Orphan Black : Season 1

Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4
Orphan Black Image
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 460 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Sarah (Tatiana Maslany), a British orphan now living in America, witnesses the suicide of a woman named Beth, who looks exactly like her. Assuming Beth's identity brings Sarah a new apartment, a nice boyfriend, and trouble that includes a deadly conspiracy.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Science Fiction

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    May 15, 2013
    100
    Slowly, a smartly constructed epic is taking shape.
  2. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Mar 28, 2013
    90
    It is, flat out, one of the most intriguingly entertaining new series of the year, and it’s so much more than pure entertainment. For a sci-fi series, there’s some real heft to it.
  3. 80
    [A] gritty, visceral, and emotionally engaging thriller.
  4. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Mar 21, 2013
    75
    An intriguing new series.
  5. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Mar 29, 2013
    70
    Orphan Black has the same plain club soda flavor you get in most cable action dramas now, but I have to say that I’m enjoying some of its fizz.
  6. Reviewed by: Laurel Brown
    Mar 29, 2013
    70
    The beginnings of answers do appear by the end of the episode, and they are definitely compelling enough to encourage continued viewing.
  7. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Mar 25, 2013
    40
    Other than enjoying Maslany in multiple characters, wigs and accents, there’s nothing so distinctive about the plot as to provide an incentive to hang around long enough to sort out all the gory details regarding who might want to eliminate them.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 58
  2. Negative: 6 out of 58
  1. Mar 31, 2013
    10
    Tatiana Maslany dazzles. Good mix of suspense, humor, and heart. Definitely going to stick with it as I'm curious how much will be characterTatiana Maslany dazzles. Good mix of suspense, humor, and heart. Definitely going to stick with it as I'm curious how much will be character vs conspiracy. Was impressed and entertained. Expand
  2. May 1, 2016
    10
    This is a well-written series that leaves you wanting more after each episode. Tatiana Maslany does an impressive job performing the manyThis is a well-written series that leaves you wanting more after each episode. Tatiana Maslany does an impressive job performing the many roles of the clone sisters. Definitely worth watching! Expand
  3. Jun 22, 2013
    10
    Most sci-fi writers seem to view their material as existing on some plane that doesn't appear in the viewer's reality. That is why so much ofMost sci-fi writers seem to view their material as existing on some plane that doesn't appear in the viewer's reality. That is why so much of sci-fi is dismissed by the masses. They can't identify with it. That is why I was very pleasantly surprised to see the ORPHAN BLACK writers focus more on elements that ground the characters in reality as opposed to hitting us over the head with the weirder stuff.

    Sure, there is weird stuff in this show. Hell, there is some really weird stuff in this show. But because we actually care about the characters and because every performance is so solid, we believe in the world even when things get goofy. Great story telling makes suspension of disbelief easier. Great performances along with great story telling make all problem areas disappear. You are just along for the ride and willing to go wherever the writers steer the show.

    And then, obviously, there is Tatiana Maslany. If nothing anyone has said about the fantastic story telling moves you to check this show out, do it for the love of talent. She has so much of it.
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  4. Jun 6, 2013
    9
    Orphan Black has been a great watching experience. I watched the entire first season just in 3 days. I want to praise, of course, TatianaOrphan Black has been a great watching experience. I watched the entire first season just in 3 days. I want to praise, of course, Tatiana Maslany performance. She has done an amazing job playing all those different characters; I'm really amazed. To sum up: Orphan Black is a must see tv show! Expand
  5. Apr 21, 2013
    9
    I reviewed this after the pilot and gave it an 8, the show is good, they have built on the premise and Tatiana Maslany is doing a great jobI reviewed this after the pilot and gave it an 8, the show is good, they have built on the premise and Tatiana Maslany is doing a great job for such a strange character. I raised my rating to 9. I'm actually looking for this actress in some other stuff now.

    This idea was a windfall for the writers, they have so much to work with.
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  6. Jun 9, 2013
    8
    Fast-paced & unflinching, it rarely misses a mark. With so much that impresses, it’s Maslany’s multi-character performances that truly shine DE
  7. May 3, 2015
    0
    A typical example of the 'new standard' which conflates artistic merit with discussion about 'social issues'. The issues discussed areA typical example of the 'new standard' which conflates artistic merit with discussion about 'social issues'. The issues discussed are completely one sided radical feminist ones. The straight male characters are portrayed as one dimensional wallflowers or incompetent buffoons while women are portrayed as strong, independent leaders with complex lives and issues. I have no problem with feminist TV shows (see my review of Masters of Sex season 2), just completely unbalanced debates which shove a political agenda down everyone's throats like this one.

    The plot is transparent and is clearly being used as a vehicle to drive what should have stayed a (poorly conceived and unbalanced) gender studies essay. To anyone who is not already a radical feminist - don't bother with this show. It is preaching to the converted. To anyone who still believes that exploring social issues does not enhance a work's artistic merit - this is a waste of time as it is all that it does.

    To those who I haven't convinced - take for example relatively undisputed works full of artistic merit - William Shakespeare's plays, Rembrandt's paintings, JS Bach's music - conducting a feminist analysis of these may tell you an awful lot about women's roles and status 500 years ago. But it will tell you nothing about how beautiful the works are as pieces of art.

    In conclusion, this TV show only derives appeal to a limited (and rather already brainwashed) audience for reasons only to do with discussion of social issues. As I do not award points for that (and if I did, I wouldn't award many as they are badly discussed), and this show has no other artistic redeeming qualities, I award it zero score.
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See all 58 User Reviews

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