Orange Is The New Black
I remember this series creating quite a stir back when it was released. Netflix was quite a new bee back then and it was kind of the first major series produced and created by Netflix. The OTT platforms were still unheard of back then. I was sleeping with a prayer on my lips to not disrupt the torrent I had kept on download in my laptop. Ha, the good old days. Anyhow sometime back I finally decided to take the plunge and start watching OITNB. I did so without reading anything at all about the show, of course the title does give a bit of an idea but that was all.
So, yes the series is centered around women’s prison and for 7 seasons you would have an unadulterated view of how things work in the underbelly of the prison. It reminded me a lot of our very own desi Criminal Justice season 1 but it has much more to offer. The first episode starts with the protagonist prepping up to serve a sentence in prison for a drug folly committed with an erstwhile lover long back. She is living a high profile live with her finance and quite nervous to leave all her comforts behind. Her journey from posh to well, prison is most of the first season.
Slowly we get acquinted with other inmates and officers of the prison. Who holds the power, what are the major groups, who hangs out with who and so on. We get to the stories of each inmate and see what led them to being behind the bars. The series captures the flashbacks and intertwines them with present beautifully. It has drama, comedy and emotions. Some moments and scenes with literally move you to tears.
Considering that the entire series is mostly shot and centered on the different prisons, it could be boring. But its not. And it covers so many issues like immigrants detention centers, racial discrimination, corruption, overcrowding in prisons etc. Also this is one of the major shows that portrayed LGBT community and relationships.
OITNB has a huge starcast. We do get new inmates almost every season. Each character arc is beautifully defined and the actors have done full justice to their roles. Special mention for Uzo Aduba who plays Suzanne Warren an emotionally and mentally stable inmate. She won an Emmy for her fantastic portrayal. Piper (Taylor Schilling) the main lead also deserves a special mention for her transformation from a scared inmate to a badass b*t*h.
Overall verdict – I would say this series is a must watch. I learned a lot from this series. To start from scratch, to survive amongst hardships, to do the unthinkable, to change as per the situation and finally doing something you thought yourself to be incapable of. It all about pushing the boundaries and its never too late!
I love the these lines from the cover song of the series – taking steps is easy, standing still is hard. Deep.
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.