Thursday, July 17, 2014

Orange is the New Black

My niece turned me on the  Netflix series "Orange is the New Black." We spent the weekend together last month (during Spring Awakening), and in our typical down time, we like to watch movies. She saw that I had started Orange, but I explained that I pushed the button accidentally. I don't know ... women ... prison. Not the top of my list for viewing pleasure. She said, oh no! You need to watch it, and I will go through season one again so that you can see it. And so I was hooked. Each season has 13 episodes. Each episode is nearly an hour. In one week, I watched 26 hours of television, more than I had in ... months put together. Once it started, I just couldn't stop. And what do you mean season 2 isn't available? What will I do? I'm hooked NOW.

The show floated across pages that I had read some, but then I noticed at the beginning of season 2, just when I was getting into it, it exploded across the pages of all of the magazines that I read. The pictured pages are actually an advertisement. But it highlights some of the idiosyncrasies that make the show what it is. I tell you, the writing is smart, female-focused, and the ensemble of quirky, nervy, psychotic actors that the producers hired to play the roles is unbelievable. It's just good old fashioned story telling. The characters are flawed, doubt, love, and figure life out as it is available to them. Sometimes, you almost forget that they are prison. They could be working in the same office, standing around the water cooler, and wondering how they got to this point in their lives.

I tell you ... I don't ever want to go to prison. I couldn't take all of that female energy. Argh. And it causes a tension that is palpable. The lead character Piper is annoying. But I think that is the point. She's so entitled that she walks into it constantly. I don't see her as a person yet. It is the secondary characters that are interesting. Well, Red. She's awesome. Crazy Eyes- oh yeah, I've taught her in one of my classes. Actually, I had 2 or 3 Crazy Eyes this year that I had to get a holt of to get out of the classroom cause she was throwing pie. And Taystee, her too. She has so much potential, but has no options. Isn't that the case of so many young people growing up in the 'hood?! They don't have her counterpart pictured ... Poussay. I think that she has the truest heart in the place. And has the best chance of surviving, if she can get a hold of her heart. But my favorite is Pennsatucky, the meth-head, Jesus freak. I love that she goes to jail for shooting at an abortion clinic working who snarks at her about how many abortions that she's had. And because of her Jesus-ness, the religious right pays for her defense. She is real ig'nrt. But that's it, isn't it? She lives in a trailer, has a douche-bag boyfriend, and has absolutely NO opportunity to be anything else. Ah, but she's working it out. And with her new teeth ... she just may become a person. Every time that I put a hoodie on, which isn't often, I zip it up and down and pop the hood on and off. Pennsatucky knows how to rock a hoodie.

The season 2 finale was awesome. The last scene was brilliant. And I can't wait for the coming 13 hours of character-driven television that will soon hit my screen.

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