Tag Archives: Orphan Black

Best of 2017: TV Shows

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BETTER THINGS – Pictured: (L-R) Pamela Adlon as Pam, Olivia Edward as Duke). CR: Colleen Hayes/FX

The annual list is back again for another year – the list that only begins to take any real form or shape late in the year once the influx of shows, new and old, have made their way into our homes.

Last years list saw eight of the twelve classed as “new entries” and this year is no different with only two shows managing to hold onto a spot within the coveted top twelve.

That said, if the list went longer than the specific twelve, I don’t know where I could actually stop and find an appropriate cut meaning some shows such as The Walking Dead, American Housewife and Wentworth become glaringly absent.

Honorable Mention: Big Mouth Season 1 [New Entry] – Netflix Australia

Netflix’s new animated comedy Big Mouth is silly, disgusting, funny, shocking and rather awkward too – which is much like the tween characters featured in this outrageous ‘coming of age’ laugh fest.  Underneath all the gross-out jokes and masturbation references though lies a sweet friendship between Andrew (John Mulaney) and Nicky (Nick Kroll) as they both traverse the sweaty, pimply and smelly puberty years.

12: Schitt’s Creek Season 3 [New Entry] – Netflix Australia

Season Three has the Rose’s being contempt with life in Schitt’s Creek – Moira (Catherine O’Hara) has cemented her position on town council, Alexis (Annie Murphy) completes her high school education and David (Dan Levy) opens up his own ’boutique’ store.  Another fantastic season filled with gif worthy quotes.

11: How To Get Away With Murder Season 4 [#7 in 2016] – 7Flix

Laurel (Karla Souza) is trying to solve Wes’ (Alfred Enoch) murder while the rest of the scooby gang have moved, trying to rescue their fledgling legal careers after Annalise (Viola Davis) fired everyone including Bonnie (Liza Wiel).  The mid season finale with heavily pregnant (and bleeding) Laurel trapped in an elevator was one of the most horrifying and traumatizing scenes on television this season.

10: Playing House Season 3 [New Entry] – USA Network

Absent from last years list thanks to a year long absence (Thanks USA Network – wtf?!) Playing House’s third and sadly final season continued along with the shows much loved theme of two best friends being there for one another no matter the circumstance.  Emma’s (Jessica St.Clair) brush with breast cancer was highly emotional along with Maggie’s (Lennon Parham) attempt to dive back into the dating pool.  A wonderful comedy ending on a seriously hilarious high.

09: The Sinner [New Entry] – Netflix Australia – Netflix Australia

The ‘whydunit’ of the year became a surprise hit thanks to stellar performances by leads Jessica Biel and Bill Pullman and the power of word-of-mouth.  A graphic murder, memory loss, sickness and bad memories all play out over eight incredible episodes as we find out why Cora committed murder.

08: Orphan Black Season 5  [New Entry] – SBS

The final season of the sci-fi/clone drama saw the clones pulled apart in an attempt to finally put an end to the Dyad/Castor/Brightborn saga that has played out over the past four seasons.  A surprise return in favorite Delphine (Évelyne Brochu) made many fans happy while star Tatiana Maslany continued to shine in her ability to portray multiple, layered, characters.

07: Greys Anatomy Season 14 [New Entry] – 7Flix

In all honesty, it’s been some time since I have been ‘really’ excited about an episode of Grey’s but the series’ 14th season (currently on a mid season break) has seen a return to form with many characters and their multi-season story arcs all culminating into this fantastic season.  Owen’s (Kevin McKidd) long thought dead sister reappears, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) wins the long mentioned Harper Avery award and the shows 300th episode brought glimpses of past favorites such as Christina (Sandra Oh), George (T.R Knight) and Izzy (Katherine Heigl) in the form of look-a-likes.

06: Star Trek Discovery Season 1 [New Entry] – Netflix Australia

It has been some time since a “Trek” series was on television (12 years to be precise) and the CBS All Access/Netflix outing is a sleek, flashy, violent and welcome addition to the franchise that, unlike previous Treks, sets its sights firmly on the theme of war against an uprising band of Klingons.  Discovery offers up a perfect mix of battle seriousness and somewhat-kooky characters that the Star Trek series has been known for.

05: Game of Thrones Season 7 [New Entry] – Showcase

Winter is coming, that’s for sure.  A gigantic season that brought about a tense meeting between Cersei (Lena Headey) and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), the death of Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen), Arya (Maisie Williams) back home to Winterfell, the truth about Jon Snow’s (Kit Harrington) heritage and the white walkers to the north’s door.

04: Better Things Season 2 [#5 in 2016] – FX (USA)

The sixth episode of Better Things’ second season titled Eulogy might just be one of the best episodes of television aired this year and is why it sits number four on this list.  While Sam (Pamela Adlon) was actually quite annoying to watch in this series’ first half (I found her to be quite aggressive and selfish, especially when it came to dating) all that was wiped away with one single heartwarming (and affirming) episode in which Sam, frustrated with her children’s lack of interest in her acting career, forces them to perform a fake eulogy at her fake funeral.

This episode was also the last work for late actor Robert Michael Morris who passed in May this year – his scene with Sam in the bar truly encapsulated a heart weary man who missed out on the best years of his life with one single line “Nobody could be gay until I was too old to have any fun.”

03: Will & Grace Season 9 [New Entry] – STAN

It’s like there wasn’t almost a 20 year break between seasons.  That’s how good Will and Grace’s long wanted return to TV has been.  On point with cutting remarks on quips on current day politics, technology and pop culture, the gay old gang are proving they still have the goods they had many moons ago.

02: Big Little Lies [New Entry] – Showcase

A season that consisted of eight episodes that moved so slowly yet managed to tell so much with each and every episode, Big Little Lies featured an all-star cast including Nicole Kidman, Reece Witherspoon and Alexander Skarsgård and kept us guessing about the big “what happened” and “Whodunit” right up until the final moments.  Good news too – Season two is in the works with Kidman and Witherspoon back for more lies!

01: The Mick Seasons 1 and 2 [New Entry] – Fox8

Crass, rude, violent, bloody, crazy – there’s no one real word to describe The Mick to really hammer in just how un-sitcom this show is other than it’s funny as all get-out.  Saddled with looking after her sisters three children, hustler Mickey (Kaitlin Olson) finds herself adapting to sudden parenthood and living the high life in their mansion all the while trying to not loose her rough and tumble past.

I’ll just let the trailer show what i’m trying to say….

 

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Best of 2015 – TV Shows

One could say that there is too much TV these days.  Between network TV, cable, premium cable and now streaming, the choice is endless for what to watch and when to watch it.

This, of course, makes trying to pick 12 shows that stood out among the rest an almost impossible task.  That said, of the myriad of ‘best of’ lists floating around, this one doesn’t contain Mad Men, Fargo or The Americans…all of which are worthy shows, but not for me.

Check out MY picks for the 12 best shows of 2015.

12: Orphan Black Season Three

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From male clones to Dyad, neolutionists to Topside, there’s a whole lot of heck going on in Orphan Black.  But….when you sit back and really take in what is actually happening and to whom and why, Orphan Black becomes a very clear cut twisted cat and mouse game of survival.

While some of the steam that pushed season one and two has gone, season three’s closer involving Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) connecting with original clone, Kendall Malone (Alison Steadman) finally placed all the puzzle pieces together.

11: Scream Queens Season One

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Of the two serial-killer-on-campus shows that graced our screens this year FOX’s Scream Queens basically shit all over MTV’s Scream.  Put it down to creator Ryan Murphy’s knack of being able to mix witty humor and dark gore, some sharp writing that created some of the nastiest characters to ever come to life and the casting of Emma Roberts and perennial scream queen Jamie-Lee Curtis in lead roles.

The red devil killer mystery was even hidden well enough to keep most viewers guessing until the final surprising reveal which gave Lea Michelle one of the best monologues to spew out this year.

10: Grace and Frankie Season One

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There was always going to be a whiff of interest floating around Grace and Frankie when it dropped on Netflix earlier this year – legends Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin playing two ‘frenemies’ forced to put aside their personality and lifestyle differences to unite in the face of their crumbling marriages.

While the uptight wasp and the free thinking hippy aren’t major acting stretches for Fonda and Tomlin, watching the two actresses bounce off one another when sharing a scene is when the magic really happens.

9: Code Black Season One

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We all love a good medical drama don’t we?  From ER to Chicago Hope, Private Practice to Grey’s Anatomy, the medical drama is a staple on network TV but none have ever been presented to us in such an unglamorous kind of way that Code Black does.  The gritty and hurried life within Angels Memorial Hospital in L.A features blood soaked floors, swamped ER’s and not a single sexual relationship between doctors.

 It’s a fresh change for the genre that has been swamped with doctors thinking the emergency room is the swimming pool from Melrose Place.

Our damaged-doctor-with-a-tragic-past, Dr. Leanne Rorish (Marcia Gay Harden) doesn’t overplay her past tragedy but will use it when rules need to be bent in order to save a life.

8: Pretty Little Liars Season 5

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Over 5 seasons of waiting, we finally got the answer to the question of who is Big A.  This bitchy, gossip girl-esque baddie who hides under masks and black hoodies was revealed to be none other than CeCe Drake (Vanessa Ray).  Most were surprised, some were annoyed, I was just finally happy to have an answer.

Snaps to the team behind the scenes for keeping such a massive secret hidden until reveal day.

7: Wentworth Season Three

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Pamela Rabe’s deranged Governor Ferguson continued to be an absolute cracker for this prison drama’s third season and that’s no easy task when paired with an incredible female driven cast.  Danielle Cormack’s Bea Smith took a back seat to allow Frankie’s (Nicole da Silva) emerging relationship with prison psychologist Bridget (Libby Tanner) to take center stage and a battle for baby Joshua revealed just how cray cray Jess (Georgia Chara) really is.

6: Looking Season Two

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Even though Looking has officially been canned by HBO, it’s second season showed that no matter how bad your opener was, there’s always a chance to go up – and Looking did just that.  Introducing Patrick (Jonathan Groff) into a messed up love triangle that involved his boss Kevin (Russell Tovey) and his ex boyfriend Ritchie (Raul Castillo) and pairing Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez) with HIV Positive Eddie (Daniel Franzese) allowed Looking to have more of a dramatic edge than the realistic one they were aiming for in season one.

Shame the show was eventually cancelled but at least 2016 will see a Looking feature on HBO that will give fans the closure desperately needed.

5: Playing House Season Two

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I’ve expressed my love for this show on many occasions (see here and here) and the love for this show and it’s stars is utterly deserved.  Just like Fonda and Tomlin in Grace and Frankie, Playing House is at it’s brightest when leads Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair are allowed to vibe off each other – whether that being making bird houses or breaking into houses or sneaking into Kenny Loggin’s dressing room.

BFF’s have never been portrayed so true or so funny!

P.S – Can we please have a season three?!

4: How to get Away with Murder Season Two

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Was it possible for Shonda Rhimes’ powerhouse HTGAWM to reach the same highs as season one?  The answer was a resounding YES!  Starting off with main player Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) lying in a pool of blood, season two jumped back in time giving us a ‘whodunit’ vibe – the complete opposite of season one’s main feature.

And while it seemed everyone including the neighbors dog wanted to put a bullet into Annalise, her past lies and cover-ups revolving around Rebecca’s (Katie Findlay) murder ultimately saw her number one student Wes (Alfred Enoch) pull the trigger.

3: Cougar Town Season Six

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Awwww, my Cul-De-Sac Crew!  A bitter sweet end to my favorite comedy for the past five years, Cougar Town never really got the love it deserved and that’s just down to it’s silly title.  Cougar Town’s final season though continued to be incredibly funny and grounded in it’s roots of family and friendship and even with the absence of Bobby Cobb (Brian Van Holt), the final season remained strong and true to itself.

2: UnReal Season One

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What’s this?  A Lifetime show sitting at number two?!  You betcha!  When shit’s this good you gotta respect it.  Constance Zimmer and Shiri Appleby, a take on the Bachelor TV franchise, sex, suicide, drama, back-stabbing, lies, tears, moral corruptness…there was a lot packed into this first season but thanks to the strength of the writing and the leads of Zimmer and Appleby, UnReal never felt…farcical or over-the-top yet had the ability to deliciously keep us glued.

Plus the way our feelings were toyed with….we love Rachel, we hate Quinn, we love Quinn, we hate Rachel…it was as if we were puppets just like the women competing on Everlasting.  UnReal is a true testament to Lifetime’s ability to actually support quality programming that NEEDS to be watched.

1: Homeland Season Five

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If Homeland has shown us anything, it’s that yes, you can kill off your main character, remove any trace of his family (mostly) and still maintain one hell of a show.  Granted, the killing off of Brody was so two seasons ago though the show never really felt any backlash from it and continues to grace us with incredible seasons such as the current fifth season.  While Carrie (Claire Danes) had moved on from the CIA, she’s never far away from trouble or a murder hit-list and with Saul (Mandy Patinkin) fighting for leadership and recognition while trying to recover stolen CIA documents, it’s the story line involving former Berlin Station Chief Allison Carr (Miranda Otto) and her secretly working with the Russians (for copious amount of dollars) that’s really pushed this season along.

Watching veterans Carrie and Saul traverse around the quick thinking and villainous Allsion while she was always a step ahead has been a pure highlight though her death, while imminent, seemed cheap.

 

 

First Look: Orphan Black 3×01

The clones find themselves in all sorts of trouble this season on Orphan Black.  Source: Provided
The clones find themselves in all sorts of trouble this season on Orphan Black. Source: Provided

It’s very easy to get lost within the world of Sarah Manning and her ‘seestras’.  Through a multitude of clones – Sarah, Alison, Cosima, Rachel, Helena and even Tony (all played by Tatiana Maslany) and secret government corporations and shady religious cults, words like Dyad, Proletheans, Leekie and Castro all began to become intertwined with one another.  For serious Clone Club card carrying Orphan Black fans, it’s easy to follow and understand but for fans like myself, we love the show but get to a point where we begin to ask “wait….is Dyad good?”

Oddly enough, with that surprise introduction of the male clones and the military based ‘project Castro’ in the closing moments of season two, the season three opener swiftly brings everyone and everything into place making it easy enough for fans like myself to know who stands where – for now.

Without offering spoilers, the season three opener can be described with a few simple words ‘sweet dreams are not made of these’ as we reconnect with a kidnapped and heavily pregnant Helena adjusting to her new surroundings with the help of a little stingy friend.

Sarah, Felix (Jordan Gavaris) and Kira (Skyler Wexler) are still none the wiser regarding Helena’s disappearance, Cosima (who received a stem cell transplant from Kira) looks to be on the mend, Rachel…well we know she’s one eye down now, Delphine (Évelyne Brochu) has made the move up the Dyad ladder while Alison is delving headfirst into re-instating her former social standing.  it’s not long however before we find our clones doing something we all love watching them do – play each other!

I’ts a general consensus that Maslany is a true talent, and it becomes cemented when we get to see her play Alison playing Sarah while Sarah plays Rachel all in the one scene.

Between the clones playing dress up, the male clones wanting information, Dyad trying to hold off cleaners, Delphine being all powerful and something called ‘Helsinki’ taking place, the season three opener could feel a bit hectic and trying to juggle too much at once, but without sounding like a broken record, it actually felt very easy to follow and continued with the quality of story-telling we’ve come to expect with Orphan Black.

Now it’s just a waiting game as to where this third season will take us.

Check out the extended preview below:

Orphan Black Season Three begins in Australia Tuesday, 21 April at 9.35pm on SBS 2

Orphan Black Goes Dark – Season Three News!

Tatiana Maslanay as clone Cosima. Source: Provided
Tatiana Maslanay as ill-clone Cosima. Source: BBC America

“New Threats Come With Familiar Faces”

Time to unite together clone club members as our ‘sestras’ are in for a tough ride for Orphan Black’s third season with several new threats emerging from the shadows.

Revealed during the show’s TCA (Television Critics Association) panel on Saturday in Pasadena, one major threat will come in the form of Rudy aka scarface – one of the male clones revealed during the final episode of season two.

That final scene saw Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) come face to face with the crazy project castor clone, which immediately continues on in season three with the two talking and us discovering just how unhinged Rudy actually is.  “He likes to get under people’s skin.   He will just pick at you until you blow up and he’s won.” says Ari Millen during the TCA panel.

Image Credit: BBC America
Sarah and Rudy exchange words.  Image Credit: BBC America

Another new threat for the clones comes in the form of Topside (the organization that steers the DYAD group) agent or cleaner Ferdinand (James Frain) “He plays a really amazing, scary guy that’s come in from Topside,” EP John Fawcett said. “He’s a very dangerous threat to our girls.”

Things also get complicated for our favorite drinking mamma Alison when an ex-flame from high school comes to visit.  Played by Justin Chatwin, Alison’s ex, Jason Kellermen, is a savvy drug dealer who causes issues for Alison and husband Donnie.

Fawcett also let us all in on some news about Felix (Jordan Gavaris) for season three.  With the popularity between Felix and Alison played up during season two, we can expect Felix to connect with some of the other clones – namely Cosima who will be spending most of her time recovering in Felix’s apartment.

No word on what to expect with Helena, one eyed pro-clone Rachel, Mrs. S, Kira or any of the other side characters currently floating around the clone universe.

Orphan Black returns Saturday April 18th on BBC America in the US with airings expected to start shortly after on SBS 2 in Australia.

Whats Back When? The 2015 TV Premiere Dates

AHS Freak Show Returns early Jan
AHS Freak Show Returns early Jan

It’s that weird time of year when there is literally nothing on the box, re-runs of Big Bang Theory are everywhere and you’re beginning to run out of things to binge-watch (I’ve just done two seasons of The Following in two weeks) but thankfully, new and returning shows are not that far away!  Check out the list of new-to-air and returning shows below.

Tuesday Jan 6th:  Pretty Little Liars: 5×14 – ABC Family / Agent Carter: Pilot – ABC / Cougar Town: Final Season – TBS

Wednesday Jan 7th: Empire: Pilot – FOX / AHS Freak Show: 4×11 – FX

Thursday Jan 8th: Archer: Season 6 premiere – FX /  Parenthood: 6×10 – NBC

Friday Jan 9th: Glee: Final Season – FOX / Heart of Dixie 4×02 – CW

Sunday Jan 11th: Looking: Season Two premiere – HBO / Girls: Season Four premiere – HBO / Shameless: Season Five premiere – Showtime / House of Lies: Season Four premiere – Showtime / Episodes: Season Four Premiere – Showtime

Tuesday Jan 13th: Parks and Recreation: Final Season – NBC

Wednesday Jan 14th: Web Therapy: 4×10 – Showtime

Wednesday Jan 28th: The Americans: Season Three premiere – FX / Suits: Season Four premiere – USA

Thursday Jan 29th: Greys Anatomy: 11×09 – ABC / Scandal: 4×10 – ABC / How to get Away With Murder: 1×10 – ABC

Thursday Feb 5th: The Blacklist: 2×09 – NBC

Sunday Feb 8th: The Walking Dead 5×09 – AMC / Better Call Saul: Pilot Episode – AMC

Tuesday Feb 10th: Fresh Off the Boat: Pilot Episode – ABC

Thursday Feb 19th: Thee Odd Couple: Pilot Episode – CBS

New and returning shows coming March include The Following Season three, Secrets and Lies pilot, the return of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, CSI: Cyber pilot and the return of Orphan Black in April!

What are you most excited about returning or starting?  Sound off in the comments below!

Best TV Characters of 2014

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Zombie killers, jaded actresses, prison wardens, freaks, loud mouth-know-it-all’s, CIA agents, lawyers, mothers, detectives, therapists…whatever the ‘profession’, the range and scale of characters scattered throughout the television year has been wide and varied.

To celebrate the year that was, here’s my list of the 23 best television characters of 2014

23: Beth Davis – “Stalker”

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A stalking victim turned head of the stalker unit with the L.A.P.D turned stalking victim.  It’s no wonder Beth Davis (Maggie Q) keeps her cards close to her chest.  There’s something mysterious about Beth, but that’s probably because we’re only just starting to unravel the trauma she suffered many many years ago.

22: Ellie Torres – “Cougar Town”

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Ellie (Krista Miller) is the best friend you want to have but probably couldn’t deal with her in-your-face bluntness.  And while she’s begun to warm up-to others around her, you just know Ellie always does what’s best for Ellie.

21: Will – “Friends With Better Lives”

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Will was the externally confident but internally, was incredibly insecure.  The single guy in his group of loved-up friends, no romantic challenge was off limits, even if it included an almost three-way with one of his friends.

20: Gina Spinks – “Web Therapy”

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Gina, Gina, Gina.  The only woman in the world to take horrible advice from her therapist and turn it into a positive…with that positive being becoming a sex toy party host.  The great thing about Gina is, she literally does not see the mean coming from those around her.

19: Dr. Betty Rogers – “Motive”

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Handling dead bodies never looked so sexy!  Betty’s (Lauren Holly) take-no-prisoners attitude towards her job isn’t even covering some deep seeded need to be taken seriously, it’s just Betty.  Plus the fact she’ll rock up-to a crime scene in full nightclub attire without any explanation as to why or where she’s been just shows Betty is deadly serious about her work.

18: Haley Duphy – “Modern Family”

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Being one of three Dunphy children makes it hard for one to stand out, but this year saw Haley (Sarah Hyland) bump herself up with some incredibly funny scenes involving her finally taking a leap forward with her career post community college drop out.  Gone is the self obsessed, younger sister dissing ditz, replaced with the self obsessed, younger sister dissing career woman.

17: Bedelia Du Maurier – “Hannibal”

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Has Bedelia (Gillian Anderson) fooled us all along?  Her almost whispered tones confessing her beliefs of Hannibal’s guilt this year made us all believe not only does she believe Hannibal is the Chesapeake Ripper, but she’s also quite fearful of her life…that was until that final scene of season two.

16: Connor Walsh – “How To Get Away With Murder”

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Connor (Jack Falahee) proves it’s not always the girls who can use sex as a way to get what they want as he bed-hopped his way around obtaining key pieces of evidence and information to ensure he stays in favor with his mentor.  His bitchy, snarky and manipulative demeanor is a perfect throwback to the days of Melrose Place and Amanda Woodward.

15: Peter Quinn – “Homeland”

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Quinn (Rupert Friend) sure is a damaged and broken man.  He’s hell bent on trying to make right (still living with the demons he pick-up after accidentally killing a young boy) while also dealing with emerging romantic feelings for his boss.  Copious amounts of booze and random acts of sex with his landlord didn’t seem to help, nor his attempt to express his feelings for said boss.

14: Laura Diamond – “The Mysteries of Laura”

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Sure Laura (Debra Messing) really displaced me on our first meeting but over time, Detective Diamond has proven herself to be a head-strong and smart woman who happens to not give two hoots about she presents herself to the world.  She’s a mother first and a career woman first too who also happens to carry around a bag akin to that of Mary Poppins.

13: Nicky Nichols – “Orange is the New Black”

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It was rather interesting getting to see a second side to Nicky (Natasha Lyonne) this year that didn’t involve sex with other inmates.  While it was there and is part of the Nicky we love, her battle with overcoming her heroin addiction and also dealing with the fall from grace of her mother-figure Red (Kate Mulgrew) showed that there is a mature and responsible woman underneath all that red hair.

12: Shoshanna Shapiro – “Girls”

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Part of the reason why Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) is on this list is purely down to her awesome “go fuck yourself” speech she spewed out to Hannah (Lena Dunham) while in the ‘fake Hamptons’.  It’s a fantastic piece of dialogue that is what all Girls viewers have been wanting to say to Hannah since day one.  “I’m talking about the fact that you’re a fucking narcissist.  Seriously, I’ve never met anyone else who thinks their own life is so fucking fascinating.  I wanted to fall asleep in my own vomit all day listening to you talk about how you bruise more easily than other people.”

11: Beverly Goldberg – “The Goldbergs”

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There’s no smother (smothering mother) like her!  Whether Beverly (Wendy McLendon-Covey) is trying to stay hip and relevant with her daughter or ego stroke her wannabe rapper-come-kickboxer-come-basketball superstar son, Beverly is there.  Actually, she’s there watching them sleep, eat, at school…she’s everywhere.

10: Annalise Keating – “How to get Away With Murder”

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You get confronted with this ballsy and upfront woman right from the go.  Annalise (Viola Davis) is all business and for the most part – keeps up a good front but this woman also struggling with a cheating husband, a dead cheerleader and a whole bunch of lies and betrayal so it’s no wonder that underneath the wig, the makeup and the power suits, there’s a very uncertain and sad woman trying to decipher what’s personal and what’s business.

9: Bette and Dot Tattler – “American Horror Story Freak Show”

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Looking at Bette and Dot (Sarah Paulson) it’s hard to tell the two apart but when you get up close and personal, the conjoined twins could not be more identifiable.  We love that Bette takes what’s in front of her as black and white.  She dreams of stardom and seeing the world for what it has to offer while Dot, the complete opposite.  She knows the world has an extending shade of grey area not to be trusted and yearns for a life that doesn’t involve her sister attached to her 24-7.

8: Alison Hendrix – “Orphan Black”

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She’s a mom who drinks, kills, has numerous clone sisters and enjoys time performing in local stage productions.  Clearly Alison (Tatiana Maslany) has her priorities right, but has trouble keeping them all in check.  One of the more colorful clones, we’ve seen Alison grow from a suburban stepford wife to an ass-kicking alcoholic while still managing to have dinner on the table for her kids (you know, while she’s not in forced rehab).

7: Ashley Marin – “Pretty Little Liars”

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The Ashley Marin (Laura Leighton) that is so accustomed to ensuring people perceive her and her daughter to have a perfect life had no choice but to show things are not a peachy keen as they appeared. Accused of murder and shipped off to prison, Ashley had no choice but to let the walls down and ask for help from those she’s been trying to dupe for all these years.  Mix that with Leighton’s compelling performance as a completely distraught mother uncertain of her daughter’s safety and well-being while not having the ability to control what’s happening outside those prison walls makes Ashley Marin a standout.

6: Dr. Fiona Wallice – “Web Therapy”

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What’s best for Fiona (Lisa Kudrow) clearly isn’t what’s best for everyone else and in true Web Therapy form, Fiona never really learns from her mistakes or errors in judgement.  She continuously looks for the monetary advantage and boost in social standing in those she’s entrusted to help yet is shocked when she’s either double crossed or left holding together what shred of professional credibility she actually has.  Of course, thanks to Kudrow’s impeccable performance, we still root for Fiona to come out on top.

5: Joan ‘The freak’ Ferguson – “Wentworth”

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Governor Joan Ferguson (Pamela Rabe) is one demented woman haunted by personal tragedy.  She set out her plan for revenge many many years ago that was finally coming to see the light of day and no prisoner or guard within the walls of Wentworth were going to spoil her scheme, even if it meant there would be blood on her hands.  To me, Pamela Rabe was the most genius and perfect casting of any character for 2014.

4: Daryl Dixon – “The Walking Dead”

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Daryl (Norman Reedus) has always been at the forefront of The Walking Dead but throughout the show, he has (mostly) managed to keep his heart and emotions well and truly hidden.  But it was this year that brought forth a softer side to Daryl – reunited with trusted companion Carol and faced with the death of Beth, the hardened and dirtied exteriors began to fall showing a multi-layered character we all kind of knew was there all along.

3: Carrie Mathison – “Homeland”

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It’s a reinvigorated Homeland that proved killing off a main character can be beneficial to bringing back a show to it’s best and with Brody now dead, we got back a Carrie (Claire Danes) that was no longer split between work and love (well…there’s now a baby…but you get where I’m coming from) now with her eyes firmly on homeland security.

2: Selina Meyers – “VEEP”

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You’d have to imagine just what America would be like if Selina Meyer were actually the president.  She’s completely out-of-touch with modern society, curses like a drunken sailor, is blatantly disrespectful to pretty much everyone and yet, we all cheered when she suddenly became the President of the United States.  Put it down to that hilarious scene between Selina and right hand man Gary in the bathroom when she finds out the big news.

1: Valerie Cherish – “The Comeback”

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All this woman really wants is to stay afloat in an industry where hot one day is cold the next and while Valerie (Lisa Kudrow) knows this first hand, she can’t keep herself away, even if it means playing a fictionalized version of herself in a HBO show written by a man who literally hates her.  And while Valerie and all her irksome habits have a way of pushing you aside, the vulnerability she lets seep out from time to time ultimately pull you back in.

Golden Globes 2015 Snubs, Surprises and Nominations

Scandal's Kerry Washington once again misses out on a nomination.
Scandal’s Kerry Washington once again misses out on a nomination.

There’s a whole lot of WTF floating around social media and Hollywood at the moment and it’s all aimed around the recent Golden Globe nominations announced today.  The general consensus is that is a mix of “did they finally get it right?” and “Did [insert name here] really miss out again?”.

This years nominations brought fourth a change in what to expect for nominees.  No Modern Family (gasp) nominations, new shows such as How to get away with Murder and Transparent finding themselves with big time nods, Game of Thrones’s Peter Dinklage mysteriously absent from the list and a small show about virgins getting everyone talking thanks to two serious nominations.

Along with Modern Family’s surprise omission, Scandal and star Kerry Washington were both amiss along with favorite Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and even Park’s and Recreation lead (and Globes host- AND last years winner for best actress in a comedy) Amy Poehler missed out.

Other notable omissions include Big Bang’s Jim Parsons (nominated three times with one win) and HBO’s Veep which only landed a nom for lead Julia Louis-Dreyfus and just like last years best actress comedy winner Poehler, last years best actor comedy winner – Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine Nine) is also missing from the list.

Perhaps (to me) the biggest omission is any mention of Lisa Kudrow and The Comeback.  How is it possible that Kudrow, who has the inane ability to play both hysterical and utterly tragic, not even get a look in for her work as the completely jaded Valerie Cherish?

Moving along from the snubs, perhaps the biggest surprise this year is the inclusion on the CW’s Jane The Virgin.  The show picked up two nominations (best lead actress comedy and best comedy) and is the first time the network has ever received a nomination. While I’m yet to indulge in the world of Jane and her virginity, the general feeling around these nominations is one of good and much deserved – perhaps I may need to binge this over the Xmas break!

Check out the full list of nominee’s below. (I’ve underlined my suggested wins)

Best TV Series, Drama
Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)
The Affair
Game Of Thrones
House of Cards
Good Wife, The
Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama
Viola Davis
(How to Get Away With Murder)
Claire Danes
(Homeland)
Julianna Margulies
(The Good Wife)
Robin Wright
(House of Cards)
Ruth Wilson
(The Affair)
Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama
Kevin Spacey
(House of Cards)
Clive Owen
(The Knick)
James Spader
(The Blacklist)
Dominic West
(The Affair)
Liev Schreiber
(Ray Donovan)
Best TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Orange is the New Black
Girls
Jane The Virgin
Transparent
Silicon Valley
Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
(Veep)
Edie Falco
(Nurse Jackie)
Gina Rodriguez
(Jane The Virgin)
Lena Dunham
(Girls)
Taylor Schilling
(Orange is the New Black)
Best Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Don Cheadle
(House of Lies)
William H. Macy
(Shameless)
Ricky Gervais
(Derek)
Jeffrey Tambor
(Transparent)
Louie C.K.
(Louie)
Best Actress in a Mini-Series or TV Movie
Jessica Lange
(American Horror Story: Freak Show)
Maggie Gyllenhaal
(The Honorable Woman)
Frances McDormand
(Olive Kitteridge)
Allison Tolman
(Fargo)
Frances O’Connor
(The Missing)
Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie
Martin Freeman
(Fargo)
Matthew McConaughey
(True Detective)
Woody Harrelson
(True Detective)
Billy Bob Thornton
(Fargo)
Mark Ruffalo
(The Normal Heart)
Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie
Kathy Bates
(American Horror Story: Freak Show)
Uzo Aduba
(Orange is the New Black)
Joanne Froggatt
(Downton Abbey)
Michelle Monaghan
(True Detective)
Allison Janney
(Mom)
Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie
Bill Murray
(Olive Kitteridge)
Jon Voight
(Ray Donovan)
Matt Bomer
(The Normal Heart)
Alan Cumming
(The Good Wife)
Colin Hanks
(Fargo)

The Golden Globes will be handed out on Sunday Jan 11th 2015.

HBO Lead SAG Award Nominations

SAG-WINNERS-618-618x400

HBO has once again taken lead with the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations among all networks with the cable channel walking away with 14 nominations thanks to standouts like The Normal Heart, Veep and Game of Thrones.

ABC’s Modern Family will try for a record breaking fifth win in the best ensemble comedy category while first time nominee’s include the often over-looked Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and surprise entry for How to get away with murder‘s Viola Davis.

Check out the full list of the TV nominations below. (I’ve underlined my picks for the win)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
ADRIEN BRODY / Harry Houdini – “HOUDINI” (History)
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH / Sherlock Holmes – “SHERLOCK: HIS LAST VOW” (PBS)
RICHARD JENKINS / Henry Kitteridge – “OLIVE KITTERIDGE” (HBO)
MARK RUFFALO / Ned Weeks – “THE NORMAL HEART” (HBO)
BILLY BOB THORNTON / Lorne Malvo – “FARGO” (FX)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
ELLEN BURSTYN / Olivia Foxworth – “FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC” (Lifetime)
MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL / Nessa Stein – “THE HONORABLE WOMAN” (Sundance TV)
FRANCES McDORMAND / Olive Kitteridge – “OLIVE KITTERIDGE” (HBO)
JULIA ROBERTS / Dr. Emma Brookner – “THE NORMAL HEART” (HBO)
CICELY TYSON / Carrie Watts – “THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL” (Lifetime)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
STEVE BUSCEMI / Enoch “Nucky” Thompson – “BOARDWALK EMPIRE” (HBO)
PETER DINKLAGE / Tyrion Lannister – “GAME OF THRONES” (HBO)
WOODY HARRELSON / Martin Hart – “TRUE DETECTIVE” (HBO)
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY / Rust Cohle – “TRUE DETECTIVE” (HBO)
KEVIN SPACEY / Francis Underwood – “HOUSE OF CARDS” (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (6 nominees)
CLAIRE DANES / Carrie Mathison – “HOMELAND” (Showtime)
VIOLA DAVIS / Annalise Keating – “HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER” (ABC)
JULIANNA MARGULIES / Alicia Florrick – “THE GOOD WIFE” (CBS)
TATIANA MASLANY / Sarah/Cosima/Alison/Rachel/Helena/Tony/Jennifer and Various Others – “ORPHAN BLACK” (BBC America)
MAGGIE SMITH / Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham – “DOWNTON ABBEY” (PBS)
ROBIN WRIGHT / Claire Underwood – “HOUSE OF CARDS” (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
TY BURRELL / Phil Dunphy – “MODERN FAMILY ” (ABC)
LOUIS C.K. / Louie – “LOUIE” (FX)
WILLIAM H. MACY / Frank Gallagher – “SHAMELESS” (Showtime)
JIM PARSONS / Sheldon Cooper – “THE BIG BANG THEORY” (CBS)
ERIC STONESTREET / Cameron Tucker – “MODERN FAMILY” (ABC)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
UZO ADUBA / Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren – “ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK” (Netflix)
JULIE BOWEN / Claire Dunphy – “MODERN FAMILY” (ABC)
EDIE FALCO / Jackie Peyton – “NURSE JACKIE” (Showtime)
JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS / Vice President Selina Meyer – “VEEP” (HBO)
AMY POEHLER / Leslie Knope – “PARKS AND RECREATION” (NBC)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
BOARDWALK EMPIRE (HBO)
DOWNTON ABBEY (PBS)                                                                           GAME OF THRONES (HBO)                                                               HOMELAND (Showtime)                                                                HOUSE OF CARDS (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

THE BIG BANG THEORY (CBS)                                                        BROOKLYN NINE-NINE (FOX)                                                   MODERN FAMILY (ABC)                                                           ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK (Netflix)                                          VEEP (HBO)

LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Screen Actors Guild 51st Annual Life Achievement Award
DEBBIE REYNOLDS

The SAG Awards hill be handed out on Sunday Jan 25th, 2015.

Show Watch: What to Keep an Eye Out For

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Tea’ Leoni in the new CBS drama Madam Secretary

Now that all of the main networks (CBS, NBC, FOX and ABC) and some cable networks (TBS) have given us their new pick-ups for the 2014 Fall season, I’ve trawled through all the trailers (that were available…come on CBS, pull your socks up!) and complied a list of what I think could be ratings hits (like last years The Blacklist) and what could be cult sleepers (Orphan Black anyone?)

Drama:

The Mysteries of Laura (NBC)

The question begs…is this a comedy or is it a drama?  I don’t think NBC really know either hence the somewhat confusing trailer offered up but that said, this Debra Messing led dramedy could have something going for it if you look at it like it could be ‘had Miss Congeniality had a husband and children’ type of way.

Secrets and Lies (ABC)

If you recently watched an Aussie show with the same title, then you’ll have an idea of what to expect.  This Secrets and Lies is based right off our very own production with Ryan Phillippe stepping into Martin Henderson’s shoes playing Ben, a man who finds the body of a little boy and suddenly becomes suspect number one.  Added bonus – a very toned down Juliette Lewis playing cop.

How To Get Away With Murder (ABC)

This will be the fourth major program by Shonda Rhimes to make it’s way to ABC – Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Private Practice plus How to get Away With Murder and the trailer already looks a whole lot more interesting than the 6 seasons of Private Practice that was given to us.  There’s sex, blackmail, murder and Viola Davis..it’s an easy win.

CSI: Cyber (CBS)

Pilot

There’s no trailer yet but for those who caught Patricia Arquette’s recent guest gig on CSI will have already gotten a taste of what to expect. Yes, it’s another CSI spin-off but this time, it’s all about cyber crime which is very current and ‘hip’ and we all like Patricia Arquette right?

Stalker (CBS)

Granted, I’ve never really been exposed to much of Maggie Q’s work and the premise of her character as being a sort of freelance anti-stalker specialist who knows some hand-to-hand combat skills is a little off but the trailer offered up by CBS actually adds suspense and intrigue of what’s to come.  Ignore Dylan McDermott here, he’s always annoying to begin with and usually takes some warming up to.

Madam Secretary (CBS)

Why CBS chose to give us a trailer that looks like it gives us the entire first episode in the space of five minutes I’ll never understand.  I was excited by this right from Tea’ Leoni’s addition to the cast and while it’s different to see her in such a serious light, the political theme is working well for shows like Scandal and The Good Wife.

State of Affairs (NBC)

I’m wondering if we’ve had enough time to actually like Katherine Heigl again?  I’m still in that mid-swing where i’m starting to come around again and if there are others like me, then hopefully this show will bring us competently back.  Apparently this will have a Blacklist-cum-Homeland-cum-Zero Dark Thirty feel to it (there’s the depiction of Middle Eastern descendants as terrorists – of course) and Alfre Woodward plays the President of the USA.

American Crime (ABC)

Desperate Housewives Alum Felicity Huffman makes her return to series television along with Timothy Hutton in this dark and racially charged legal drama that follows those involved and affected by a murder and ensuing murder trial.

Empire (FOX)

The last time FOX attempted a series based off a mogul and his ’empire’ they gave us SKIN (2003) which only lasted 3 episodes before being cancelled.  Here, instead of porn, Empire gives us music and what i could only assume to be a nod to Lil’ Kim and starring Terrence Howard.  Could Chris Lilley’s S’Mouse fit in here? Probably, but at least it looks better than Skin ever did.

Comedy:

Fresh off the Boat (ABC)

Yes, the title is a bit…..Cougar Town/Trophy Wife (and possibly racist though it depends who you ask) but Fresh Off the Boat looks like the funniest of the new stuff coming our way and while the show is a focus on a Taiwanese family making the adjustment to living the American Dream, clearly Constance Wu (as mum Jessica) is the one to watch for.

The Odd Couple (CBS)

PILOT

It’s been a tough run for Matthew Perry the last few years.  His last handful of projects (Studio 60, Mr. Sunshine and Go On) all tanked and the only thing people really watched him in recently was his guest gig on Courteney Cox’s Cougar Town but now, his fourth attempt at a show could be his lucky gig.  It’s a TV remake of the classic movies (Jack Lemon and Walter Matthou or Tony Randall and Jack Klugman) and see’s Perry teaming up with Thomas Lennon who we last saw in the terribly horrible Sean Saves the World.  I can only assume this will be better than Sean failing to save the world.

Mulaney (FOX)

It’s a little bit Seinfeld, it’s a little bit Friends, it’s a little bit of a 90’s comedy throwback.  Mulaney is an ensemble comedy about a stand-up comedian and the “friends and mentors who lift him up, hold him back and push him around” including Martin Short.  Here’s hoping Short contains his zany like Robin Williams did in The Crazy Ones – but then again, that didn’t turn out so good for him.

Paranormal/Supernatural/Superhero:

The Whispers (ABC)

I was so enamored by Lily Rabe as the Stevie Nicks loving swamp witch Misty Day in AHS Coven that seeing her all professional and business suits is a little shocking but here is in this creepy new paranormal-esque show with creepy kids that clearly see something the adults can’t.

Constantine

Based off the DC Comics Hellblazer series, Constantine follows a supernatural detective who finds himself defending the world from dark and eerie forces.  It’s a little bit Supernatural meets True Blood meets Penny Dreadful.

The Flash (CW)

Spin-off from the cult-ish Arrow and another DC comics star, The Flash get’s his own show and judging by the trailer, die hard comic fans will be pleased with the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance of legendary bad guy ‘Reverse Flash’ plus there’s the addition of The Flash’s alter-ego Barry Allen’s love interest Iris West.

Extant (CBS)

I’ve already talked about Halle’s new sci-fi drama but now Extant has officially been picked up to series by CBS, they’ve given us an extended trailer which also fills us in more on her creepy prophetic child.  A woman on a 13 month solo space mission returns to earth and finds she’s pregnant – impossible right?  Not in space!

So what takes your fancy?  Is there something you’ve seen which I’ve not added to the list – and if you mention the new shyte by TBS…I will shoot you.

Orphan Black Season 2 Continues to Shine.

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Paul (Dylan Bruce) finds himself torn between two waring groups Source: Supplied

It’s only been a few short weeks since the end of the awesome Orphan Black season one which aired on SBS2 (thank you!) and now, on Tuesday night, our memberships to the ‘Clone Club’ will earn a gold star as Sarah, Cosima, Alison and the rest of the characters return to our screens for a kicker brand new season.

Season one was all about who the clones were and now, season two will look at who created the clones and just who is the original clone.

When we last checked in, Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany) was standing at her daughter’s bedroom window with the realization that Kira had been kidnapped and needless to say, when Orphan Black returns on Tuesday night, no time is left wasted as Sarah blasts into overdrive to find her kidnapped daughter.

We are literally back with Sarah as she was when we first met her in season one, on the run and separated from her daughter, but this time round the stakes are much higher as we (the viewers) are utterly and wholly invested in Sarah and Kira.

The opening scene alone is filled with so much tension and action – and there’s only four characters involved – and we only know one of them…it’s the perfect opening to continue the head first ride we were dragged along with the first season.

Where the emphasis on Orphan Black’s first season was to identify and individualize each and every clone, we’re now in a comfortable enough place with the clones to focus on developments of certain outer characters in Sarah’s life including Paul (Dylan Bruce), Felix (Jordan Garvais) and Leekie (Matt Frewer) thus closing a glaring void that was very evident in the shows incredible first season.

Felix was the witty sidekick to Sarah’s urban grit, Paul was the ‘is he bad?  Is he good?’ guy and Leekie was your stock standard evil genius who was up-to no good but now that Cosima and Alison and the other clones have been so clearly identified we’re allowed a glimpse into these side players that are playing a bigger part in Sarah’s world than we could have ever imagined.

Tatiana Maslanay as clone Cosima. Source: Provided
Tatiana Maslanay as clone Cosima. Source: Provided

But this is not to say there will be any less focus on our favorite clones.  We’ll start to see dynamics change between the three main clones – Sarah, Alison and Cosima, who all find themselves dealing with the fallout of their actions from season one.  Alison is trying to move on with her life, trying to repair her image within her picture perfect white picket fence neighborhood, Cosima is torn between her love for Delphine and trying to find a cure to her illness while Sarah wants answers….but it she looking in the right direction?

Continuing in this second season, is the subtle touches of intentional light humor scattered among each episode.  From Alison’s shining moment in a community theater production to Felix’s positively on spot outfit choices to a moment between Sarah and a child on a bus – it’s evident these glimmers of light have become an integral part of the show allowing a slice away from the full force of darkness and intensity.

Orphan Black never really stopped hitting all the right marks in season one.  There was always something happening, something being revealed, something to grab your attention and force you to watch the next episode and after watching the first four episodes of season two, this fearlessness to give doesn’t stop.

Orphan Black season 2 begins Tuesday Night, 8:30pm – April 22nd on SBS 2 or for those who can’t wait till then, is now available via SBS on demand now!