My Mother always warned me about the dangers of drugs, but she never warned me about the dangers of instant television. Most of my free days at University would be spent binge watching television shows and I would even sometimes pretend to be asleep so I was not disturbed during the fifth season of How I Met Your Mother.
Whenever one of my favourite shows is cancelled I hope Netflix saves it like it did The Killing or Arrested Development. With this in mind, I was excited when watching the trailer for their original series Orange is the New Black.
The montage of a variety of woman sold the show to me, and the series lived up higher than its expectations. With Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), the unlikely criminal protagonist set among the backdrop of criminals and an introduction to her ex-girlfriend (Laura Pepron) makes an interesting show.
Unlike most shows that use prison as a setting, Orange sets a different genre. In comparison to others the show focuses on different characters emotional and psychological challenges, their survival, their love and hatred. Mostly it is set around Piper and her adapting to the way prison is run and overcoming issues with other characters such an angry head chef and crazy eyes.
If you are still reading this and haven’t signed your life away to Netflix I will give you some reasons why you should:
• Taylor Schilling is an amazing actress. Even though the show revolves around her life and adjustment to prison it also focuses on the impact it has on her engagement to Larry (Jason Biggs). As the show progresses the other inmate’s storylines become stronger and the audience invests emotions into this. Equally, each characters story is heart breaking and important.
• Laverne Cox is a brilliant actress, although as a transgender woman herself the issues her character portrays don’t involve acting. I found it more interesting her twin brother played her former male self in the show. With one of the main themes is sexuality there are a variety of bisexual, homosexual, transgender and straight relationships to sink your teeth into.
• The show does not ignore issues within the prison system and brings them directly to the viewers’ attention. The show leans on racial disputes, employee’s using their authority for sexual favours and those at the top who fiddle the system.
• Minus the moments where you have to laugh, I can imagine this is what prison is like (or wish). It shows that Jenji Kohan done her research when creating this and I have learned a lot if I ever find myself in prison. I know not to annoy the chef or upset a prison wife.
• Once you start watching it, as the plot twists slightly you become more intrigued to watch more. Each character surprised me in some way and either left me moved or laughing.
The best part of Orange for me is that you can watch it all at once. I am glad Netflix are catering for those of us that are unable to follow a show for a number of weeks even if it does mean that your live tweeting and water cooler chat is limited due to others not keeping in time.