Producers come out with new television shows all the time, most of them complete wastes of PVR space, with the odd few that get you hooked. When I first heard about Orange is the New Black I was very skeptical. I mean, who wants to watch a WASPy woman go to prison for a bad decision she made while taking the lesbian route in her 20s? Turns out, everyone. Including myself.
Not only does this show have humorous cast members and great writing, it also has vulgar language and behaviour, which is something everyone enjoys. There are lesbians a plenty for men’s and women’s fantasies alike (major parental control needed).
Oh yeah, and Jason Biggs. His character Larry is the fiancé of Piper (Taylor Schilling), the WASPy on-again-off-again lesbian criminal. References to good ol’ American Pie days are threaded delicately into Larry’s life, with Natasha Lyonne (another American Pie star) playing one of the main characters in prison.
Not only do I enjoy this show, which can be compared to the Girls version of Sons of Anarchy, I’ve become an addict. I need to know more about these women. I need to know why they’re in prison in the first place (all previous lives are revealed tantalizingly slowly through every episode). Even though some of them are hard-run criminals, you find yourself relating. Underneath their bad decisions you find the feelings, emotions and hardships that women face everywhere, and can really see how strong the bond between females can be. They’re all just doing what they can to get by day-by-day. And if that doesn’t get you, they’re gut-busting hilarious.
With the show’s crooked cops (what prison show/movie isn’t complete without government criminals?), you find yourself siding with these ladies and rooting for their early parole. One could dig deep into the script and find the feminism side, the political side, the rights for humanity side, but for me, all that I really need is one more episode to keep me going.
Creator Jenji Kohan took a sensitive subject and risky idea and made it into something great, something that verges on the tip of sheer brilliant satirical writing.