I’m tardy for the party, but I couldn’t go another day without writing about Orange is the New Black. The Netflix original series has taken media by story, and rightly so. I had no idea what OITNB was, let alone that it was based on a memoir by Piper Kerman. A couple of weeks later, I went into watching it blindly, only a segment from the Melissa Harris Perry Show as a prompt that it was worth a watch. Best decision ever. I’m halfway through the season (Sorry, I can’t binge watch TV).
Piper Chatman, a quirky ex-lesbian, finds herself in jail for 18 months after being convicted of involvement in a drug ring. Up until that point, she’d been engaged to her boyfriend and living a very upper middle-class life full of iPhones, iced coffees and Toms.
Without any spoilers, here are a few reasons I love this show:
Everyone has a story.
More than the main character, the series focused on each woman character and her story leading up to her imprisonment. The women who are mean, guarded, happy, even though they’re stuck in prison all had lives before they entered those doors. What happened to them to cause them a stint to the Big House wasn’t always their faults, but merely a result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe they willingly committed a crime, but for good reason. There’s a motivation and reason behind everything we do and everything we become. The same rules apply for us outside of the prison.That person who you think is the most awful person on the planet, or the coldest wasn’t always that way.
You can’t escape rites of passage.
Piper’s life was a living hell the first few weeks in prison. No matter how much the women tried to show her ropes to make the transition easier, she made a mistake anyway that she had to learn from. Sounds like life to me.
You can bounce back if you’re innovative.
Piper used her smarts to make her life in prison better than what it was. There, no one cared about her education, her upcoming body care line or whatever. She had to adapt to her situation and change her way of thinking to come up with a way around her obstacle.
When someone spazzes out in mid-sentence, you’re dealing with a real one.
No background needed. Just fall in line or stay away…Hey Crazy Eyes.
The line between selfishness and being true to yourself is almost invisible sometimes.
Sophia, one of my favorite characters was honest to a fault. In her quest to become the woman she always wanted to become, she embarrassed her family and But she was still honoring her true self. Well, not really…just watch it.