Not A Review Of “Orphan Black”

It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that I’ve been watching BBC’s “Orphan Black” since the first episode. “Orphan Black” is, of course, a show about a vast conspiracy to create, monitor, monetize, and sometimes terminate human clones, which is totally up my alley, right?

I see a mouse ... and horsies ... and a butterfly ... and Tatiana Maslany ... and Tatiana Maslany ... and Tatiana Maslany ... and ...

I see a sheep … and horsies … and a butterfly … and Tatiana Maslany … and Tatiana Maslany … and Tatiana Maslany … and …

Although the real reason I started watching it was because it had a similar name to my ancient stuffed animal friend, Orphan Orange.

Orphan Orange, only slightly the worse for wear after being abducted by Dennis the Vizsla Dog.

Orphan Orange, only slightly the worse for wear after being abducted by Dennis the Vizsla Dog.

Incidentally, Orphan Orange is Canadian, having come from the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, so maybe he could be a member of Clone Club too. But I digress.

Anyway, despite the fact that I’ve been watching “Orphan Black” for four years, my wife had never seen an episode — which of course meant I could never give it the “not-a-review” treatment — until just recently, when she happened to not be asleep one evening when I fired up the DVR to watch it, and she happened to look at the television.

Wife: “What’s this? Is this zombies?*
Me: “No, this is ‘Orphan Black’. It’s about a human cloning experiment.”
Wife: “Oh. Is that why they look the same?”
Me: “Yep!”

So my wife sort of paid attention to the show for a while, making various stray observations, such as:

Wife: “I hope they’re paying that girl more than the rest of the cast for playing so many parts.”
Me: “I’m pretty sure they are.”

And:

Wife: “If they’re clones, how come only one of them is gay?”

And:

Wife: “If one of them is blonde, shouldn’t they all be blonde?”
Me: “It could be a dye job.”
Wife: “Nah, I don’t believe they’re clones.”

And:

Me: “That Tatiana Maslany is amazing. Sometimes she plays a clone impersonating a different clone, and you can tell that the one doing the impersonating is just trying to imitate the other one’s mannerisms. It’s really something else.”
Wife: (beat) “Yeah that’s too complicated for me to care about.”

So anyway, this went on for the requisite 40-odd minutes, and my wife managed to stay awake the entire time. Granted, part of this was because I kept having to pause the show to explain four seasons’ worth of mythos and background, but still. That much filling-in would normally be more than sufficient to send her off to sleepy-land. When the episode (which was a pretty good one, though it needed more Ferdinand — of course, all episodes need more Ferdinand) was over, and I asked for a verdict, she pronounced it “Okay”. Which is pretty high praise for a nutty science-fiction clonefest she’s never seen before.

Of course, the next week, we were back to this:

Me: “Hey, I’m going to watch ‘Orphan Black’. Are you interested?”
Wife: “Meh.”

So there you have it! “Orphan Black” — so okay, it’s meh. Unless you’re me, of course, in which case it’s totally awesome.

*My wife quite reasonably asks “Is this zombies?” whenever she finds me watching something that she doesn’t know what it is and looks like it might be ominous.

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