After a week of binge watching “OITNB” , I can officially declare it has become my new summer tv addiction. Don’t get me wrong , Breaking Bad and Dexter is definitely up there high on the list, but having to wait every Sunday for a new episode to air takes away from the fun of binge watching. Similar to BB and Dexter, OITNB is on a level of its own.
Exclusive on Netflix, this highly raved about dramedy follows Piper Chapman, an intellectual and health saavy New Yorker who lands herself in federal prison from laundering and trafficking drugs for her former flame. After finishing the very last episode of the first season, I’m left with some of the big 5 W’s : who what where when and why. This leaves me having an inner monologue with myself and what better way to get out of my head than by sharing with you all the reasons WHY you should be watching this show. (I’ll try to keep it on the DL with the spoilers) :
1. It’s created by Jenji Kohan. For those of you who aren’t familiar with her and before you’re quick to google search her name, let me save you the trip. One word, one formerly awesome show : WEEDS. She was the ingenuity behind this once awesome show that turned to shit (think season 6). I’d like to base the quality of a TV series on two aspects : 1) the quality of the writing 2) how long it can keep me entertained and anticipating the next episode. Weeds was quite the long running show that kept me interested until it reached its demise in season 6. Despite this, I like Jenji’ style. Think complex offbeat characters, flashbacks, subversive dialogue and strong female leads and you’ve got yourself a highly entertaining and addictive show.
2. It’s based on a true story. Turns out, its not entirely fiction. The series was adapted from the memoirs of an ex lesbian named Piper Kerman who spent 13 months serving time behind bars for drug trafficking .With that in mind, the show carries a certain rawness and explores the hidden depths and inequality that’s exchanged amongst the prison superiors and the inmates. It opens your mind and eyes to the loopholes that exists within the justice system. It also reveals the corruption that goes on behind prison walls and makes you question whether the justice system is only looking after their best interests and could give 2 shits about the inmates.
3. It features a female lead who has white girl problems. Without giving away too much, I’ll just point out that white girls who don’t know how to act black will find themselves laughing their asses off during scenes featuring Piper’s attempts of upping her game with her unconventional choice of lexicon towards her fellow black inmates. This white bitch has sass and class.
4. It has a predominately female cast with diverse characters. For every male character in the show , there’s 4 females, that equates to a ratio of 1/4. As a female, it’s awesome to see females taking precedence over a show. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some stand out male characters as well such as fellow officer “pornstache” that balances out the estrogen overload. There’s no denying though the fascinating and often times tumultuous relationships held between the female inmates in the show. Some of the offbeat inmates include : a crazed eyed woman, a fierce kitchen runnin’ russian , a ruthless jesus freak, a tranny who styles and gives makeovers to inmates, a yoga lovin’ hippy and more.
5. It explores the dynamics between straight and gay relationships. In OITNB, one minute you can be confessing your irrefutable love for your partner, the next, you’ve got the goggly eyes for a fellow inmate and are having a sexual rendez vous with them. Disclaimer : Lots of lesbian action going on in this show. It goes without saying that OITNB breaks and challenges the sexual norms between male and females. Which begs the question, is it considered “cheating” if you’re cheating on your partner with the same sex?
6. LAURA PREPON. I have a newfound respect for this feisty woman. Renowned for her role in That’s 70’s Show playing Eric’s hot redheaded girlfriend , this fierce gal brings her ballsy self to a whole other level on OITNB. Playing Piper’s former ex, she’s as bad ass as they get.
7. American Pie Reunion? Not really, but it does feature former American Pie cast mates Jason Biggs and Natasha Lyonne. Jason plays Larry, a quirky yet adorable writer who just so happens to be Piper’s current fiance. Natasha, on the other hand plays a fellow inmate with complex problems of her own which I’ll do the honors of not spoiling!
With all this being said and done, if you’re still not persuaded or tempted to watch OITNB, then you’re missing out big time. Shame on you. Otherwise, I hope most of you are already torrentin’ it up or prepping yourself to commence your netflix bingeing 🙂