So when my sister told me about Netflix's new original series, Orange is the New Black (OITNB), they had me at Orange, but on a more serious note my interest was definitely peaked.
Dawn and I started watching the show three hours before we were going to see Taylor Swift perform at MetLife Stadium. As our departure time approached, I found myself not wanting to leave, but common sense prevailed. When we got back to my sister's place, which was around midnight, we watch three more episodes. It was that good!
Jenji Kohan, a cable veteran, known for her success with Showtime's original series Weeds created OITNB. The show's premise centers around the character Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a woman from Connecticut, living in New York City who is sent to the women's Litchfield, NY federal prison for 15 months for transporting a suitcase full of drug money for Alex Vause (Laura Prepon), an international drug smuggler and Chapman's one-time lover. Larry Bloom (Jason Biggs), plays Piper's accepting Jewish husband that is willing to stay with her during her prison sentence. While the show has an interesting premise, it's not the premise that gripped and entertained me.
|The fabulous cast of Orange is the New Black.|
The show's growing popularity and successful debut can be attributed to its excellent character development. I'm all about characters whether its film or a television show. The characters pull me into the story and as the stakes intensify for them, they intensify for me as a viewer. OITNB has characters I instantly connected with.They aren't glossy or superficial. I find them flawed, personable and they personify life's struggles in a way that juxtaposes tragedy with comedy. In many ways the show reminds me a lot of HBO's Oz because the writers take audiences from the present to the past and back to the present in each episode giving a back story that gives insight into how each character ends up at Litchfield. While Oz helped reinforce many stereotypes about prison and our criminal justice system, OITNB brings a subtle humanity to the characters while portraying life behind federal prison bars.
I finished viewing the series in three days and the last episode has me already counting down to season two.
These days I find a lot of junk on television. I'm still in shock by the viral Internet buzz that Syfy's Sharknado invoked a couple of week's ago. I loved House of Cards and Netflix has another winner with OITNB. Don't take my word for it, sign-up for Netflix and check out the show!