I Don’t Normally Do Orange, But….

I realize that it’s Rave Review Tuesday, but I find myself in quite a predicament because I haven’t exactly read anything new this week. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been reading quite a bit, but as I am in the thick of my annual re-read of Harry Potter, I don’t have any new information in which to report.

And I know you will all groan and roll your eyes if I repeatedly talk about my love for Harry Potter. In fact, I am going to an all Potterverse trivia game on Saturday and I plan to dominate. I almost feel bad for the competition…

Knowing this, I tried to think back on any films I have seen recently, but the truth is I haven’t seen a movie in awhile. The horror! I know, but since it’s summer, I try to spend as much time possible outside. I’ve also been traveling a bit and haven’t had time.

As I’m writing this, I’m reminded of the one thing I was obsessively watching for two weeks and can’t believe I forgot! Orange is the New Black. Which by the way deserves all of the Emmy nominations they received.

To be honest, I sometimes prefer television over film because it gives off a more relaxing vibe when watching. There isn’t as much time you have to dedicate to viewing it, even though somehow, miraculously, you end up watching an entire season in two days and didn’t even realize. Happens way too often. I still love movies, especially going to the theater, but there’s something that has always driven me to TV.

It’s strange because over the past year, I haven’t had as much time to watch TV, and therefore haven’t gotten into Breaking Bad or House of Cards even though everyone keeps telling me I have to. Eventually, I think I will watch those shows, but Orange is the New Black was most recommended, so I chose wisely.

The biggest observation about OITNB for me was that the writing on the show is phenomenal. I’m always intrigued by dialogue because it really is the largest factor that drives the show. Obviously the acting is phenomenal and will make or break a show, but as a writer, I am more apt to analyze how the show is written.

I can tell you one thing about that show, I would never survive in prison.

Not knowing much about actual prison, I couldn’t tell you how much of it is accurate, but it certainly is like its own little world and I have enjoyed getting to know the characters. In any media forum, I always love how writers and actors can transform the characters, all of the good and bad about them, and make you care. This show is a prime example of that because from a general standpoint, all of these women are criminals, having done something to some degree that was corrupt, and yet, they are human, sometimes frustrating, sometimes loveable. Just like all of us.

Without giving too much, okay anything, away I will say I enjoy the setup of having recurring characters pop up throughout the hour, while focusing on a new individual each episode, learning their background. You start to realize the factors that led to them ending up where they are and there is something so fascinating about it. You think you have a general idea of how they function, but then the backstory throws you a curveball and you end up screaming at the screen. Especially- okay I won’t say it- but OH MY GOD.

Ack. I have to control myself as I do not have a reputation for remaining inconspicuous when it comes to spoilers.

I know that the person the show is based on wrote a book and eventually I do want to read it because it would be interesting to know how much of this is real.

Being on Netflix, I think it allows a lot more freedom to depict the messiness of life, including cursing and sex. There have been a few instances where my brother is watching a show on network TV and the characters are enraged and all they can yell is “What the hell!?” I’m sorry, but that is not the grittiest statement you can scream when you are so frustrated. It’s not realistic.

Regardless of the realism of the scenarios, I think what gets me most about OITNB and the characters are that they just seem real. I’ve mentioned before how I gravitate to more character-driven media. Maybe it’s because I feel as though I can relate to them. Maybe it’s the writer in me wondering how to create those people while relying mainly on dialogue. Or maybe I should have been a psychologist.

No matter what circumstances you throw them in, no matter what ridiculous, otherworldly, mystical things that surround them, if you have a strong core of characters who live, breathe, and bleed as quintessential humans, I will follow along with the story with bated breath.

Orange is the New Black is an absolute must-see. It’s sometimes silly and sometimes anxiety-ridden. I’ve laughed, cried, and wanted to throw the screen across the room while screaming and covering my eyes. That is the mark of quality television.

And it has a killer theme song that, albeit, runs a little too long.

When is season 3?!

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