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'Orphan Black' Gaining Traction in Season Two

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood April 29, 2014 at 12:46PM

"Orphan Black," the BBC's cult hit starring the chameleon-like Tatiana Maslany in many different guises, nabbed 719,000 viewers for its second episode of Season Two, which aired April 26. While still niche numbers, this is a good 15% increase from this season's premiere episode, which scored 620,000 viewers.
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Tatiana Maslany in 'Orphan Black'
Tatiana Maslany in 'Orphan Black'

"Orphan Black," the BBC's cult hit starring the chameleon-like Tatiana Maslany in many different guises, nabbed 719,000 viewers for its second episode of Season Two, which aired April 26. While still niche numbers, this is a good 15% increase from this season's premiere episode, which scored 620,000 viewers. 

Critics seem to agree that Maslany, who plays clones in a Toronto-set conspiracy thriller, is the reason to watch the show. In Emily Nussbaum's terrific recent New Yorker piece, she breaks down the appeal of "Orphan Black," and also points out that Season Two is already showing signs of thematic weakness from the latter half of Season One:

After a strong first half to its début season, during which the episodes were universally funny and sharp and suspenseful, the show lost its footing slightly as it approached the finale. Its conspiracy plot felt shaggy; the pace flagged. Season 2, which began Saturday on BBC America, continues along this line: individual scenes are terrific, but a few plotlines strain credulity. If it weren’t for Tatiana Maslany, the show’s star, “Orphan Black” would be just a likable-enough thriller, with Toronto local color—enough to recommend it to a Canadaphilic sci-fi buff like me, but maybe not to you.

Our TOH! review of Season Two is here. Meanwhile, Maslany recently graced the cover of the newly regrouped EW, with Matt Bean in charge as the new editor.

This article is related to: Television, Television, TV, TV News, Orphan Black, Tatiana Maslany, BBC


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.