'Orphan Black.' Clone club members, rejoice; the second season of
Newcomers to the series would be best served catching up via Amazon Prime because creators Graeme Mason and John Fawcett are not given to internal recapping; they're far too interested in pushing the plot further. The search for Sarah's young daughter Kira, who has gone missing, along with Sarah's former foster mother, Mrs. S. (Maria Doyle Kennedy), drives the A-plot, but each clone is on a journey of her own. Anxious soccer mom Alison is coming to terms with her role in the death of a neighbor, scientist Cosima is forging an uneasy alliance with the neolutionists, who may or may not have been behind Project Leda, which may or may not have produced the clones, while Rachael appears to be more driving force than monitored subject. Meanwhile, the murderous anti-cloning group, the Prolethians, comes into clearer focus, and each woman desperately tries to find someone to trust. Grounding the group, and the series, in reality, humor and fabulous outfits, is Sarah's foster brother Felix, played by the brilliant Jordan Garvaris.
You see how hard it is to explain. Maslany's astonishing performance -- each clone is a fully realized and distinct character -- provided the series' initial draw, but it's the show's ability to balance just as many tones -- pathos and humor, violence and tenderness -- while exploring questions of identity, technology, religion and responsibility that make "Orphan Black" television that is both fun and astonishing. BBC America, Saturdays, 9 p.m.
'Late Night With
A mere two weeks into the new season of HBO's astonishingly ambitious and consistently amazing adaptation of George R.R. Martin's fantasy epic, everything is different and gloriously the same. Here there be dragons and sadistic boy kings, undead White Walkers and a Wilding army from beyond the pale, but also a queen with an army of liberated slaves, a dwarf prince now noble where he was once debauched, and a crippled child capable, perhaps, of saving all. For winter is coming and the armies that still vie for the Iron Throne are now united in the peril of things beyond imagining.
The rich and morally bankrupt Lannisters still control King's Landing -- Joffrey had a brother, after all. But having disposed of their most imminent threat -- Rob Stark -- at the infamous Red Wedding, the Lannisters now know what it's like to have nuptials interrupted by murder. And the ultimate family division -- as he died, the loathsome Joffrey pointed in accusation at his uncle Tyrion (
'A Day Late and a Dollar Short.'
An earlier version of this post stated season one of "Orphan Black" was available on