Netflix Original Series: Orange is the New Black
A review of the Netflix Original Series Orange is the New Black
The story of Piper Chapman, a woman in her thirties who is sentenced to fifteen months in prison after being convicted of a decade-old crime of transporting money to her drug-dealing girlfriend.
Sullywood Rating: 8.5/10
Full disclosure. Twenty minutes into watching the first episode of Orange is the New Black, I turned it off! I thought, wow how boring is this? The main character is annoying and her awkward husband is just as bad. Oh, and now we have to watch flashbacks to their relationship? I was done, I was not making the mistake of continuing to watch this crap. Weeks pass by, I finish Netflix’s Daredevil, and think to myself “What is going to be my next show to conquer?”
As much as I hated the first twenty minutes of Orange is the New Black, I also was so confused as to how so many people could love it, as well as the show winning so many awards, and little old me hating on it. So I decided to suck it up and finish the first episode, #firstworldproblems am I right? More full disclosure, I have never been so wrong about a show in my life!!!! Shame on me, I suck.
The moment Piper, played by Taylor Schilling, arrives at her extended stay at the minimum security correctional facility, this show goes from boring and unlikable to the exact opposite. When she first arrives, it’s so interesting and fresh to see the prison perspective from the female side. After all, we’re used to shows like Oz and Prison Break where we get to see the more gruesome male side.
From the second you meet Piper’s fellow inmates, you feel like you just made some new best friends as well, but since there are no cell phones in prison, you won’t be taking any selfies with them (or are there cell phones?). Anyway, what I didn’t expect about this show and the characters, were the flashbacks. OitNB reminds me so much of one my favorite TV shows of all time, Lost. Lost was flawless with it’s flashbacks, which lead the audience to connect with the characters on a whole other level. OitNB takes this premise, and like a jail break, runs with it. Each and every flashback provides us with such insight and usually empathy for these prisoners and law breakers we’ve just met.
OitNB takes it one step further, and introduces us to not only the inmates, but also the prison staff that runs the circus known as Litchfield Prison. We meet the guards, the counselors, heck even the assistant warden, but surprisingly not the warden himself, a nice artsy touch in my eyes.
It’s amazing the different plots and story lines that they come up with for this show, especially with the majority of it taking place within the limitations of a prison. What’s even more amazing is how minimal and inconsequential the story lines should be, yet you find yourself intrigued and on the edge of your seat over such simple things like the kitchen, or yoga class.
Just like the DirectTV commercial, don’t be like this me and skip Orange is the New Black, you’re only hurting yourself if you do.