Orange is the New Black: My Thoughts

Orange is the New Black: My ThoughtsYou've likely caught the buzz lately about Orange is the New Black, a new series on Netflix from the creator of Weeds.

My wife heard the host of an NPR podcast she listens to rave about the show, so we decided to give it a go. So little television manages to retain my attention (excluding live sports) so I'm always looking for something new to sink my teeth into. Completely spoiler-free, here's what I thought...

Orange is the New Black is weak. It doesn't suck, it's just weak. I almost bailed after four episodes but decided to finish the season. After all, so many have told me it's awesome, I must have been missing something....

There are plotlines in Orange is the New Black that feel like Glee. I wanted to cut out every scene with Dayanara and the prison guard like the cancer it was. They even played the shitty soap opera score over their cheesy chats.

And speaking of Glee, literally half of the season finale could have been an episode of Glee had Glee taken place in jail instead of high school. If you're looking for Glee in prison, this is definitely the show for you.

Again, it didn't suck, some of the characters were interesting and the "how they got there" flashback scenes a'la Lost sometimes worked, but don't believe the hype. This is not a great show.

Just my two cents... I'll be taking a pass on season two.


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Comments (13 - click here to join in!)

Matt

Guess I'm in the minority when it comes to the "buzz" around the show. This is the first time I've even heard of it.

August 3, 2013 @ 12:05 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Matt

Because Netflix dumps all 13 episodes simultaneous, the buzz comes in one giant wave.

It's without a doubt the most talked about tv show in the past month in the zeitgeist.

At the risk of getting jumped for even suggesting some shows are written for women and other shows are written for men, this show is definitely written for women.

My wife calls it Felicity in Jail. That's a fair description.

August 3, 2013 @ 12:08 PM

markosaar

My girlfriend loved it. Also a Glee fan. I was only interested because I overheard Donna from That 70s Show making suggestive remarks. Haven't actually watched it yet though.

Seems to be popular amongst my female friends anyway.

August 3, 2013 @ 12:17 PM

4x4 Time

I am with you Mike, pretty weak show...Pumped for Season 2 of Lilyhammer on Netflix though!

August 3, 2013 @ 12:22 PM

CQ

A couple weeks I made a fresh rescan for my over-the-air digital converter. I wasn't picking up the new Bounce subchannel 23.2 from Buffalo. I now think my converter has a limit of 49 scanned positions - as I kept trying to update instead of a fresh new scan.
So I got Bounce. However, I also got the rest of channel 67's subchannels - including a THS channel at 67.2.
So now I've been catching up with an old 30 minute B&W show called Sea Hunt, starring Lloyd Bridges. It's scheduled for weekdays at 5:30 a.m. between its fellow original syndication series, Highway Patrol and a pair of additional technically gimmicked sitcoms; The Patty Duke Show, and Mister Ed.
Sea Hunt is my 'new'... Wire? Well, its definitely going to become a highly ranked favourite for me.

I wish my dad could currently watch this series (amongst others)! Instead he gets the usual Cdn. HD Satellite delivered crap of 500 channels - where my folks only watch from about half a dozen. And it is served with a TV and receiver navigation system designed for a teenager.

August 3, 2013 @ 2:06 PM

CQ

A couple weeks ago, I made a fresh rescan for my over-the-air digital converter. I wasn't picking up the new Bounce subchannel 23.2 from Buffalo. I now think my converter has a limit of 49 scanned positions - as I kept trying to update instead of a fresh new scan.
So I got Bounce. However, I also got the rest of channel 67's subchannels - including a THS channel at 67.2.
So now I've been catching up with an old 30 minute B&W show called Sea Hunt, starring Lloyd Bridges. It's scheduled for weekdays at 5:30 a.m. between its fellow original syndication series, Highway Patrol and a pair of additional technically gimmicked sitcoms; The Patty Duke Show, and Mister Ed.
Sea Hunt is my 'new'... Wire? Well, its definitely going to become a highly ranked favourite for me.

I wish my dad could currently watch this series (amongst others)! Instead he gets the usual Cdn. HD Satellite delivered crap of 500 channels - where my folks only watch from about half a dozen. And it is served with a TV and receiver navigation system designed for a teenager.

August 3, 2013 @ 2:08 PM

Matt

@Mike If memory serves Rosie gave you shit for saying that in a podcast.

There are definitely shows that cater to specific genders. I know TLC has shows like four weddings and say yes to the dress. No way those shows are gender neutral!

Also I don't have netflix which is another reason I haven't heard of it.

August 3, 2013 @ 2:42 PM

BC

I've watched 2 episodes so far and think its ok. I may stick it out and finish the season when I have nothing to do or watch. But its going to be hard. I've got some really good shows on the go right now. Final season of Dexter, the second season of the Newsroom great show! And the new Showtime show Ray Donovan another great show! I'm also try to catch up on Breaking Bad. I'm a couple of episodes into season 3 and its getting really good! @ Mike I think you might like Ray Donovan if you haven't start watch it all ready.

August 3, 2013 @ 3:08 PM

Nick

I was hooked on the show in the first 45 seconds.

August 3, 2013 @ 10:41 PM

Rob

If I were to give this show a letter grade it would be B. Not in the same league as the top tier shows that are on going but a considerable step above the average ones.

It is based on a true story and while there has been some changes, most comparisons feel the show captures the essence of the book.

As a criminal justice major it is refreshing to see convicted criminals portrayed in a human light for a change. The show does in an excellent job of illustrating these woman are not much different from people outside of the walls.

My favourite part of the show is its flash backs to how each woman ended up there. Their crimes are not glorified nor is it a constant stream of the money shot (the arrest). Just a bunch of people caught in a bad trajectory in life or getting caught when they make dumb decisions.

I do think the show doesn't balance the drama and light heartedness consistently. As mentioned above, the mustached security guard feels like a character out of a Will Farrell movie. He doesn't feel dangerous and the show fails to make me hate him because he just comes across as silly.

So overall, I think the show does a lot more right than wrong. Defiantly don't get the Glee comparisons considering none of that show is grounded in reality.

August 3, 2013 @ 11:18 PM

Roshan

I've been meaning to check out the show. I watched a couple of clips on Youtube. I just have way too many movies that are piled up unwatched to finish first.

August 5, 2013 @ 1:06 AM

Alison in Ottawa

I read the book and did not enjoy it at all so the TV show was of no interest to me. While the premise was interesting, I found in the book there were no interesting details about any of the other characters stories.

August 6, 2013 @ 10:55 AM

Jimmicee

Started watching season one cause my daughter said it was good. Soon found it's full of preachy liberal cliches and silly stereotypes. Some interesting story lines but mostly it sucks.

June 7, 2014 @ 1:41 AM

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