Sunday, June 22, 2014

50 Shades of Orange

For those of you without Netflix, there is a new drama serial which is taking the world of streaming video by storm. The show is called 'Orange is the New Black' and it is getting rave reviews from pretty much everyone.

Orange Is The New Black
ORANGE is the new BLACK
The comedy/drama show is based on the memoirs of Piper Kerman and revolves around the daily happenings in a women's minimum security prison in Litchfield, New York. It is quickly becoming a housewife's favorite and is a major culprit of the new habit of 'binge watching'.

Binge Watching is a recent phenomenon were people who are late to the party watch multiple episodes back to back in order to catch up and feel relevant in OITNB discussions. Thanks to Netflix, viewers are also binge watching Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and Curious George.

50 shades of orange
Fifty Shades of Orange
Orange is extremely open when it comes to the life of the inmates at Litchfield Prison and pulls no punches when it comes to both graphic imagery and language, hence the TV-MA rating. There is a very strong lesbian theme running through the story-line, and I can't recall a single episode where at least one naked breast wasn't clearly visible on screen.

The cast is a mix of seasoned actors and new talent including Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon (That 70's Show), Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager) and Jason Biggs (American Pie 1 and 2). 

Spoiler Alert
Spoiler Alert
Piper Chapman (Schilling), a middle class New Yorker is sent to prison for crimes committed 10 years earlier and struggles to adapt to her life of incarceration. While in prison she is reunited with her former drug trafficking girlfriend (Prepon) who fingered her (literally and metaphorically) in return for a shorter sentence. As the season progresses, the back stories of Chapman and her fellow inmates are revealed, and we see Chapman find her niche in the prison hierarchy.

We also watch the struggle of Larry (Biggs), her financé on the outside as he slowly becomes more distant due to the separation. A unique aspect of this series in the realm of prison shows, is the humanizing of the prison employees. We get an insight to their perspective and touch briefly on their personal issues, which includes a Russian mail-order bride, embezzling and fathering an inmate's child.

OITNB is a big hit with celebrities too. Lori Petty and real life lesbian chat show hostess, Ellen DeGeneres have both featured on the show.

As a recent convert to 'Orange Is The New Black', I have been guilty of binge watching, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. OITNB is incredibly well acted and I find myself empathizing with the inmates through the funny, the scary and the sad moments. There are so many characters each with their own story and their own part to play in the dynamics of the prison that OITNB has become compelling viewing.

Nichols vs Big Boo Dyke-Off
Nichols vs Big Boo Dyke-Off
Share your OITNB experiences below. Who is your favorite character? What is the best episode so far? Which inmate would you like to bunk with? Who will win the dyke-off between Nichols and Big Boo?

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