Not only does Regina Spektor perform the opening theme song "You’ve Got Time," but Orange Is The New Black is a bombshell of uniqueness: racial diversity, religion, gender and sexuality, social status, political and prison system, and books and literature.
I’ve read that there are a lot of misrepresentations of the series, that being in jail was scary and horrible and every minute is like a threat to human survival. Despite the hype and romanticizing the prison life, for me, Orange Is The New Black was fun and educational to watch, from the different perspectives about ethics, existentialism and philosophies in religion and politics.
#OITNB is an original Netflix comedy drama series based on Piper Chapman’s accounts of prison life with female inmates of different backgrounds. It started when Piper got involved with her lesbian girlfriend Alex Vause (played by Laura Prepon) in drug mule business, which landed her a 15-month jail term. Reunited in jail, Piper and Alex rekindled the flame that caused Piper’s relationship with her fiancee Larry (played by Jason Biggs) to turn sour. Caught up in a dysfunctional relationship, Piper’s best friend Polly broke up with her husband and fell in love with Larry. The two even had the audacity to ask for Piper’s blessing.
The rest are episodes of fun, witty, survival and women empowerment in prison. Not to mention that they’re not only felons of different crimes but individuals who love books, there’s a Russian mafia cook, a unique mentally challenged fiction writer, a Latina artist, a transexual salon owner. They got sense, attitude and angst and of course they’re women capable of compassion and love.
I am totally hooked with the episodes sometimes forgetting the hours I spent watching. But there are many good reasons why Orange is now my favorite color.
1. The Kick-Ass Soundtrack
There are many musical moments in Orange that are cracking up my Lalaland. I got carried away with its music.
Lorna Morello’s tear-jerky and heart crunching moments with her Christopher, the song Almost Paradise almost got me. Her all red swollen eyes and the hopelessly romantic love that could not be reciprocated.
To clean up the traces of murder, the lifeless body of Alex’s drug lord assassin who was sent to kill her by dismembering the flesh into pieces. With the help of Lolly and the Golden Girl, they used handsaw and cutters and Papa Roach’s Cut my Life into Pieces playing in the background helped magnified the girl power. The body parts are buried in Red’s garden full of tomatoes and sweet corn.
The storm and flood in Litchfield where all the inmates were forced to gather in the cafeteria and to while away time, Brooks Soso break out our all-time girl’s favorite songs, Bitch by Meredith Brooks and Stay by Lisa Loeb, made all of them sing along with her.
The Breakfast at Tiffany’s was played in an awkward and ironic situation when the officer told Morello that Rosa is soon going to die of cancer while Rosa is at the back of the van listening.
2. Felons As Book Lovers
First of all, the inspiration of this TV show is based on Piper Kerman’s 2010 memoir My Year in a Women’s Prison that tells her experience in prison in Connecticut. So just imagine a year locked up prison, without a sense of normalcy in the outside world. Books are their allies and companions. There are lines in the episodes with reference to famous books from Hunger Games, Harry Potter, A Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, The Old Man and the Sea, 50 Shades of Grey.
I could not past a single episode without having to notice an inmate reading a book, and I am like ogling the title from time to time. The camera zooms out and there was Poussey the library worker, arranging the books in the shelves, one after the other. Cindy cozying in her bunk reading Americana by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie while keeping up with Abdullah. Piper in cafeteria walking past Yoga Jones holding a Nick Hornby‘s book in one hand. There was also a Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina on top of Piper’s head who at that time in love triangle issues with Alex and Larry. Alex Vause in her bunk, reading the Holy Quran, and how about Sister Jane Ingalls citing Leviticus. Red hugging Sophomore Year is Greek to Me and Gloria handing the Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan to Red because she doesn’t know much of Italian cooking. Leanne holding an Ian McEwan’s Atonement during cold silent war with Dogget.
Who would forget the book memorial scene when each one of the inmates had to share eulogies of their favorite books in the library gone into ashes due to bed bugs. Poussey’s note of all of Dave Sedaris books and Taystee saying “Amen” to Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, and books by Jonathan Swift, Jonathan Lethem, Jonathan Tropper, Jonathan Franzen, and Jonathan Kellerman
3.Hilarious And Deep Lines
It was deep that you can pause for a while to question philosophy about human life. Just like some movies that keeps haunting by its hanging ending or the gut wrenching one liners that is a slap to your mediocrity.
Crazy Eyes on flowers: ‘I used to think you were a yellow dandelion, but you are all dried up with the puff blown off. But that’s all right. You are who you are, like I am who I am.’Poussey on Love: “It’s just chilling, you know? Kicking it with somebody, talking, making mad stupid jokes. And, like, not even wanting to go to sleep, ’cause then you might be without ’em for a minute. And you don’t want that.“Red: “When God gives you a swastika, he opens a window. And then you remember, there is no God.”Big Boo: Labor and capital can never really be friends. More like f*ckbuddies.Lorna: I don’t think racism should be a group activity. It’s privatePiper to Penssatucky on Baptism: “I believe in science. I believe in evolution. I believe in Nate Silver and Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Christopher Hitchens. Although I do admit he could be a kind of an asshole. I cannot get behind some supreme being who weighs in on the Tony Awards while a million people get whacked with machetes. I don’t believe a billion Indians are going to hell. I don’t think we get cancer to learn life lessons, and I don’t believe that people die young because God needs another angel. I think it’s just bullshit, and on some level, I think we all know that, I mean, don’t you?… Look I understand that religion makes it easier to deal with all of the random shitty things that happen to us. And I wish I could get on that ride, I’m sure I would be happier. But I can’t . Feeling aren’t enough. I need it to be real “
Now I am so giddy and excited for another season of Orange to unfold. The last season was an emotional one because of Poussey's death, my favorite character that exudes hope of better life after prison, knowledge and vibrancy of youth but became a symbol of victim of police brutality on black people
Season 4 of OITNB has ended with a mysterious fourth wall. Poussey at the backdrop of New York bridge at night, looks at the camera and smiled. The flashback scene where the dead has finally happy or come to terms with her past.