You Need to be Watching “Orange is the New Black”

Posted on July 17, 2013

NOTE: This post will be so gushing that we feel we should skip right to the end and thank Netflix for buying us that car.

Kidding!

 

Orange+Is+The+New+Black+1

But really, that’s how much we’re going to gush. Bear in mind the last time we pretty much ordered y’all to watch a TV show was when we wrote a little post entitled “If you’re not watching Mad Men, you’re crazy.” And we all know how that one turned out, don’t we? Trust us: you need to watch this show. We would like to think that our personalities are so forceful and our reputation for being tastemakers and pop culture influencers so impeccable that we don’t have to write another word and you’re all making firm commitments to watch the show immediately, but you’re going to make us keep typing to convince you, aren’t you? Fine.

Based on Piper Kerman’s best-selling memoir of the same name, the Netflix original series tells the more fictionalized story of Piper Chapman, a privileged, engaged WASP who finds herself doing time in a federal prison because she had a same-sex fling in college ten years before with a glamorous drug runner who got her involved in the business. Her youthful fuckup catches up with her just as she’s about to launch her line of artisanal soaps and settle into newly engaged bliss with her perfect fiance, Larry. We don’t blame yoOrange+Is+The+New+Black+6u if this doesn’t sound appealing; like some sort of borderline-offensive cross between Private Benjamin and Oz, glossing over the realities of the U.S. prison system by looking at it through the eyes of a white woman. You’ll be happy to know that not only is the show way more than that, but it’s so self-aware that it makes both Private Benjamin and Oz jokes during the season. Hell, it’s so self-aware that it has an African-American character saying to a white character, “This isn’t The fucking Help, bitch, but you will eat my shit.”

What we want to get across to you more than anything else is just how much this show sticks with you for days after you watch it. Since the entire season dropped on Netflix last week we wound up binge-watching the whole thing. Maybe you could be a little more judicious in your viewing and spread it out more, but honestly, we don’t see how. Practically every episode ends with the viewer wanting more, urging them to immediately click on the next one.

Actually, that’s not quite true. That’s not what we want to get across to you the most. What we really want you to understand is that this show isn’t what you probably think it is.

Yes, it starts from the point of view of a white woman in the prison system; and yes, you are going to see the story play out some “caged women” tropes that could rightly be called cliche, like the shower sex and the prison yard death threats and the “scary” bull dykes and violently crazy women of color. But almost immediately, the show makes the choice to move past Piper and her wide-eyed introduction to this world in order to tell the stories of all the other women in there with her. By employing a series of Lost-style flashbacks in order to show everyone’s path to a life behind bars, the show can go pretty much anywhere in American life and shine a light on it. The result is a story about choices and about the losses that come with bad ones. This is why it’s such a good show and why it sticks with you for days; because there isn’t an adult alive who can’t understand how hard it is to make choices and how devastating it is when those choices backfire and the punishments come.

But, in some ways, more importantly, this show isn’t just about general, universal truths. These are clearly and specifically women’s stories; about the choices women have to make in this world and about the millions of different ways the world conspires to rob women of their agency or hold them back from their potential. This is not to say that every character is an innocent flower and merely a victim. No, these are difficult, hard women; and their choices are not always easy to watch, but they are almost always understandable and heartbreaking.

But digging down even further, it’s clear to us that the strength of the tale isn’t that it’s universal and isn’t even that it’s women-specific, but that it tells the stories of the types of women who don’t get their stories told in our culture: black women, Hispanic women, fat women, butch women, bi women, old women, immigrant women, uneducated women – and even a trans woman’s story. When the season is done, you will be astonished at the vast range of women you’ve been exposed to and if you reflect on it, will probably be a little depressed that such stories are so rare in our culture.

It’s a very rare, nearly impossible thing for a story to be so well-constructed that it works on a universal level, on a gender level, and further in, on a sexuality/race/ethnicity/education/income level. It manages to tell all these stories and pay the highest respect to them all, whether we’re looking at an African-American trans woman trying to stay connected to her son and wife or a privileged white girl finding out she’s constructed a lie about herself and built a life around it, or an older Russian immigrant (the amazing and unrecognizable Kate Mulgrew) so hardened by life that she scares everyone around her, or a highly talented athlete who threw it all away for the most foolish of reasons. It helps tremendously that the cast is so across-the-board talented. There are a lot of them and there isn’t one weak link in the bunch. All of the performances are engrossing. All the stories are fascinating. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a story about a white girl forced to live amongst the exotic coloreds. It’s not that AT ALL. In fact, it deliberately – aOrange+Is+The+New+Black+2nd brilliantly – subverts that expectation. In addition, it’s so brilliantly constructed that certain story points will unfold and you’ll be surprised by them, but you’ll immediately see that the story worked hard to set them up well. There’s even an excellently deployed Chekhov’s Gun. When you get to the final moments of the season, you’ll marvel at how well the writing set everything up to get to this amazingly revelatory and cathartic moment – that will have you howling that you’re going to have to wait almost a year for season 2 to drop.

Oh, and if you’re concerned about this sort of thing, it’s not a particularly violent show (although there are brief moments), nor is it open-a-vein depressing. It’s too heartfelt and humanistic to be so. And funny? You will slide off the couch laughing when you’re not reaching for the Kleenex. Since the show’s creator is Jenji Kohan, late of Showtime’s Weeds, you should expect some biting-as-hell social commentary as well as some incredibly witty and on-point dialogue. And yes, lead character Piper Chapman is every bit as annoying and self-involved as Nancy Botwin. Fortunately, she’s surrounded by people who constantly call her on her considerable bullshit.

See it. See all of it. If for no other reason than to look at and listen to the kinds of women you don’t see on TV. Then come back here and talk about it. You’ll want to.

 

 

[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke for Netflix]

    • WendyD

      Ok, fine, I’ll listen to my TLo and add it to my queue.

      • demidaemon

        Same here. *shakes an ineffectual fist at our neighborhood bloggers*

    • Siege

      I’ve been debating watching this one, but if TLo say it’s good, then…I guess I will have to bow to the taste-makers ;)

      • Domo_Konnichiwa

        When the captain of the USS Voyager put a used tampon in a breakfast sandwich, I was hooked.

        • H2olovngrl

          Awesome! I was also debating on starting Star Trek Voyager. I guess I’ll watch them back to back for a Mulgrew-fest!

          • Domo_Konnichiwa

            Holy cow. Be Careful! You will get addicted to all the stuff you can watch on there!

        • editrixie

          Ooookay, that right there makes me want to back away very very fast. Is that typical? I have a really really hard time watching anything set in a prison. I made my friends bring down tapes of Oz and we fast forwarded through everything except the Beecher-Keller Romance Theatre parts.

          • Domo_Konnichiwa

            It’s almost entirely set in a prison except for flashback scenes.

            • editrixie

              No, I mean the tampon thing. Is that the typical kind of stuff in the show? That sounds really awful.

            • Domo_Konnichiwa

              Ummm, there’s one or 2 other scenes that are kind of in that vein, but the focus of the show isn’t to gross you out for the sake of grossing you out. It’s not like mad men where the efforts to make characters or scenes evil is subtle. I would watch the first 2 episodes and see what you think. It gives a good idea of how the show flows and go from there.

        • adnama79

          I did not recognize her.

          • Domo_Konnichiwa

            My husband and I didn’t either, and when we saw Kate Mulgrew on the screen after a few views, we went “Oh damn!” She’s really absorbed into her character.

    • AwesomeMargie

      I started watching this show a few days ago based on so many Tweets. It took me to the third episode to be hooked. I absolutely love how the stories of the other women and how they got to prison are laid out in small doses making me keep wondering, “But what did she do?!” It’s brilliant. Kate Mulgrew! Brilliant, just brilliant.

    • http://dontmakeitlikeimdumb.blogspot.com/ annabelle archer

      So I have finally found a reason to sign up for Netflix. I was taking pride on being the last person in America without it. Fine Uncles, fine.

      • marlie

        Second to last person. I just might sign up, too.

        • majorbedhead

          Netflix is so worth it. I don’t have cable, but I do have Netflix and Amazon Prime and they pretty much fill all the gaps (except HBO shows, dammit).

          • Domo_Konnichiwa

            Yep, Netflix has replaced cable for me, too.

          • marlie

            I’ve actually been thinking about that. I already have Amazon Prime, so maybe I need to just bite the bullet and cancel my cable.

            • http://dontmakeitlikeimdumb.blogspot.com/ annabelle archer

              The house would riot if I cancelled the cable. The kids (both younger and teens) have their favorites, the hubs and all of his unwatchable shit, my dad and his weirdly filled DVR choices. I’m a slave to the Uverse.

            • Domo_Konnichiwa

              The bigger the family, the worse the habit.

      • http://www.ellenciompi.com/ NurseEllen

        The “last person in America” spot is still occupied, by yours truly. But I may have to reconsider after this review.

      • http://dontmakeitlikeimdumb.blogspot.com/ annabelle archer

        I’m going to have to see if I can get Orphan Black on Netflix too. Also because of the highly praised recommendations here. If BOTH shows are there, it may be worth it. Maybe.

        • majorbedhead

          Orphan Black isn’t on Netflix yet. I think it just finished running on BBCAmerica, or it’s about it.

          • http://dontmakeitlikeimdumb.blogspot.com/ annabelle archer

            Damnit, I’m not made of money. Cable, Netflix, now I’ll have to order Orphan Black through Google Play. I’m going to need a second job to afford all of things I won’t ever have time to watch. ; D

            • largishbearishAtlish

              but is ALL this off the computer feed? (aka I am so tired of 2 bars NOT 3 I could scream lately). my concern is trying to stream all this stuff and getting sputtering views (my cable is (knock on wood) fine…. internet, not so much (huge storms recently I am sure played havoc with trees and lines of sight)

            • http://dontmakeitlikeimdumb.blogspot.com/ annabelle archer

              That’s what I’m saying. We are old school, we watch our movies and shows on TV via UVerse provider. I have my laptop, but haven’t downloaded or accessed any thing on it as of yet. I don’t know that I want to, it seems like it would be a pain in ass. I don’t “watch on the go” as it were.

            • demidaemon

              Netflix is much more affordable as long as you stick to streaming only.

        • chowwander

          I will actually scream aloud when Orphan Black makes it to Netflix. Cannot. Wait.

        • marlie

          If you have cable (I have Comcast), it’s OnDemand right now.

          • LondonMarriott

            Oooh thanks! I’ve been rationing shows so I’d have more to watch but now I can add Orphan Black and marathon OITNB or True Blood!

      • chowwander

        They’re not comedy, but once you are on Netflix, watch Top of the Lake (OMG Elizabeth Moss) and The Fall (OMG Gillian Anderson). Incredible acting.

        • floretbroccoli

          I never watched The X-Files, but wow, Gillian Anderson is having a career post-X! Did you see her in Bleak House? Brilliant!

          • chowwander

            I still haven’t watched that! On my bucket list. (It’s great to have a streaming show bucket list…heady times on the telly!)

          • queeniethebold

            She was amazing and truly heart-breaking in “Bleak House.” Just amazing.

          • fursa_saida

            She’s fantastic in a recurring guest role on Hannibal as well.

            • chowwander

              Oooo, can’t wait to see that! (It’s on my bucket list too…thanks for the reminder!)

            • fursa_saida

              IT’S SO GOOD. And it does a really good job of avoiding a lot of the shitty gendered tropes you see in a lot of horror or crime dramas–no sexy corpses (there are some naked ones, but you see naked male corpses as well), women don’t die much more often than men, and the creator, when asked if there was anything too awful to put on the show, immediately said rape. It makes me so happy.

        • mshesterp

          Top of the Lake was so good I watched it, then weeks later watched most of it again with my parents. And they loved it.

          The Fall just got added to the queue!

          • chowwander

            Hope you enjoy it!

        • adnama79

          In my queue. Thx.

          • chowwander

            Great! Please stop by if you want to update on what you thought.

            • adnama79

              Three of four episodes into The Fall and liking it. Reminds me of the (Helen Mirren) Prime Suspect (also on Netflix).

              Thanks for the recommendations!

            • chowwander

              Nice! You are most welcome.

      • Lilithcat

        No, you’re not the last person. I am.

        • http://www.GiftedCollector.com/ The Gifted Collector

          Me, too. I almost signed up for the free trial just so I could watch “Arrested Development,” but the reviews were so lukewarm that I changed my mind.

    • Maria Photinakis

      I just started watching this last night and I think I am already 3 episodes in. This show really took me by surprise – I was expecting some cliche yuppie girl’s kumbaya moment by seeing how hard “other” folks have it, she goes home and weeps into her kombucha, yawn, but it wasn’t that at all. It drew me in completely. Definitely watch.

      Also Kate Mulgrew – so glad to see her on TV again. She’s bringing that Captain Janeway fierceness back!

    • Chrissy Atchley

      I just started it yesterday!!

    • Donna Tabor

      My very staid, old white geezer husband has been watching this show, and he’s hooked.

      • 1964edithgrove

        Fish on the line! Another old white geezer/gezerette about to watch episode 6 and in love with this show.

    • luciaphile

      Adding it to my queue. Now that I’ve cut my cable and have absolutely no reception, I need new stuff to watch.

    • VioletFem

      I watched the entire series this past weekend and I still can’t stop thinking about it. I’m glad I took the time to watch it because I initially wrote it off based on the title and the promo pics alone. However, my interest was piqued when Janet Mock tweeted about the show and raved about the well thought out and nuanced portrayal of the trans character who is played by trans actress Laverne Cox. I’m glad I was wrong about my first impression. The writers really succeeded in writing a story about several women’s experiences with the prison system in a way that was not trivializing or dehumanizing for all of the characters. I can’t wait for season 2!

      • NinjaCate

        Agreed. It’s been almost a week since I finished it and I can’t get it off my mind. I literally want to pee with excitement every time I think about it. The show is just good in a way I can’t describe. Thankfully TLO can do the describing!

      • zelavie

        I binge watched it over the last two days, and I can’t even believe it’s gonna be a year before we get to see what’s next. The characters are just so engaging, and the writers are brilliant in the amount of back story they gave us this season, guaranteeing that we’ll come back for more. I don’t necessarily like Piper, but seeing her transformation and downward spiral is pretty intriguing. I have a feeling I’ll come back to season one long before season two is released!

      • tereliz

        Just watched the whole thing this weekend and I cannot agree more. There was nothing trivializing about it. Every scene was so nuanced, and if there was a lesson to be learned it was the hard way, and for the sake of character development, not to preach at the viewer.

        Sad that it takes a show set in a women’s prison to get such a powerhouse mostly female cast, with episodes that address “women’s issues” in a way that makes them seem a lot more universal and a lot more like basic human rights, ya know? With the high stakes (the SHU if you break the rules, or worse!) and gritty setting, no one better dare call this chick-lit.

    • Catiline

      KATE MULGREW?? I am there.

      • VioletFem

        She is amazing in this show!

        • floretbroccoli

          Are we going to see Red’s hair color become a trend?

          • VioletFem

            I love red hair, but I don’t think that particular shade she sports on the show would look good on most people.

            • floretbroccoli

              If it did look good, how would we know it was a Kate Mulgrew trend?

            • VioletFem

              Good point ; )

          • Sarah Grizzle

            I am working in Bosnia right now, and SO MANY PEOPLE have that hair color! All ages! It’s particularly jarring on 80ish year old women…

          • zelavie

            It’s been a trend for middle-aged Eastern European women for quite some time! I couldn’t believe how many bottle-red-heads I saw over there 10 years ago.

    • Mismarker

      I’ve watched the whole thing and recommend it highly. Piper does start to grate after a while… But, really, this isn’t even her story. Kate Mulgrew is simply amazing. And no one does unhinged like Taryn Manning.

      • Meg0GayGuys6

        Taryn Manning’s in it!? I’m there :)

        • Mismarker

          Oh, yes. She plays a meth head redneck/born again Christ fanatic. And it is pretty awesome.

          • zelavie

            Yeah, she is spectacular!

      • mshesterp

        A very long time ago I used to get Taryn Manning confused with Anna Faris. Go figure. But no one does trashy crazy like Taryn Manning. She’s awesome in this.

      • pawtley

        Too right! I barely recognized her either (my jaw dropped with Kate Mulgrew as well).

    • Carole Scofield

      My husband is in the middle of the book, coincidentally, and says it’s fantastic! I better shut up and let him finish it so we can start watching!

    • majorbedhead

      My therapist recommended that I watch this. I’m not sure what that says about me, or my therapist, but I’ve heard nothing but glowing reviews, so I’m adding it to my queue right now.

    • ‘Becca’lise Deveaux

      We’re on episode 11 and ADDICTED! So glad you guys are watching too!

    • heatherpsauce

      Agreed — so, SO GOOD!

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      I’m only 2 episodes in. I’m trying to resist binge watching because there’s nothing good on TV at the moment (Under the Dome is a huge disappointment!) and I would like to watch it over a week or two. I loved “Red’s” flashback episode with the mafioso wives, especially her last scene with them (if you’ve watched it, you know what scene I’m talking about).

      • Lisa Hager

        It was perfection.

        • floretbroccoli

          Like Sharknado?

          • Angela_the_Librarian

            The only problem with Sharknado was the lack of actual Sharknado. They only really showed it for like the last 20 minutes of the movie. It would have been more accurately titled SharkFlood (but I guess that doesn’t have the same ring to it)

          • Brian G. Cox

            Movies like Sharknado and Mansquito keep the Sci-Fi dream alive!!

            (Although I’m probably going to have to give Orange a second look — didn’t pull me in the way I expected.)

      • floretbroccoli

        Wait. You expected something from Under the Dome?

        • MikeW_Vegas

          Under the Dome was a good book. but they TOTALLY butchered it for the TV show. It’s not even the same story line. I hate it when they do that.

        • Angela_the_Librarian

          I haven’t read the book, but I thought the story sounded promising and could potentially be a good sci-fi-ish summer series. After two episodes I gave up due to the terrible pacing and I hated the storyline about the psycho boyfriend kidnapping his girlfriend.

          • pawtley

            You read my mind. She’s actually a good actress, too, but it was one too many “Juuuuuuuuuuunioooooooor!!!!!”s for me.

        • zelavie

          I love Stephen King, but I think the only movie based on one of his books that WASN’T a complete disappointment was “The Shining”.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            Stand By Me is better than the story. Shawshank Redemption was also good.

      • demidaemon

        I don’t know if you are cable-less or not, but my top shows right now are the following: Major Crimes, Longmire, Rizzoli & Isles, and Perception. All of them add a nice twist to the procedural drama, with Perception being particularly intellectual and the last of episode of Major Crimes was particularly heartbreaking.

      • makeityourself

        That was an excellent scene. It’s tricky to discuss this without spoiling, but I’ll just say that Kate’s imteraction with the Russian wives initially surprised me because she was so hurt by these mean girls excluding her. When we first meet Kate in the Litch cafeteria, she’s so imperious that this seems impossible. But the more we learn, the more I understand about how she came to be the way she is.

        I’m more than halfway through the show and this theme of surprising personal back-stories is quite effective. It’s made me think about how I unconsciously judge people by their appearances, even though I always strive not to.

        • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

          You can spoil here. We encourage people to discuss the show.

        • http://cheekypinky.wordpress.com cheekypinky

          My favorite line of hers is when she is weeping to her husband, “Just for once, I want you to be on my side!”

          *guh*

          Right in the feels.

          …Even after QCing that episode twenty bazillion times.

      • pawtley

        Ugh–not enough Dome. I gave up on it after the 2nd ep.

    • CassandraMortmain

      I watched two episodes last night and liked it. Didn’t love it but I liked it enough to keep watching, at least until it turns into a train wreck. Weeds was terrific the first couple of seasons but it went off the rails as badly as any show I’ve ever seen. I don’t know who to blame for that but it does make me leery of anything Jenji Kohan touches. But since this is getting such rave reviews I’ll stick with it. Still, so far I much prefer The Bridge for my summer viewing,

    • Jamie M.

      What I absolutely love about the show is that reminds us that no matter how stereotypical someone may seem, they never are. If you take the time to hear someone’s story, you’ll find that the are just as complicated and nuanced as you are. Love this show and happy to see you guys recommend it. Are you going to do a Mad Style-esque post? “Jailbirds in Jumpers?” ;)

    • Scimommy

      Huh. I guess I won’t be canceling Netflix after all.

      • Meg0GayGuys6

        I’m buying my first house and the other day I was trying to think of some little things I can let go of and Netflix WAS going to be it… I guess I have to look elsewhere.

    • gabbilevy

      This one has been on my must-watch list since before it dropped but I haven’t started it because I know I don’t have the time/sleep I can afford to lose to binge-watch it.

    • Terry

      I watched this show over the weekend. It is AWESOME for all the reasons TLo give. Most of the characters are three dimensional and interesting each in their own way. You get invested in these people. I was really sad to realize I’d watched them all and would have to wait for another season.

    • Tanya Wade

      Loved it. Loved seeing women of all sizes and colors and sexualities. And fyi, the book is just as goood and funny. In fact, the book is actually funnier and more heartbreaking. Love this times infinity and beyond. And yay, Lea DeLaria, you have been missed.

    • NinjaCate

      “it’s clear to us that the strength of the tale isn’t that it’s universal and isn’t even that it’s women-specific, but that it tells the stories of the types of women who don’t get their stories told in our culture: black women, Hispanic women, fat women, butch women, bi women, old women, immigrant women, uneducated women – and even a trans woman’s story. When the season is done, you will be astonished at the vast range of women you’ve been exposed to and if you reflect on it, will probably be a little depressed that such stories are so rare in our culture.”

      Succinctly stated what I’ve been struggling to express since I shotgunned the entire season when it premiered on Thursday. Not only is this one of the most empathetic and realistic portrayals of women I’ve ever seen, it takes great care to not only treat each story with respect, but has enough respect for the audience to not try to sugarcoat them. Everyone makes good AND bad decisions. And the RANGE of stories is amazing. These women are people that you may NEVER encounter in your lifetime, and watching the show really shows you what a tragedy it is that we don’t see their stories told more often.

      OITNB is amazing. Listen to your Uncles TLO! WATCH THE SHOW!

    • MilaXX

      Best review for this show I have read do far. I watched the first ep. It was okay & I planned to get around to the rst but really wasn’t in a rush. I may dip back in while doing laundry today

      • DeebaCee

        I wasn’t really hooked with the first episode. It was good, but I didn’t get the gushing. By the 2nd episode I was starting to get the gushing, and by the 3rd episode I joined the gushing bandwagon. I think it has something to do with learning some of the other characters’ backstories and nuanced personalities, and you don’t start to get that until the 2nd episode.

        • MilaXX

          I went and watched the rest of the series. I wasn’t impressed. The only think I liked were the tales of the other women. Know this is based on a true story kinda left a bad taste in my mouth.

          • DeebaCee

            I think I had to disconnect myself from realizing that it was based on a true story to enjoy it. I didn’t really like Piper (or her personal life story arc), and there were few times that I actually related or empathized with her. At the same time, I don’t really think that she was meant to be a truly likeable character. None of them were. Even the ones that I rooted for or empathized with the most had moments were I really disliked them. I just really liked the background view of the women and how they came to become the personalities that you see in the prison. I also like that I was able to both laugh and get misty-eyed in almost every episode.

            Given how you thought of this season, do you think you’ll still tune in for season 2?

            • MilaXX

              I definitely think she was meant to be shown as less than nice, however her book & movie deal, Larry’s NYT’s article all just feel so…smug. It’s like a little too nudge- nudge, wink – wink. I enjoyed the background viewpoints of the other women as well. In fact that’s the only thing that attracted me to this. I don’t like that it came wrapped up in a big old Piper package in order to see the stories of the other women.
              Season 2 – Piper gets time added for beating up Pennsatucky. There’s plenty more mileage to get out of the other women’s tales.

    • sagecreek

      I’m so glad you guys are recommending this! I mainlined all 13 eps this weekend, and I loved it!

    • Jamie Moon

      Listen to our TLo, I started this show last night and I’m half tempted to sneak into the conference room at work and sneak an episode on my phone.

    • http://press-for-attention.tumblr.com/ Miss Jen K

      Well, then. I’m convinced. Spectacular piece of writing, sirs :)

    • Sobaika

      I was going back and forth on this – I don’t need another show on my repertoire and I was not interested in Prison Through The Eyes of Suburban White Lady! – but you just convinced me to begin it asap.

      • Lisa Hager

        One of great things about the show is that the white woman who is the main character, Piper, isn’t meant to be an totally attractive or necessarily sympathetic character (I would argue) — we’re meant to disagree with her and side with other characters. I think that helps make a lot of the race issues going on the show part of the conversation because she stands in for white privilege in so many ways.

      • pookiesmom

        I agree with Lisa. I was really reluctant to get into OITNB because of that very reason, but the show is extremely self-conscious about the problematic nature of its premise and really transcends it. Not only is it transparent about Piper’s white privilege, it actually uses it to start a more layered conversation. Without her, I don’t think that such a rich, nuanced exploration of race and power(lessness) and gender, for that matter, would be possible.

    • bluerinse

      I have spent last 2 days watching. It gets better and better. I’m not that wild on the main character, but love how they call her out on her actions. Taryn Manning is brilliant as the christian meth-head. And I defy anyone not to get a bit sniffly during the Christmas pageant.

      • tereliz

        A bit sniffly? I bawled.

    • frannyprof

      I’m sold. Now I just need to subscribe to Netflix…

      • Sobaika

        DO IT. I am such a Netflix cheerleader, I’ve discovered so many shows I wouldn’t have had the chance to get through otherwise.

        • demidaemon

          Same here. I finished what they had of Midsomer Murders not too long ago, and now I’m watching a good oldie: Macmillan and Wife. I may have to convince my cowatcher to watch this one next.

    • SapphoPoet

      My goodness, that’s quite an endorsement.

    • ashtangajunkie

      I actually signed up for Netflix for the sole purpose of watching this show. Looking forward to starting it this weekend. And to cancelling most of my cable package. :)

      • floretbroccoli

        Whoa. It’s only 13 episodes. You’ll need something else to watch once you’ve finished!

        Consider Rectify.

        • ashtangajunkie

          Ha. I just meant that having Netflix will allow me to get rid of unnecessary channels, not having one season of a new show. I’ll look into Rectify though – thanks!

        • makeityourself

          I liked Game of Thrones. And I’m working my way back through Arrested Development too.

    • sweet_potato

      I love this show. I can’t stop watching it, I’m half way through the season and I’m trying not to binge on it. That said, I woke up this morning thinking of those women and pondering my own choices and my good luck. It really brings home the point of “there but for the grace of god go I”. I love Jenji Kohan for bringing these complex women stories to the mainstream. So glad you’re talking about this here.

    • shorty j

      I saw the ads and went, “Ugh. Wow. That looks really stupid.” And then the rave reviews have just been ALL OVER my social networking feeds, from people whose opinions I really respect, and it’s gotten me really excited about watching this.

    • Maluca

      I love that you guys loved this show! We binge watched this past weekend and it was just so compelling! Not a weak link in this bunch. I am grateful that forums such as Netflix exist so that we get this quality programming. Network tv is the pits .

    • julnyes

      My concerns about this show have been thoroughly addressed by this post. It is going on my netflix queue right now.

    • SignLadyB

      Okay, you sold me–headed to Netflix right now to put it at the top of my queue.

    • Jennifer Peters-Ahnberg

      I saw it on the lineup and have been thinking, “Yeah, okay…maybe when I don’t have anything else to watch.”

      I’ll be watching an episode (or three) tonight.

    • TerryMarie

      Well, shoot, it’s only available for streaming and not on disc. Streaming just doesn’t work for us too well. Perhaps I need to finally invest in a Roku.

      • Rebecca Jay

        My daughter gave me a Roku streamer thing and a Netflix subscription for Christmas. I can’t believe all the stuff I get for $8 per month.

      • DeebaCee

        If you don’t already have a blu-ray player, you can also look into a blu-ray player with wi-fi built in. The cost can be about the same as a Roku, plus you get a blu-ray player along with it.

    • Judy_J

      You had me at “Kate Mulgrew.”

    • Lisa Hager

      My partner and I have watched the first two episodes and are already so addicted to this show! I’m especially excited that the show has a transwoman actor playing a transwoman character, who is neither a tragic figure or comic relief but instead a fully developed character.

      • Lisa Hager

        Also, Donna from That 70’s Show plays an incredibly hot femme top, which was almost enough on its own to get me hooked.

      • DonnaL

        Yes, it’s nice to see a trans woman played by a trans woman for once, rather than a non-trans man or woman playing the part in the hope of getting nominated for an award.

    • carnush

      I started watching this week and haven’t stopped thinking about it. It’s in my top five favorite shows of all time and I’m just on episode five. It’s so refreshing and beautiful to see all of these characters come to life. All of these women. It makes me so happy.

    • Rhonda Shore

      Is it as good as Prisoner Cell Block H?

    • boweryboy

      Oh! I just watched three back-to-back episodes of this last night and had to stop to prevent myself from staying up all night to finish the series.

      It reminds me a lot of that late ’70s soap opera Prisoner: Cell Block H but not as gritty. Does anyone else remember that show?

      • Tanya Wade

        Oh god, yes. “Filthy screws!”

    • elemspbee

      T’Lo, not sure what it is in the LA morning air, but I find your write up here incredibly moving, and as always, smart.

    • decormaven

      Thanks for the reminder. Saw a trailer for this at White House Down, but forgot to add it to the queue. Saw an interview of the actress who plays Tastyee. This should be a good show.

    • Nancy Karpen

      We’ve spread out our watching a bit so that we can savor this rare, wonderful tv experience. Netflix really got it right with this show.

    • EAV

      So, will you be hosting a fashion discussion of each show? :-)

    • Eclectic Mayhem

      Okay, I’m in.

    • floretbroccoli

      I finished watching on Monday. But I think this kind of binge-watching makes me a little psychotic.

      I’m dying for Crazy Eyes’ back story. How on earth are the man and woman from American Gothic her parents?

      Check out the NYTimes story about the wonderful, Juillilard-educated actress who plays Tasty.

      • ShaoLinKitten

        It’s Taystee. Like TASTY.

        • tereliz

          Like the cake, lol.

        • Kristin McNamara

          “And they say you went to college.”

    • http://blog.mattalgren.com/ Matt Algren

      I tried to watch the first episode last weekend and bailed after we got pooping and unnecessary boobs in the first fifteen minutes. I guess I’ll give it another shot, especially if it’s not all about the WASP. Any show that does that gets a couple chances.

      • makeityourself

        Yes, I agree, but it gets infinitely better a few episodes later. Give it another try.

    • TLJezebel

      Went to Netflix, searched for it and got no results. Can a Bitter Kitten get some help?

      • TLJezebel

        Update: I found it, but is it available on DVD? I’m am remedial.

        • Lenora Dody

          It’s a new show that Netfilx produced and released all at once just last week so no.

        • Yolanda13

          I think that for now they are streaming it only.

    • Le_Sigh

      I mainlined this show over the weekend and loved it – not for Piper Kerman’s story (quite frankly, I could care less about what happens to her) but the amazing characters and stories going on around her. Kate Mulgrew, Laverne Cox, Natasha Lyonne, and Taryn Manning are all utterly brilliant and so fun to watch.

    • Katie Salinas

      Thanks for the tip. Netflix has really been hitting it out of the park with their “programming” lately. House of Cards, The Fall, and now this one. I don’t imagine that my next few evenings are going to be very productive…

    • kimmeister

      Hunh, and I had totally thought it was going to be a zany sitcom!

    • lrober03

      I watched the first episode and enjoyed it, looking forward to watching the rest!
      Note: Netflix isn’t subject to the same warning system as network TV, but there is nudity in this show.

    • desi_girl

      Perfect timing! I’ve been thinking I need a new show to watch.

    • Jennifer Morrill Patterson

      I adore this show way more than I ever thought I would. I didn’t plan on watching but got sucked in way too easily while someone else was watching. It kept me up way later than I needed to be one evening. It gives you the “I’m just going to watch ONE more episode” disease.

    • sugarkane105

      This might sound silly, but thank you for mentioning that it’s not particularly violent! That was my only reservation about the show. Now I’ll definitely check it out.

    • Beth513

      The ladies at jezebel beat you two to the punch and I’m two episodes in and love it! So glad you’re spreading the word to more smart people.

      • Beth513

        I hate the vote down button on disquis, it’s just so negative, and why is it anonymous? LAME.

    • Denise Alden

      “But digging down even further, it’s clear to us that the strength of the
      tale isn’t that it’s universal and isn’t even that it’s women-specific,
      but that it tells the stories of the types of women who don’t get their stories told in our culture:
      black women, Hispanic women, fat women, butch women, bi women, old
      women, immigrant women, uneducated women – and even a trans woman’s
      story. When the season is done, you will be astonished at the vast range
      of women you’ve been exposed to and if you reflect on it, will probably
      be a little depressed that such stories are so rare in our culture.”

      Magic words. Now I’m condemned to watch this. Damn you, TLo. Damn you! :)

    • housefulofboys

      I know what I’ll be doing this weekend. Not sure I can talk my family of alpha males to watch with me…but that’s why I have my own tv. They didn’t even like Mad Men (barbarians!!).

    • ballerinawithagun

      We did the first 6 episodes last weekend. Can’t wait for next weekend! My husband and I watch it together. They even touch on that…Larry promises to not watch Mad Men until Piper is out of prison; very timely! The flashback stories are great. We decided to go cable free when we moved and are so happy! Netflix and Hulu and live streaming rule.

    • mshesterp

      I started watching when the good reviews trickled in, and figured “Hey, why not?” 5 episodes in, I’m a total convert. It’s definitely binge watching at its best.

    • d4divine

      Thank you for writing a review that does not contain spoilers.

    • CeeQ

      Ooohhh we stumbled across this during our Netflix browsing last night. Stumbled? Heh…I jest – we could not help but accidentally click PLAY cuz of the massive ad for it as soon as Netflix opened. I groaned and said, oh geez not ANOTHER prison drama. So it was nixed but apparently I AM WRONG. So I’ll repent but giving it a go tonight. I’m sure the Hubs has already watched 3 eps by now =D He’s a sucker for good prison drama and loved Oz. So this should be interesting =D

    • MRC210

      My BFF has been trying to get me to watch this and has been emailing me links to articles about this show the way your credulous grandma emails you the latest urban legends; it’s getting to the point where I just delete his emails as soon as I see them. But if TLo is (are?) chiming in too, I guess he’s on to something.

    • Maggie Smith

      Yep. I wasn’t sure what to expect, except that I loved Weeds and so I wanted to give it a chance. I’m about halfway through right now. I love, love, LOVE the character flashbacks on the other inmates. Even the other inmates that you weren’t expecting background for.

    • http://gabyrippling.tumblr.com/ Gaby

      Weeds was so good at the beginning (I still quote the “We sings and dances real good” line Heylia said in episode 1 all the time, because it was SO cuttingly spot on and works in so many situations) and my boyfriend was telling me I should watch this (because I love Weeds but feel a little weird about the places it has gone) but I was on the fence. Now I’m not. Soon as I’m done with the bar exam – TV, comic books, movie, and reading until I have to start work. Starting with this show.

    • http://hotmesshousewife.blogspot.com/ Hot Mess Housewife

      YES. YES, YES, YES. I was a good bitter kitten and watched it before you two even instructed me to! AND IT IS SO GOOD. I’ve got one friend checking it out (and loving Red the best accordingly), I’m working on convincing others. I am so, so sad that I’m done now, but happy that it’s already been renewed (as opposed to having to wait and hope Netflix would renew it).

    • http://kingderella.tumblr.com/ kingderella

      uhm, ok. this one would have gone right past me, but ill give it a try then.

      can i plug my own favourite tv show right now, tho?
      (as if anybody is going to read post #112 or whatever)

      its DEFIANCE!

      its not for everybody, tho. its sci-fi, and its cheesy… but its also a real joy to watch.

      id describe it as a cross between firefly and babylon 5. so if that sounds at all appealing to you, watch it!

    • Yolanda13

      Thank you Tom and Lorenzo. I saw one of your tweets this past weekend and decided to watch. I’m on Episode 7! I’m trying to pace myself because I know it will be a year before Season 2, but I’ll be done by Saturday I’m sure. The show is hilarious. I was a bit apprehensive because I really didn’t want to see a female “OZ.” Thanks for letting the kittens know that it isn’t particularly violent.

    • Caroline Harper

      so glad you guys watched it!! I just finished binge-watching yesterday and I L-O-V-E-D it!!!!

    • NoveltyRocker

      Really happy to see props for this show given here!

    • Amy_R

      I’ve watched 4 now and gotta agree with TLO…love it. Pornstach..horrible but hilarious!

    • marishka1

      I’ll take your word for it, TLo. You also recommended Orphan Black, and that was fantastic! I’ll warm up the Netflix this weekend.

    • snarkykitten

      Between you & Audostraddle, methinks my queer ass should be watching this show.

    • StelledelMare

      I binge watched this past weekend and am now re-watching it again more slowly because it’s just that good. Incidentally, I did the same thing with Orphan Black only a week ago. I love great tv.

    • Julie

      I’m a few episodes in and agree that the show touches on narratives that we don’t typically see in television. They are charting new territory for sure. I’m not going to spoil anything but the “tit punch” episode had me cackling at one scene in particular.

    • MissDelaware

      It’s my new treadmill show, and I’m already sad there are only 13 of them …

    • reddhouston

      So glad you’re watching it too…I ended up watching 10 episode in a day. I’m glad to know other people are appreciating the show as well.

    • siriuslover

      TomandLorenzo said, “We would like to think that our personalities are so forceful and our reputation for being tastemakers and pop culture influencers so impeccable that we don’t have to write another word and you’re all making firm commitments to watch the show immediately.”

      Actually, you had me at the title thumbnail. That’s how good you guys are…

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Space_Kitty Space Kitty

      Damn high praise. May have to put this in rotation.

    • EliseC

      I adore this show. Just finished mainlining the ENTIRE season when I clearly do not have the time. I’m curious: what do you perceive as the Chekov’s Gun? The screw driver?

      • ShaoLinKitten

        Yes. The screwdriver.

    • moxie_lady

      I’d also really recommend reading Kerman’s memoir – its revelation of the dysfunctions of our penal system and the especially difficult situation it poses for women is eye-opening. She’s a fantastic writer.

    • ailujailuj

      Shit. I just binged the Wire Seasons 1 & 2 thanks to y’all.

    • Rebecca Jay

      I am having dental work done on Friday and was planning a Netflix weekend anyway.
      This will be it .. all 13 episodes, just because I can.
      Great review and sell, gentlemen!

    • Jane Patterson

      I had been kind of ignoring the talk about it, but between the recent flood of recommendations and the fact that apparently Lea DeLaria, who I intensely crushed on as a teen, is in it… I guess I will make the time.

    • http://completeflake.com/ LaVonne Ellis

      I started watching Mad Men because of your recommendation, guys, and I’m grateful. This time, I beat you to it. Watched the entire season in one go last week. Now I keep replaying that last scene over and over in my head, wondering who Piper will be when the next season begins. It’s clear she’s not who she thought she was.

    • Nonmercisansfacon

      Amen TLo (and I’m an atheist)! This show took me by surprise, in a good way. Galina ‘Red’ is something else.

    • lesmaha

      You had me at Jenji Kohan.

    • Barb Rayhttp://www.google.com/

      Dear fabulous uncles, we just finished a mere 4 episode binge, prompted entirely by your recommendation, and you are correct, it’s amazing. We forced our selves to shut it down to prolong the goodness, at least for 2 or 3 days. xo

    • luciaphile

      The show is absolutely brilliant. Mainlined about 4 episodes last night. I love it. Thanks for the recommend.

    • MartyBellerMask

      Natasha Lyonne!!! She lives!

    • chylde

      Watched the first two episodes. EXCELLENT acting! Kate Mulgrew is brilliant.

    • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

      Just dropping in to say that, after having seen it 3 times now, Black Cindy explaining the Malachites to Piper and Taystee in the season finale is our favorite scene of the entire series. “They were so evil, even THEIR COWS had to be killed!”

    • queeniethebold

      i watched the first ep last night, based entirely on TLo’s recommendation.

      They are right on every single count. i was drawn in immediately and truly mesmerized. (And oh how i love Larry!) Dying to stay up to watch the next episode (or six), but it was late when i got started so i really couldn’t. But boy howdy! Can’t wait to see how all the stories unfold.

      Thank you, as always, dear uncles. Spot on.

    • pookiesmom

      I just finished this. It is amazing and I can’t believe I have to wait so long for the next season to come out.

    • Beth513

      I have a question. Did Laverne Cox actually go off her meds to play her character pre-op? Because if so, that deserves some major acknowledgement and I can’t find that on the interwebs anywhere. Either way, she was just amazing. Loved that episode.

      • http://cheekypinky.wordpress.com cheekypinky

        Nope. That part is played by her twin brother.

        • Beth513

          Thank you! That makes more sense, I didn’t know she had a twin brother.

    • chelsea47

      I LOVED this.

      (If you haven’t watched it, I’m about to go into major plot points.)

      I could go on and on about this show, but, yes, it is fantastic because it’s telling stories we don’t normally see and, because of that, it seems really new and fresh. And while some of these characters are sympathetic, we get glimpses into why they’re in prison to begin with, which makes for really layered portrayals and characterization. Miss Claudette, for example.

      Poussey and Taystee might be my favorite duo on television right now. When Poussey thought she’d missed saying goodbye to Taystee? Heartbreaking. Taystee figuring out where to go when she gets out? Gutwrenching. I hope we get to see more of them and about them in S2. And this is in spite of the fact that a lot of their dialogue is clumsy in its exposition.

      I know a lot of people don’t like Piper and, no, she isn’t at all sympathetic, but I think she’s a great new female anti-hero. Why would we like her? She’s also a shallow, impulsive, selfish accomplice to an international drug cartel. And at the same time, because she’s a middle-class, liberal white lady, she’s more likely to get upset about the injustices built into the prison system, even though she can’t do anything about it. I also love Larry’s storyline and the way it intersects with Piper’s. The idea of taking someone’s stories and selling them as your own makes for thought-provoking TV.

      My one HUGE issue with the show is Jenji Kohan Jenji Kohan-ing the show, especially with the Pennsatucky storyline. That’s all super ridiculous and, honestly, she could make the same points in subtler ways. So while I loved S1, even with this reservation, I’m terrified it’s going to go off the tracks, just like Weeds.

      Also, if you like the show, the book is a must-read.

      • Supernumerary

        Weeds’ sharp downward spiral is the sole reason I’m apprehensive about this new show. I’ve yet to hear a negative thing about it, mind, but I keep thinking about how horrible a turn Weeds took, and don’t know if I want to repeat the potentially invested-then-disappointed process.

        • chelsea47

          The first season of OITNB is SO much better than Weeds ever was, so definitely don’t let the potential downward spiral turn you away. You will miss so much amazingness and a nearly perfect season of TV.

    • http://cheekypinky.wordpress.com cheekypinky

      I worked on this show.
      It is difficult for me to be objective about it, but there is much here that is worthwhile, even if the lead character is exhausting in her selfishness.

      See it for Laverne Cox alone–she is heartbreaking in the role of Sophia.
      (fun fact: her twin brother plays her prior to transitioning as a woman)

      See it for Uzo Aduba as Crazyeyes–she starts out as a trope, but ends up giving Piper her best lesson in being a kind person.

      See it (indeed!) for Kate Mulgrew, who is hilarious and funny and deeply flawed.

      • decormaven

        You should be proud of this show. Just about every performance is a knock out of the park. Laverne Cox does a wonderful job, as well as Uzo Aduba. And anything with Natasha Lyonne is a pleasant surprise. Good work all around.

        • http://cheekypinky.wordpress.com cheekypinky

          Thank you! :)

        • http://cheekypinky.wordpress.com cheekypinky

          Thank you!

      • Mellicent

        I just watched the last episode last night. Wow! Everything came full circle. To you and to everyone else who made this show – Thank You!

        • http://cheekypinky.wordpress.com cheekypinky

          And thank you, too! :)

          It’s good to know that people are really enjoying “Orange”!

    • Darren Nesbitt

      When TLO says watch. . .I watch. (I wish you would do a post about House of Cards, that show is great!).

    • Cousin_Rose

      But, but, but, there’s that fashion show that y’all got me started on. And the ZOMBIES!!

    • pawtley

      On episode 7. Immediately started it after reading the TLo twitter endorsement over the weekend and was so glad to see the write up.

      Also, can we get book recs next? To hold us over until our favorite gay uncles become bestselling authors?

    • LuluinLaLa

      I have been watching the show, and it’s somehow surprisingly reaffirming to see this post and know that you love it, too, since I look to you both for pop culture approval. I’ve only seen the first four episodes, so far, and I agree – “it sticks with you” is the perfect way to describe it. While watching it, I don’t get the highs I would get from watching Mad Men or Glee, but I can’t stop thinking about the show for days after. I almost didn’t make it this far; I think the weak links are the main character (not necessarily the actress, but the character) and Jason Biggs – and unfortunately, the first few minutes of the first episode are entirely both. I turned it off. But the next day, I saw a couple of FB or Twitter posts about the show, so I gave it another chance. And as soon as it delved into the other characters, I was hooked. I like that you guys mention the lack of violence on the show – that was one of my main concerns. I am such an anxiety-ridden scaredy-cat, I miss out on all the good shows – Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, 24, Lost, etc. – because I don’t like violence when I’m trying to relax with entertainment. This show circumvents that – at least so far as I’ve seen. But there is definitely tension, and then it is diffused, and so, so satisfying.

    • librarygrrl64

      All of a sudden this is all over the place! I added it to my Netflix queue a week or so ago based on their recommendation that I’d like. Can’t wait to start watching. :-)

    • adnama79

      Three sittings. I binged. Going to re-watch.

    • Davona

      Seriously, don’t you think Chapman looks exactly like Katy Perry?

    • CatherineRhodes

      Insanely amazing. Best new thing since “Breaking Bad” which was the best new thing since “Mad Men.”

    • Echo4Sierra

      You are right again wise uncles! This is a fantastic show-the actors are incredibly talented and the writing is great. Each character is so well-played and unique. Watched all 13 episodes thru the night and was captivated the entire time. And season 2 is in the works!

    • Pril Wood

      Still reading TLo, but just have to say– I had a weekend to blow and ended up watching the whole 1st season voraciously, and YES it does stick with you… don’t know yet… but so far I haven’t had a day since that I haven’t found myself ruminating on this show.

    • GTrain

      I did a marathon viewing and did enjoy it a lot. Some moments I wanted to slap her for her naivete – anyone who’s seen one episode of Lockup would know to avoid some of the stuff she does – but overall it’s great. One episode they did a shout out to Fairway in Red Hook and I shop there so I thought it was a nice wink.

    • Emily Jordhamo

      I just binge-watched the entire season this weekend. My goodness, it’s fantastic and completely riveting.

    • tereliz

      “When the season is done, you will be astonished at the vast range of women you’ve been exposed to and if you reflect on it, will probably be a little depressed that such stories are so rare in our culture.”

      THIS! I watched every episode this weekend (they wouldn’t drop them all at once if you weren’t supposed to watch them in one big binge, says I) and I’m still thinking about these women and their stories. And how they change over the season—or don’t. And how other characters reveal their true selves, whether for better or for worse. It was also interesting to see how people’s priorities change once they’re incarcerated, and not only their priorities, but their sense of worth. In the episode, The Chickening,Piper’s reputation hinges on something that seems completely ridiculous to her fiance when she talks to him on the phone, a situation that becomes more and more common.

      Totally agreed on the Chekov’s gun. I figured it was never coming back into the story, but whoa did it.

      In closing, thanks for your amazing review, uncles. I’d been curious, but reading this post helped make my mind up. The last time the show faded to orange, I almost lost my mind with the knowledge that I’d have to wait a year to find out how the last scene ends. And I’ve been thinking about women’s prison ever since, lol.

      Great show!

      edit, it’s so great to see Kate Mulgrew and Natasha Lyonne on my TV again!

    • ali meowmeow

      I’ve now watched through the series twice since reading your recommendation. Thank you so much for turning me on to this. Netflix had been pushing it, but they’ve got it labeled as a comedy and Jason Biggs is the only name I recognized, so I had assumed it wasn’t for me. Very glad that both the labeling and my assumptions were wrong.
      It really is one of those shows that sticks with you, and I’ve loved going back through the episodes knowing more about the characters. If they’re able to sustain these kinds of flashbacks and reveals, the next season will likely have me wanting to rewind all the way back to the beginning to see the characters in a new context.
      And speaking of a next season… it can’t come soon enough. It’s going to be a long, arduous wait.
      But thanks again. This is easily one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

    • Dan_In_NYC

      I’m 2/3 through the season. Love. Have you guys to thank, so – you know – thanks!

    • FloridaLlamaLover

      I watched it in a view-fest on my laptop. Interesting, although not sure how realistic it is in some areas (at least, according to my vast view experience of Beyond Scared Straight, and other reality shows). I did like the flashbacks reveals of the other prisoners’ lives pre-federal pen. And the dime finally dropped on who Kate Mulgrew is!

    • Donna Luder

      LOVE this show! It felt so timely for me as I’ve been volunteer teaching Pilates & Meditation to women in the county jail for nearly a year now. After binge watching OITNB, I came away mortified at some of the stupid & naive shit I’ve said while teaching. BUT, Piper’s story (and Crazy Eyes and all the other women’s stories) have me even more convinced I’m doing the right thing. Me being there is helpful to these women because I’m not an employee, I have no background in Criminal Justice, I’m not from a church and I’m not proselytizing anything. I’m just there to help them feel better in their bodies and manage their stress. They say they like knowing I’m out here thinking about them in there.

    • Not applicable

      Loved this series. taystee is my favorite character. I love when she and Poussey talk like “white girls” they nailed it. Also like pennsatucky and how she took such a holier than thou path… And… I identify waaay too much with WASPy Piper. Wow, it’s like getting smacked between the eyes!

      Btw, TLo, if you are looking for another good Netflix consumable, try The Fall. Creepy, serial killer series that is truly disturbing, but with Gillian Anderson as an empowered detective. she is fierce.

    • tamsta99

      I’m on episode 5 and I LOVE it. Will you be writing about it on a regular basis? There’s not much by way of fashion in a prison story, but there’s so much character. And you’re right, I’ve nearly fallen off my couch laughing at some of the lines. Then, something breaks my heart. Surprises around every corner in this one. Just when you think you know where the plot is going… wham! Weekend is coming and so is a marathon of this show.

    • JLo

      Now I’m going crazy waiting for another season!

    • Lizzy

      Just finished it last night. And now… I need to know how long I have to wait to see more. And wow… that’s some show and… wow… major character developments… and…. not a lot of fashion :)

    • Caitlin O’Brien

      You were SO right, I’m loving every episode. It’s phenomenal, as are you both.

    • EdithP

      I love everyone except Piper and Larry. Even Pornstache.

    • anotherkate

      I finally finished watching the entire season. My god, is it good! Thanks so much for exhorting us, TLo–without your review I would’ve probably passed on this (based on the extremely lame and Piper-centric posters in the subway). I’m so glad I didn’t. I am dying to watch the second season and see what happens! There are plenty of people whose back-stories I want to know, not to mention that I’m curious about what the fallout of the final scene will be for Piper. I’ve been left thinking about this show for days after watching, just as you promised I would.

    • amanda lynn

      I wish Big Boo was on the posters. Loves me some Lea!

    • LambeeBaby

      I binge watched this. This is not a show that takes long to get you hooked… But now the cookie jar is empty. I hope Netflix fills it again soon.

    • malarkey

      ok, I just watched the whole season. I’m not entirely sure I’m 100% sold on it yet. I find the main character annoyingly naive (yes I suppose she’s supposed to be) but isn’t her story the one that should be sucking me in? Well, it’s the OTHER stories that I find interesting. Trans girl, love her. But they ignored her story for the last few eps. Happy to see the inmates set up & destroy Mendez. Love Red, and empathize with her character, and again, she’s more interesting than the main character. So for me, it’s the side characters that make this story.

      The final ep finally gave us a hard core main character. It’s kinda hard to believe she’s made it there, and perhaps that’s the story: she’s finally been transformed by her prison experience into someone who can beat the shit out of someone.

    • Kristy Sheldon

      Clapping Out Loud! Gleefully bowing to OITNB and TLo I am hooked on you guys. You nailed it! All of it! I just finished season 2. I will be absorbed in this show for a while to placate myself until season 3 next year.

    • mommyca

      (Not sure who would be reading this anyways after all this time): Finally started watching it and YES! I’m glad I did….. it’s all those things TLo said… and it deserves all the praises it got.. wonderful wonderful show…

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        We’re reading it, darling!

        • mommyca

          Oh thank you!! Can’t wait to catch up to season 2 so I can read your recaps… I really like the show…

    • Ali2044

      I’m almost finished season 1 and I have to say, this is one of the funniest shows on TV. Taystee and Poussay riffing on a typical white person conversation was just stellar.
      “Let’s talk about health care, Mackenzie!”
      “Oh Amanda, I’d rather not. It’s not polite!”