Tatiana Maslany on 'Parks and Recreation': A Guide to Pawnee's Latest Guest Star
Are you a Parks and Recreation fan who doesn't understand what in the heck all the fuss over Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany's guest starring role is about? As if the countless stories about her Emmy snub, her intelligent, feminist stance on body autonomy, and her two-episode arc in Pawnee, Indiana as Nadia weren't enough? Well, then look no further than here: the ultimate guide to Parks and Recreation guest star Tatiana Maslany, so that you look super-cool around all your TV obsessive friends.
For those of you not in the know about all things Maslany, allow us to reintroduce herselves (get it? Because she plays a lot of clones on Orphan Black and... oh nevermind Let's not get ahead of ourselves). It goes without saying but, spoilers ahoy, yo.
So you don't know who Tatiana Maslany is. But you're on the Internet. Right now! Reading this. How could you not? Chris Traeger would even be able to tell you that literally the entire Internet loves her.
Alright, alright, no matter. Here's the deal. Tatiana Maslany is on a show called Orphan Black. It's sort of amazing and we really, really like it. It's a sci-fi show that isn't: towing the line between crazy science stuff (Human clones! Biodata! Self-directed evolution!) as a lens with which to tell contemporary-yet-relatable social and human stories.
There are many clones. From all of the world! Tatiana plays them all. Sometimes there are as many as three or four clones in an episode, and sometimes they're even interacting with each other. Crazy, right?!
Like Alison, the uptight Canadian soccer mom with a flair for the, uh, dramatic?
Or Elizabeth, the other Canadian who's also a cop and — woopsie poopsie — totally killed herself off in episode one.
And Cosima, the nerdy evolutionary biology student from Berkeley, Calif., who just wants to make crazy science.
And Sarah, the show's main clone, a ne'er do well rough 'n' tumble orphan who moved to North America from England when she was just a wee bairn. She has a biological daughter named Kira who's taken care of by her foster mom Mrs. S. She has an artistic brother named Felix. Oh and also she sometimes sleeps with Elizabeth's boyfriend Paul WOOPS.
And Helena, the feral religious nutjob clone who was raised in the Ukraine and has been sent to kill all of the other clones because they're not "beautifully and wonderfully made" by the notorious G.O.D. or whatever.
There are also a bunch of other clones! Like Rachel (the blonde one way at the top) the pro-clone who's always known she was a clone, and Katja, the ginger German who's shot by Helena fairly early on. Plus a few others we've only seen pictures of thus far (with the promise of more clones seemingly always on deck). And did we mention the crazy-good accents (to the point that we were shocked to find out Maslany wasn't British)? So yeah, there's a lot to get excited about.
It's a show that's equal parts funny, intense, charming, scary, smart, and complex — most of it thanks to Maslany's killer acting chops.
And people are obsessed with her! Even famous people:
Before Lost creator Damon Lindelof shut down his Twitter account, even HE agreed, saying "If you're not watching what Tatiana Maslany is doing on ORPHAN BLACK, you're missing the single best performance on TV right now."
And so this might have you wondering: How can an actress on a show that's so dramatic and serious be any good on a comedy show? Well, it should surprise you very little (at this point) to know that the doer-of-all-things that is Ms. Maslany originally started her career in improv comedy, having worked in the medium for 10 years. So, you know — there might literally be nothing this woman can't do.
So there you have it — you've been schooled on all things Maslany. Your membership card to the Clone Club is in the mail.
[GIF Credit: OrphanBlack.Tumblr.com]