orphan black_girlsHaven’t I been raving about Canadian TV for a while? Well, Orphan Black really seals it for me. What a great show! I’ve just watched season 2 which contained, what I think is, my favourite ever scene on TV–the clone dance.

For those of you who don’t know the series, this is the gist from wiki:

Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction television series created by screenwriter Graeme Manson and director John Fawcett, starring Tatiana Maslany as several identical people who are revealed to be clones. The series focuses on Sarah Manning, a woman who assumes the identity of one of her clones, Elizabeth Childs after witnessing Childs’ suicide. The series raises issues about the moral and ethical implications of human cloning and its effect on issues of personal identity.

There are so many good things to say about Tatiana’s acting, and how she gives such defined and individual characterisation to each clone. Never once, do you feel like you’re watching the same actor switching parts. It’s quite a remarkable feat.

Tatiana is well supported by Jordan Gavaris as her foster brother Felix, and some other great actors: Maria Doyle Kennedy, Matt Frewer, Michale Mando, and little Skylar Wexler, who is quite astounding as Sarah’s daughter Kira. (Go ‘neting and you’ll find her singing a simply amazing version of Rolling in the Deep by Adele. Stunning.) Some of the minor characters have great impact as well… Kristian Bruun as Donny, Michael Huisman as Cal, and Michelle Forbes as Marion Bowles stand out.

So, to the clone dance. I kind of had shivers watching the scene below, where Tatiana is choreographed in a complex pattern of movement so that they can splice together what seems like the four clones dancing with Felix. Aside from the fact that it’s a funky little remix–Music by Adham Shaikh, “Water Prayer”: Mat the Alien Remix.–the distinct dance styles and the sense of love on the dance floor is unbelievable. I’m lost for superlatives.

Much has been made of the fact that Tatiana has been snubbed at the major awards. My response is fairly blunt: what a bunch of douchebags that they can’t acknowledge the power of what she has achieved. Did she not go to the right acting school or something?

Risk taking, meaty content, great dialogue, mostly fab acting and a fresh and energetic cast puts Orphan Black in a class of its own. Bravo BBC America!

Clone Dance Party

 

Season One Trailer

 

Season Two Trailer

I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but I love Canadian TV series. King is now sitting on my video shelves with Booker, The Border, Wiseguy and (my all time favourite) Intelligence.

Unfortunately, this cop show only lasted two series but it’s still well worth watching. Wiki says: Amy Price-Francis [is] Jessica King, a veteran police officer who gets promoted to head of the Major Crimes Task Force in Toronto after her predecessor has a breakdown on television.

Jessica is over-achieving, blunt, smart-mouthed workaholic who takes no prisoners at work. Her husband (played by Gabriel Hogan) is a Guns and Gangs detective with a gambling problem and chip on his shoulder. The marriage is tumultuous and passionate. And then there’s her colleague, Detective Spears (Alan van Sprang), demoted, lonely and kind falling in love with her. It’s messy!

Though the storylines aren’t anywhere near as compelling as Intelligence, Jessica’s relationships with those around her and enough to hook the viewer in. When her and her husband decide to try and fit children into the equation, some very real issues are brought to the table.

Probably the most interesting aspect of the show for me, was seeing Jessica’s personality played out against colleagues, family, felons and strangers. Though abraisive and arrogant she’s also loyal to a fault; the kind of person you learn to love despite her sharp edges. Oh, and the high heels – they rarely matched her outfits. But Jessica King didn’t care.

Unfortunately, like many of the best characters in TV fiction, her network abandoned her. Shame on them!

Awards

davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 

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