Orphan Black
Considering I already put Masters of Sex on my year-end list, it seemed only fair to highlight my other favorite new show on television: BBC America's Orphan Black. And before you brush past this science fiction series, hear me out. Because I was once like you — I once hated the idea of science fiction, all camp and circumstance — but Orphan Black is different. Half crime drama, half scientific morality play, the intriguing and unique premise of OB follows several identical women (all played by Tatiana Maslany) upon the realization that they're clones in a shady and probably illegal top-secret science project. Coupling crazy science with the social, moral, and biologic ramifications of human clones certainly feels far-fetched in premise, but it's actually not all that far off in reality.

This personal framework punches up the show's emotional quotient by a mile, elevating the stakes in a very human way. By the end of season one, three clones were the focal point of the series: soccer mom Alison Hendrix, science geek Cosima Niehaus, and punk rock rat, Sarah Manning with the promise of others — including pro-clone Rachel Duncan — to appear in season two, Maslany undertakes the Herculean to keep every clone a true individual with brilliance and finesse: you literally forget that it's one actor playing many parts. Each woman is a fully realized and unique individual with her own set of problems, ideas, morals, and desires: made distinct and different by Maslany's cut-up chops. It's the best acting on television today. (By Alicia Lutes)

Orphan Black returns for Season 2 on Saturday, April 19 at 9:00 p.m. ET on BBC America.

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