Shows You Need To Be Watching – Netflix’s “Orange Is The New Black”
I do this thing on the weekends. If I'm not working, or don't otherwise have plans, I binge watch whatever TV show I find out Netflix that looks even moderately interesting to me. This weekend, my boyfriend fired up a Netflix produced show called "Orange Is The New Black". The first season of the show was just put up on Netflix on Thursday, and it's already getting some great reviews. After watching 11 of the 13 episodes, I can definitely see why.
"Orange Is The New Black" takes us to a place that many of us will (thankfully) never see, the inside of a women's federal prison. It follows the story of Piper Chapman, a young, beautiful, successful woman, who turns herself in after being sentenced to a year in federal prison because of some things that she did when she was much younger and more reckless. Throughout the first season, Piper learns the ins and outs of prison life. That the different cliques aren't cliques at all, but groups separated very clearly by race ("It’s tribal, not racist," she's told upon entering the prison).
We also follow (though not as closely, of course) the story line of Piper's fiance, Larry (played by "American Pie's" Jason Biggs) as he deals with having the love of his life incarcerated. Larry, however, profits from the situation. Using it as the topic of story he writes for the New York Times, which ends up getting him more publicity on a public radio show.
Orange Is The New Black not only shows you the world of a women's prison, it also explores many characters so complex that each could really have their own show. It shows the interpersonal relationships that are formed inside of the prison, whether the women are there for just as year (like Piper), or for the rest of their lives.
While there is a ton of humor throughout the show, it also tackles pretty serious (and true to life) topics. After Taystee, one of the more charismatic women in the prison, is released, she soon finds out how hard it is to return to real life. With no money, no job, and no support system, she soon finds herself back in the prison. When asked about it, she simply states, "Everyone I know is poor, in jail, or gone. Don’t nobody ask ’bout how my day went. … I know how to play it here."
There are several more memorable characters within the show including Red, the Russian woman who runs the kitchen with an iron first, Pennsatucky, a former meth-head who, for a while, believes that she has healing powers that were bestowed upon her by God, and Alex (played by "That 70's Show's" Laura Prepon), who was Piper's partner in crime back in the day.
I would say that "Orange Is The New Black" is a must see for those of you out there with Netflix. In fact, I would wager to say that it would be worth getting Netflix JUST to watch this show.