The Handy-Dandy Orphan Black Handbook (inspired by lionsarah)
90s Slow Jamz: Tatiana Maslany said that she listens to 90s slow jams to get into character for Rachel. (see: Bump N’ Grind)
Ballpit of Denial: A place of comfort that the collective Clone Club dives into whenever something terrible happens to our beloved characters and we don’t want to accept the realities we’re faced with. Because nobody is safe in Orphan Black.
Brophine: The polyamorous fic pairing of Cophine and Tony Sawicki.
Buddy: A term of endearment most often used by Evelyne Brochu in interviews/on twitter to describe her relationship with Tatiana Maslany/Cosima. Clone Club now uses buddy to refer to a more… intimate relationship.
Bump N’ Grind: An R. Kelly song that, during hiatus-induced delirium, was determined to be Rachel’s theme song.
Clonepocalypse: A term for the time between seasons of Orphan Black, also called “hiatus.” It is a time of ridiculousness, desperation, occasional fits of crying, and fanfic to fill the void created by the absence of OB.
Clone Disease: A form of cancer resulting from the cloning process. It presents first as a blood-tinged cough and progresses to widespread tumorigenesis. It is thought to originate in the uterus as the means to ensure all clones were barren.
Cophine: A name for the relationship between Cosima Niehaus and Delphine Cormier.
Hella: A west coast form of “really” or “very,” used by Cosima and transformed into one of the most-used words to describe anything in Clone Club. Sometimes it’s an adjective, sometimes it’s a noun, sometimes it’s the answer to the question itself.
Jell-o: Arguably Helena’s favorite food (aren’t all foods her favorite?) and a recurring reference in Clone Club to something that’s loved (e.g. …more than Helena loves Jell-o)
Kira (Lizard) Manning: A reference (s1e09) to Kira’s speedy recovery. Cosima says that Sarah may have passed down some of her genetic modifications, and mentions that “lizards re-grow limbs” to which Sara retorts “Cosima, Kira’s not a lizard.” And then Kira was photoshopped onto a lizard.
Lumberfamily: The magical family unit formed by Cal, Sarah, and Kira.
Lumberjack: A reference to Cal Morrison, a handsome bearded dude who lives off-grid and wears flannel and thick comfortable sweaters.
Lumberpunk: Name for the relationship between Cal Morrison (lumberjack) and Sarah (the punk).
obspoilers: A simultaneously revered and hated tag. Any post that may contain spoilers for future episodes or the most recent episode (for the unfortunate few who cannot view the show when it airs) often have this tag for the purposes of post filtering. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes things that aren’t spoilers have it. When do you stop using obspoilers? That’s hella complex.
Prophine: The fic pairing of Rachel (proclone) and Delphine.
Propunk: The fic pairing of Rachel (proclone) and Sarah (the punk).
Punky Monkey: The fic pairing of Sarah (punk) and Cosima (the geek monkey) (324b21-clone)
Punk Rock Ho: Sarah as Beth is called a “punk rock ho” by Paul when he comes home unexpectedly and sees Sarah as Beth dressed as Sarah (s1e02).
Puppy: A reference to Delphine Cormier. She makes sad puppy faces when Cosima yells at her and/or calls her out on her sneaky shit, but also looks like a cute puppy when she’s happy and excited. It has taken on a new level wherein people tag small adorable dogs (particularly Cocker Spaniels, the dog Evelyne Brochu said fit Delphine the best) with #Delphine. She also has a luxurious coat of hair. Delphine calls Cosima her “pauvre petit chiot” (poor little puppy) to which Cosima replies “you’re the puppy.” Second hiatus has transformed this into “pauvre petit chou” (poor little cabbage) to which Cosima replies “you’re the cabbage.” And they’re both cabbages (Cosima is a cabbage with glasses).
Rayray Slamdunc/Rachel Slamduncan: Affectionate nicknames for Rachel Duncan. Possibly originated out of the first clonepocalypse wherein Rachel’s head was shopped onto Michael Jordan’s body mid-slam dunk.
Soccercop: The (fic?) pairing of Alison Hendrix (the soccer mom) and Beth Childs (the detective). There’s some subcontext in the show that indicates that there was more to Beth and Alison’s relationship than “just friends.”
Team Science Mega Force: The term used by Evelyne to describe Cophine’s teaming up to do crazy science in order to save Cosima’s life. It can now include Scott, because he’s awesome. (Anon)
Titty Malaysia: One of the most hilarious misrepresentations of Tatiana Maslany’s name, it then became a thing.
Water Prayer Rasta Mix (Matt the Alien Mix): A song by Adham Shaikh, the Clone Club mating song. Used in the s2e10 finale as the clone dance party song.
“if you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?”—one of the most eye opening things i’ve read in a while (via agirlnamedally)
Recently, my husband and I burned through S1 of Orphan Black, which, as promised by virtually the entire internet, was awesome. But in all the praise I’d seen for it, a line from one review in particular stuck in my mind. The reviewer noted that, although the protagonist, Sarah, is an unlikeable character, her grifter skills make her perfectly suited to unravelling the mystery in which she finds herself. And as this was a positive review, I kept that quote in mind when we started watching, sort of by way of prewarning myself: you maybe won’t like Sarah, but that’s OK.
But here’s the thing: I fucking loved Sarah. I mean, I get what the reviewer was trying to say, in that she’s not always a sympathetic character, but that’s not the same as her actually being unlikeable. And the more I watched, the more I found myself thinking: why is this quality, the idea of likeability, considered so important for women, but so optional for men – not just in real life, but in narrative? Because when it comes to guys, we have whole fandoms bending over backwards to write soulful meta humanising male characters whose actions, regardless of their motives, are far less complex than monstrous. We take male villains and redeem them a hundred, a thousand times over – men who are murderers, stalkers, abusers, kinslayers, traitors, attempted or successful rapists; men with personal histories so bloody and tortured, it’s like looking at a battlefield. In doing this, we exhibit enormous compassion for and understanding of the nuances of human behaviour – sympathy for circumstance, for context, for motive and character and passion and rage, the heartache and, to steal a phrase, the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to; and as such, regardless of how I might feel about the practice as applied in specific instances, in general, it’s a praiseworthy endeavour. It helps us to see human beings, not as wholly black and white, but as flawed and complicated creatures, and we need to do that, because it’s what we are.
But when it comes to women, a single selfish or not-nice act – a stolen kiss, a lie, a brushoff – is somehow enough to see them condemned as whores and bitches forever. We readily excuse our favourite male characters of murder, but if a woman politely turns down a date with someone she has no interest in, she’s a timewasting user bimbo and god, what does he even see in her? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some great online meta about, for instance, the soulfulness and moral ambiguity of Black Widow, but I’ve also seen a metric fucktonne more about what that particular jaw-spasm means in that one GIF of Cumberbatch/Ackles/Hiddleston/Smith alone, and that’s before you get into the pages-long pieces about why Rumplestiltskin or Hook or Spike or Bucky Barnes or whoever is really just a tortured woobie who needs a hug. Hell, I’m guilty of writing some of that stuff myself, because see above: plus, it’s meaty and fun and exactly the kind of analysis I like to write.
And yet, we tend overwhelmingly not to write it about ladies. It’s not just our cultural obsession with pushing increasingly specific variants of the Madonna/Whore complex onto women, such that audiences are disinclined to extend to female characters the same moral/emotional licenses they extend to men; it’s also a failure to create narratives where the women aren’t just flawed, but where the audience is still encouraged to like them when they are.
Returning to Orphan Black, for instance, if Sarah were male, he’d be unequivocally viewed as either a complex, sympathetic antihero or a loving battler with a heart of gold. I mean, the ex-con trying to go straight and get his daughter back while still battling the illegalities of his old life and punching bad guys? Let me introduce you to Swordfish, Death Race, and about a millionty other stories where a father’s separation from a beloved child, whether as a consequence of his actual criminal actions, shiftless neglect, sheer bad luck or a combination of all three, is never couched as a reason why he might not be a fit parent. We tend to accept, both culturally and narratively, that men who abandon their children aren’t automatically bad dads; they just have other, important things to be doing first, like coming to terms with parenthood, saving the world, escaping from prison or otherwise getting their shit together. But Sarah, who left her child in the care of someone she trusted absolutely, has to jump through hoops to prove her maternal readiness on returning; has to answer for her absence over and over again. And on one level, that’s fine; that’s as it should be, because Sarah’s life is dangerous. And yet, her situation stands in glaring contrast to every returning father who’s never been asked to do half so much, because women aren’t meant to struggle with motherhood, to have to try to succeed: we’re either maternal angels or selfish absentees, and the idea that we might sometimes be both or neither isn’t one you often see depicted with such nuance.
sometimes I think about how weird it is that dogs wag their tails when they’re happy like they don’t even think about it they just instinctively wave their butts around and flail their butt appendage
but then other times I realise that when humans are happy they open their mouths and expose their teeth like. you have pleased The TEETH. to prove the extent of the joy of The TEETH we will now expel short, loud bursts of sound. you have done well today. The TEETH are satisfied.