alone, no less than three staffers have spent their weekends catching up over the last few weeks. And, like many of you, we can’t believe we’ve been missing out.
Now, we have to talk about it — even though the first rule of Clone Club is ‘Don’t talk about Clone Club.’
Below, shameless binge watchers Denise Warner and Sandra Gonzalez, who happened to binge the series on the same weekend (#weneedlives), relive the season and all its great moments via Instant Messenger, because we’re okay with acting like it’s 1998. Feel free to join the conversation below with your favorite moments after you catch up. To those who have been with the show since the beginning, we bow to your wisdom.
Denise Warner: Sandra! I’m so glad we both decided to watch this show. It’s AMAZING. I was pretty much hooked from the first few minutes, when Sarah sees Beth at the train station.
Sandra Gonzalez: I saw that clip when the show was about to first get released. (In fact, it was EW’s exclusive!) And I was totally into it. But it’s so hard to make room for a new show, so I vowed to catch up on it eventually. The problem: When I say that, it usually never happens. Thankfully, this time, it did! I’m just sad it took me so long.
Denise: Oh I know! There are too many shows, and I was currently trying to binge-watch Scandal then got sidelined. But I digress! I could not stop once I started. Although now I want to go back and see them all again, this time a little bit slower. All the episodes almost blend together for me at this point. I basically watched a ten-hour movie. Let’s start off easy. Do you have a favorite episode?
Sandra: A friend who’d already watched told me it was going to be a great episode, so my pick might be influenced by that, but I’d say episode 6 — with the neighborhood pot luck. It was SO FUN. And Alison’s glue gun “torture” scene with her husband Donnie was one of the most darkly comedic things I’d seen in a long time.
Denise: That scene! I felt so bad for Donnie. Now I don’t, though.
Sandra: Well, that tends to happen when I find out a guy is actually a filthy lying spy. I will say, though, I totally bought his cover story about falling in love with the girl with Lupus. Then, when the truth came out, I was like YOU IDIOT (to myself). I’m gullible.
Denise: Me too! Especially since he knew her since high school, and presumably Paul didn’t know Beth that long — as her monitor.
Sandra: But back to my point, episode 6 was perfectly paced and I have no idea how they made so many moving parts come together that well. Sarah pretending to be Alison, Alison getting drunk, Paul crashing the party, Vic showing up…
Denise: Felix as the bartender!
Sandra: Felix’s general fear of suburbia had me howling.
Denise: He’s my favorite non-Clone character. I love that he’s willing to do anything for Sarah and Kira, plus his evolving relationship with Allison — remember she went from threatening to shoot him, to asking him for comfort during her “intervention” — and not to mention his sarcastic asides.
Sandra: He’s fantastic and a much-needed source of levity. This show can get REALLY dark. But can I just say that Paul really surprised me, too? I was immediately prepared to hate him when he was introduced. (I believe my words at one point were, “Ugh. He’s just another a–hole Ken doll.”) Then we found out he was a Monitor, which made me dislike him in a new way. Then, slowly, he grew on me. He started having all these real feelings and emotions for Sarah and started helping her. It was nice to watch that character evolve so much in just ten episodes
Denise: Totally agree. I love Paul, too. I think episode 7, where Sarah has to save him from the dude with the tail (Olivier, right? This is my problem with watching them all at once, I forget names) is my favorite. She’s not really sure of her own feelings for him, yet she risks a lot to help him, even bringing in Helena for the rescue. And I like how their relationship is left at the end. She screwed him over with Dr. Leekie, but he still helps her escape from Rachel and the Neolutionists. (I’m probably getting way ahead of ourselves here, though.)
Sandra: Dr. Leekie, btw, is so freaky. Rhyme! Fun fact, he also played Pestilence on Supernatural.
Denise: Do you have a favorite clone?
Sandra: That is SUCH a huge question. That’s like asking me what my favorite Backstreet Boys song is, Denise. Hmm…I know a lot of people who adore Alison — and I do, too — but I’m partial to Helena because she is a freak and a half. I remember when she was first introduced, I flipped out — both in fear and delight. She was terrifying, compelling, weird, and endlessly fascinating. (Side note: I almost couldn’t watch her eat. It was the same level of gross-out that I get watching Andrew Zimmern on Bizarre Foods.)
Denise: Oh jeez, yes! It was so gross. She scares me but in a good way. I feel bad for her, too, she has that psycho guy brainwashing her, basically.
Sandra: I know. What are your thoughts on the Beth backstory? If the show had one weak point, it was how long it took for them to make me care about her
Denise: I honestly don’t think much about Beth. Are we supposed to care about her? Obviously, she’s the catalyst at the beginning, but beyond that, I’m more invested in all of the other clones.
Sandra: We spent so much time with Sarah exploring the “Beth world” that I assumed we were supposed to care. In retrospect, it also added a lot of context to what we found out later, but the intros of the other clones were far more compelling than unraveling Beth’s story. Speaking of intros, I really hope we find out more about Bob Clone. http://orphanblack.wikia.com/wiki/Rachel_Duncan
Denise: I LOVE that nickname! What did Sarah call her? Proclone? I didn’t even understand that.
Sandra: like, Professional Clone…I think. I’m probably making that up
Denise: Ahhh! That makes total sense. Let’s go with that.
Sandra: I’m so rude. I never asked YOUR favorite episode or clone. So, both questions
Denise: Episode 7 — when Sarah saves Paul — is up there. But I also like the intervention ep — when Allison just unleashes on her bitchy, but ultimately harmless neighbor Aynsley — was great, too. As for my favorite clone? Like you said, it’s tough. I’m a “stick with the heroine” kind of gal, so I will have to say Sarah. They are all so great, though. Except for Cosima — I’m not into her, just because she was an idiot when it came to Delphine.
Sandra: I love Cosima! (Who I always want to call cosina, the spanish word for kitchen. Thanks, high school Spanish!) Yes, she was blinded by a pretty face, but that’s her flaw. I can accept that. Also, her glasses are cool.
Denise: I was about to say, I love her glasses.
Sandra: PS – I hope we get a Sarah flashback at some point that explains what the hell she saw in Vic, who is disgusting
Denise: Flashbacks! Yes! Maybe we can get more on Beth, too. And the German, and the other ones who died before we met them.
Sandra: Oh, the red head?
Denise: Yes, the red head! She seemed fun, for the two seconds we saw her before she died.
Sandra: I want to know about her cough or whatever it is. I got really worried when Cosima started Doc Holliday-ing
Denise: Hahaha. I shouldn’t laugh at that, but I have to.
Sandra: So to wrap this up, I don’t think I could have thought of a better way to spend ten hours of my life last weekend. And, by the way, you’re invited to my Orphan Black-themed Halloween Party. I’m either going as Helena or Cosima — if I can find a wig that works for either.
Denise: I am so in! And there is no better way to spend 10 hours, really. Everyone should watch; it’s the best.
Judging by last night’s premiere, it’s a little confusing why the new Canadian series Orphan Black should be sandwiched between Doctor Who and Nerdist as part of BBC America’s Supernatural Saturdays. Most of the series opener served as a showcase for Tatiana Maslany, who played one character figuring out how to impersonate another. It felt a bit more like an identity swap dramedy than the sci-fi conspiracy thriller we were promised. But that’s forgivable, because we’re just getting started.
We didn’t waste any time getting to the moment that sets off the whole series. Sarah (Maslany) waits for a train that will shuttle her away from her checkered past. But as she waits, she spots a woman who looks exactly like her — and who jumps in front of the train to her death. Sarah impulsively decides to take on the deceased woman’s personality, and most of the fun in this episode comes from watching Sarah winging it as she tries to be Beth, whose life turns out to be even more complicated than Sarah’s. As Beth, Sarah has to figure out how to act like a cop who’s the subject of a messy internal investigation. And she also has to pretend be Dylan Bruce’s girlfriend, which must be so hard.
If you’ve read the logline for Orphan Black — and if you haven’t, spoilers ahead! — you know that Sarah has many more ringers out there, who are actually clones. I suspect once the Sarahs start to multiply, that’s when the show will really start getting fun. But right now, the highlight is definitely Maslany, who so far mostly has to look flustered and falsely confident in assuming her new identity. The low point is Sarah’s gay foster brother Felix (Jordan Gavaris), who shoots off some mood-lightening quips but embodies a number of ugly stereotypes.
Are you going to keep watching for more clones? Does anyone else think that Alia Shawkat and Tina Majorino are Maslany’s real-life ringers? Speaking of which, how does Orphan Black stack up against Ringer?
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