Sunday, December 29, 2013

"Orange Is the New Black", a Netflix original series, is certainly a metaphor, and shows how your past can catch up with you

I’ve heard about the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black”, created by Jenji Kohan. So today, I watched the Pilot episode, titled “Wasn’t Ready”, directed by Michael Trim.
The series is definitely “R” material. It opens with a lesbian scene involving the heroine, Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), and then we see her processing into women’s prison.  Then we go back in time and see her in bed with her devoted fiancée, writer Larry Bloom (Jason Biggs). She enjoys her last days of freedom before starting her fifteen months in prison – with the fibbies in Litchfield, NY, for carrying drug money for her lesbian lover just once ten years ago.  And she did that for love, not for money. And then she “changed”.
Well, the title is certainly a metaphor.  We eagerly wonder how long, as she led a nice life in New York City, it would be before she knew she would be prosecuted.  It seems like she learned by getting served with a “notice to appear”.  She plead out to get a light sentence.  In prison, the point is well made, that she’s a white woman, convicted of a crime set aside to stigmatize minorities.
Why does Larry love her enough to wait fifteen months?  Good question.

The detailed look at starting life in prison, after a privileged upbringing and existence previously, is certainly idiomatic and illuminating. The first episode has Larry take her to the prison to "surrender herself", after a wonderful last night in the real world. 

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