Orange is the New Black | Discussion Post: “Adventure is just hardship with an inflated sense of self.”

You’ve probably been hearing about Orange is the New Black plenty this last week or two. Yes, it’s pretty damn good. Sometimes it gets a bit caught up in itself, and sacrifices the genuine in favor of shock or raunch (this is the same quality Weeds had, mostly personified in Doug’s character, so that’s Jenji Kohan for you).

Most of the time, though, it’s odd and randomly hilarious. It will also punch you in the stomach (or tit) with emotions, so that’s fun. And the characters! My god, all of these ladies.

The problem with these Netflix series’ (other than that you can binge watch and then you’re left waiting even longer for new episodes than with network/cable shows) is that usually everyone is on a different episode. That makes it harder to discuss, since your live-tweeting won’t have much interactivity with others.

But that’s where this comes in! Come talk about things! Who’s your favorite character (I love Nicky, Lorna, Miss Claudette, Yoga Jones, Janae and Piper’s brother Cal)? Least favorite? Favorite episode? Favorite relationships (I love Daya/Bennett and the friendship between Sister “the Pope’s homie” Ingalls and Sophia). Whose pre-prison life are you dying to see, or to see more of (I want to see Lorna’s past)? Bonus: who would you like to see join the cast and/or guest star?



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  • onlymystory

    Oh man I am so in love with this show. I binge watched of course (though I found it wasn’t the easiest to marathon. Like I was addicted & needed to know more but I still had to step back and take breaks) and I need season 2 like yesterday. It’s weird because part of me is like I don’t know if I can say the show is really well done and handles the character dynamics well because I’m a straight white woman but it feels like OITNB is doing better than a hell of a lot of other shows.

    I love all the various dynamics and the way the show has really done a very subtle job of bringing us in through Piper’s perspective while still allowing us to observe her objectively too. The first couple episodes seem like all these characters will be a bunch of stereotypes and that Piper may have technically committed a crime but she’s not a bad person. And then as she gets to know people, as Crazy Eyes becomes Suzanne, as we see her be a narcissistic vapid bitch in flashbacks, we get more nuanced characters and the show is greater for it.

    I love that we don’t see the development of characters as they revolve around Piper either. Dayanara (the daughter fucking the guard) isn’t as much of the victim as she plays, though her naivete is still there but through her, we get to see her mom Aleida (Diaz) have to learn how to be a mother for the first time.

    I’ve heard a few comments (not many) from people about how everyone splits up by racial group and how that’s a bad decision by the writers. I certainly can’t speak to whether it’s accurate for prison. But it seems to me that everyone still has to find people to identify with. Either you’re a complete loner like Miss Claudette, or you need a group of ‘friends’. And in prison, many of the usual things we would use to identify friends are out. You can’t get to know the group you’d go clubbing with or find bowling partners or use twitter to talk to people about shared likes & dislikes. It becomes a split by the most obvious of ways and to me at least, a show set in an American prison seems more likely that voluntary racial segregation would occur because we’re still fighting to be better in that regard.

    Anyway, the point of this is that I’m a big fan of the way the black women were supporting Chapman in these last few episodes against Dockett. She got a bunk in the “ghetto” as the inmates called it and we’ve seen that she’s separate from most of her white group of inmates but that didn’t mean she got to be insta-bffs or anything. So I thought it was interesting the way the show built up enough familiarity that when an outsider like Dockett threatened Chapman, her block-mates weren’t going to stand up with her, but they were going to make sure she could take care of herself.

    I’ll probably rewatch again in a few months, because I’m sure there are so many nuances that I missed. And I’m going to add a 2nd comment about my favorite people just so there can be two different threads of conversation.

  • onlymystory

    Okay, so favorite characters. There are very few I really dislike and all of those are the ones not in prison. Even Dockett intrigues me just because I love that she was more devious in letting the pro-life crazies take up her case because they think she’s on their side but now she seems to have bought into the full on crazy religious aspect. And yet there are flashes of moments where she seems to have a really good grasp on some of the emotional sides of faith, then the crazy swoops back in.

    Nicki, Suzanne “Crazy Eyes”, Yoga Jones, Poussey, and Sophia are some of my favorites as individuals.

    I like the developing friendship between Yoga Jones and Janae and I LOVE the Poussey/Taystee friendship. So awesome.

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