Tuesday, February 02, 2016
TV Tuesday: Orange is the New Black
So, just in case we aren't the last ones on the planet to see this show, it is set in a women's prison. Piper, a very white, wealthy, WASP-y young woman, is heading to prison because ten years ago, she got involved in carrying drug money for her lesbian girlfriend who was involved with an international drug cartel. Key members of the cartel were arrested, and Piper's name got thrown in the pot by those hoping to turn in others for a reduced sentence. So Piper, who is now engaged to her cute Jewish boyfriend, is going to prison for 15 months because of her youthful mistakes.
As you might imagine, Piper doesn't quite fit in with the prison community. They are roughly divided into the blacks, the Hispanics, the Golden Girls (older inmates), and the Others (real misfits). Many of these women are very tough (or have become so to survive), and most have lives lives entirely different than Piper's. Other inmates include Crazy Eyes, who takes a not-appreciated liking to Piper, Red (played by Kate Mulgrew), who is in charge of the kitchen and a lot more, and "Pennsatucky," a scary Christian-zealot who takes an instant dislike to Piper.
As I said, this show is incredibly addicting! I dare you to watch just one episode. You really care about what happens to Piper...and, as the show goes on, some of the other inmates, too. Piper is trying to figure out how to walk a thin line between being a "good citizen" for the warden and fitting in with her fellow inmates. She wants to stay out of trouble but is also astonished at some of the injustices she sees there. Orange is the New Black made awards-show history by being nominated for - and winning - awards in both drama and comedy categories. That's appropriate, as it melds comedy and drama into each episode. The acting is top-notch, and the plots are compelling. It is also, as you might expect from a prison show, quite graphic at times, with lots of nudity, sex, and some violence.
Orange is the New Black is available only on Netflix, since it is a Netflix original program. It might be worth the Netflix subscription fee all on its own! There are three full seasons available now on Netflix, and Season 4 is premiering on June 17 this year.
Have you seen Orange is the New Black yet? Are you addicted, too? What other TV shows are you enjoying now?
(NOTE: This is an older trailer that mentions the start date for season 3 at the end - I didn't want to give away any spoilers for earlier seasons!):