The Clone Zone

The phrase “best TV show you’re not watching” is overused, but Orphan Black is one of the few shows that’s definitely deserving of the title.

click to enlarge Orphan Black
Orphan Black

The phrase “best TV show you’re not watching” is overused, but Orphan Black (Season Premiere, 9 p.m. Saturday, AMC/BBC America/IFC/Sundance/WE) is one of the few shows that’s definitely deserving of the title.

The BBC America drama follows Sarah Manning, a British single mom living in Toronto. Shaken by witnessing the suicide of a woman who looks exactly like her, Sarah discovers she was conceived as an experiment and is actually one of many clones.

The concept is undeniably intriguing — what would you do if you discovered there was another you (let alone several)? The sci-fi concept might draw you in, but it’s Tatiana Maslany’s performance as a dozen different clones that keeps audiences coming back for more. Despite their identical genes, each of the clones has lived completely different lives; they have varying personalities and characteristics like anyone else. In one scene, Maslany can go from streetwise badass to suburban soccer mom to psycho Ukrainian killer, sometimes all at once.

As if being a living experiment and having an unknown number of clones out in the world isn’t enough to worry about, it is revealed that the clones are being monitored by people in their personal lives and hunted by a group of religious extremists. 

If you aren’t caught up for the new third season, IFC will run an Orphan Black marathon starting at midnight Friday night with all episodes airing up until the season three premiere Saturday. Clear some space in the DVR!


Best Bars in America (9 p.m., Esquire) – Jay, Sean and the “Brew Dogs” visit nearby neighbor Louisville, Ky., to find the city’s best drinks and nightlife. Expect plenty of bourbon, mint juleps and a stop at Garage Bar.


The Comedians (10 p.m., FX) – This show is seriously funny, a great companion to Louie. This week, Billy reluctantly invites Josh to his house to watch a game.

Lip Sync Battle (10 p.m., Spike) – Still deciding on whether this is entertaining. This week, Anna Kendrick faces off against John Krasinski.

Louie (10:30 p.m., FX) – Louie hosts an open mic night.


Knock Knock, It’s Tig Notaro (9 p.m., Showtime) – Not a typical standup special, this doc follows comedian Tig Notaro as she performs in the spaces of her fans — homes, backyards, barns and basements. 

VICE (11 p.m., HBO) – Finding new drugs for antibiotic-resistant diseases; the ecological effects of palm oil manufacturing.


Game of Thrones (9 p.m., HBO) – Catching up with Arya in Braavos; Brienne finds trouble on the road; Cersei fears for her daughter’s safety in Dorne.

The Last Man on Earth (9:30 p.m., Fox) – Phil enjoys single life.

Mad Men (10 p.m., AMC) – Roger puts Don on another project; Peggy and Pete butt heads; Joan takes a business trip; Don pours red wine all over his empty apartment. 

Silicon Valley (10 p.m., HBO) – The guys deal with Hooli’s lawsuit against Pied Piper and try to find a backer.

Veep (10:30 p.m., HBO) – Selina and friends prep for a meeting with the Israeli prime minister; Gary goes overboard.


RuPaul’s Drag Race (9 p.m., Logo) – The queens create “Orange Is the New Drag” inmate looks and then must work closely together on conjoined drag-twin makeovers. LeAnn Rimes and True Blood’s Lafayette, Nelsan Ellis, join the judges’ panel (was Sarah Paulson unavailable?). Elsewhere, RuPaul makes good on her promise to bring back … (one of) her girls.


Inside Amy Schumer (Season Premiere, 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central) – Between hosting last week’s MTV Movie Awards and starring in Trainwreck in theaters this summer, it’s time to start paying attention to Amy Schumer. In this week’s third season premiere, Amy meets her idols, tries to access birth control and describes butts. 

CONTACT JAC KERN: [email protected] or @jackern

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