Premise: Sarah Manning, petty criminal and general let-down, finds herself thrust into a dizzying mystery after she witnesses the suicide of a woman who looks exactly like her. Stealing the deceased woman's wallet she sets up an elaborate plan to take on her identity long enough to clear her bank accounts and start a new life with her daughter Kira and her foster brother Felix. But of course things don't work quite so easily. Sarah quickly discovers the reason why Beth threw herself in front of a train. Sarah isn't alone, Beth isn't the only person who looks like her - She's just one of many. But why do they exist and why is someone trying to kill them all? (cue X-Files music)
Or if that was just a jumble of word salad (avoiding spoilers is HARD) then maybe just watch the trailer.
1. Tatiana Maslany
Felix isn't the most original of characters (gay English artist with ample sass) but I love him. He adds much needed levity and reality to the bonkers situation he's found himself mixed up in thanks to having a foster sister who turns out to be a clone. It also helps that Jordan Gavaris is absolutely magnetic and rocks the long winter coat look.
There's a lot of stuff going on in this show which I'm not going to reveal because spoilers (obvs) but perhaps the reason it garnered so much attention when it came out (and why I loved it so) was the way it mixed the insane unreality of sci-fi with the sorts of problems everyone goes through, clones or no. Sarah got stuck on a shitty path and is trying to get to a place where she can raise her daughter without worrying that she's going to end up sending her daughter down the same path. Cosima is struggling with a budding relationship, and Alison feels trapped by her suburban lifestyle. They're clearly there to help set them up as people rather than carbon copies of one another (clones have feelings too you guys!) but they're such normal insecurities and feelings that they actually help to make the science fiction part of the story feel more grounded.
4. Wardrobe/Colour theory
5. Eye Candy
As with any good TV show there are plenty of pretty people to oogle while you get your 40 minute dose of science fiction. As it turns out being a clone that someone wants to kill doesn't stop you from falling in love and wanting to have sexy-times with that handsome guy (or girl) over there. It doesn't meet Game of Thrones levels but prepare to see plenty of ass and steamy shower scenes throughout the series.
6. Oh Hai there Toronto!
I'm probably biassed from my recent holiday and the fact that my family hails from Toronto but I really love that the show is set there rather than in New York. It makes sense given that it's a Canadian production but there's something about films and TV shows being set in places that aren't instantly recognisable that adds some reality for me. It's more normal, more ordinary. There's also the added fact that I actually do recognise the settings in the show and can proudly point to Felix's loft or the bus terminal and say "been there".
8. Cosima and Delphine
When I threw out a tweet asking a few of you if you'd seen this show Alice replied that before OiTNB this show was the apple in the lesbian community's eye. I'm assuming that's based on Cosima and Delphine, two science nerds whose friendship and subsequent relationship gives Cosima strength amidst all the clone-drama while she's back in America studying. I can't say much more about their relationship without some heavy spoilers but let's just say that the development between the two is complicated, messy and amazing. I loved the scenes the two have together and the storylines that developed around them but even outside of the brewing relationship they were two girls I'd love to hang out with. I wouldn't understand a word of the scientific mumbo-jumbo they sprouted but I'd sit there smiling like an idiot, just enjoying their company.
9. It's not just sci-fi
This really goes off the earlier point but if anyone has been thinking "yeah it sounds alright but I don't really do sci-fi..." then don't worry. It's definitely a science fiction show but I'd say it's probably a drama first. It's also got aspects of police procedurals (think more in the vein of Sherlock than CSI), family drama and black comedy. The best genre shows are always the ones that infuse other elements into them, it brings in a larger audience and it stops it from ever getting formulaic or staid. For the same reasons people found themselves liking The Sopranos even though they never liked gangster films or enjoying Game of Thrones even though they usually dislike fantasy, people will gravitate to this show and connect with the generic ties that best suit them.
10. You have nothing else to watch.
Sherlock has finished, Game of Thrones and OiTNB aren't back for a couple of months and New Girl and Girls aren't exactly shows you can binge watch. You need another show to fill your down time and if it's the kind that will have you addictively watching until 3am then more the better right?