If you are a Netflix junkie like me, you may have seen ‘Orange is the New Black’. I have kept up with the show and generally liked it since it’s advent. There aren’t many TV shows I love. Generally I’m critical, pointing out errors, and I love picking on actors while watching my favorites. And I like the shows, but I don’t LOVE them. It’s TV, not Walt Whitman.
I do however, love season 4 of ‘Orange is the New Black’. Yes, you should watch the other seasons first and not while doing chores. While watching the new season, I seriously cried like a little baby, belly laughed and felt like I really knew these women. When a show can make you enter the life a prisoner and make you feel the anxiety of the characters, you have a combination of creativity, character, great acting, and content that all come together to make a flawless show. While I am sure there are flaws, I was too busy having my mind blown to notice them.
Ok, so. Now that I have talked this shit up so high it will never reach your expectations, lets reign it back in. It could be, that my life right now, is a metaphorical prison. I am on year three of a Fibromyalgia diagnoses and getting annoyed. It is very possible that I am making connections from my life to this fiction for the same reason we all do; to escape, to cope, to find something. We usually don’t though, especially not through TV.
But I did. Silly right? Get a life, right? Yes, and no. In entertainment, examples of complex issues: social, religious and political, are seldom conveyed with much effect, or at least to the effect intended. Yet the everyday problems these women face echo generation after generation of women behind bars, both literal and figurative bars. Even in prison, basic decisions are not black and white. Intent, hope, and consequence post choice is seen and lost in a sea of prison politics, untrained correctional officers, and women who fear for their safety daily. I don’t know if there is a better representation of women’s issues around, especially one so entertaining. If there is, I would love to know about it. Simple things like sanitary napkins, a basic need for women, are overlooked by the male majority in charge and the extended company that own the prison. Also, this season highlights the special treatment those in the one percent with the addition of a new prisoner, displaced and spoiled, even in prison.
The point: Any human concerned with women’s issues, social justice, and victim’s rights should watch this. If that isn’t your thing, then you still might enjoy it for the drama and humor. Either way, get your popcorn and pay attention.
“Do you know the difference between pain and suffering?”