Here is the promised more comprehensive rant about Orange is the New Black:
My first impression of the show, which was established about 5 minutes in, was that this show is most definitely something I would feel very uncomfortable with watching in the presence of any of my family members. Or even in any public place by the sheer fact that there were a lot of bare bodies. It was by no means porn, but it certainly was not a modest show. While it wasn’t overrun with R rated images and themes, there were a fair bit of boobs and butts and sex throughout the seasons. That being said, I’m not complaining.
I like Alex for the same reason I think most people like Alex. She’s tall, dark, and handsome. She’s a free spirit, she’s adventurous, and she doesn’t like to be tied down. And like most people in this world, she has her demons, she makes mistakes, and she values self-preservation over other’s. What I like about her is that when shit hits the fan, she doesn’t point fingers and try to push the fault onto others. When something goes wrong, she accepts the blame for the mistakes she made and deals with it the best she could. She’s woman enough to admit it, instead of pushing the blame off onto others. Which is something Piper failed to learn.
What surprises me most about the show isn’t the plot. It’s the character development. Or lack thereof for the protagonist of the show. Or is she the antagonist? I can’t really tell, because Piper isn’t really someone you want to root for. She’s a selfish drama queen, with a horrible case of the victim complex. Whenever shit goes down, the first thing she does is find a person to blame. She always has to point her finger at someone when something in her life goes wrong. The thought that the reason why things keep fucking up is because of her never crosses her mind. Until someone points out otherwise. Because she’s too perfect to be at fault. You’ll see this behavior recur throughout the show. It’s almost as if you could watch the first episode of season one and the last episode of the latest season and find zero differences in Piper’s personality.
Some will argue with the statement that I just made, so let me address that before I move on. Yes, I can agree that Piper is more accustomed to life in prison, she knows the system a little more, she’s got some allies, she’s a little darker, and she’s less of a wimp. Here’s my argument: she’s all of those things because she was in prison and has had many confrontations during her time there. She’s experienced now; she’s familiar with the people, with the culture, and with the system. So yes, I can agree that there is a change in her character, but I am reluctant to call that character development, because her core character has not changed. She’s still the same selfish, the-world-revolves-around-me ojou-sama with a victim complex.
That being said, let’s talk about Larry, Piper’s fiance. At the start of the show, I didn’t really think much of the guy. He seemed sweet and lovable enough, even though he kind of had a dead-end job that he was making no progress in. But as the season continued, and as I see more of him and how he dealt with Piper, her time in jail, and her infidelity, I grew to dislike him. I, personally, thought it was stupid of him to propose to her right before her going to prison, because she was going to prison. He wanted to ‘put a ring on it’ while he could, naively thinking that things wouldn’t change between them. But okay, I can understand why he did that, so I won’t fault him for it. But what I will fault him for is when he found out about Piper’s infidelity, he felt the need to corner her into making a decision. It was the “marry me or I’ll leave you” ultimatum. And he did that because he didn’t want to lose her. Um, hello? He already lost her. He lost her the second she decided to fuck Alex in a chapel. He just didn’t want to admit it. She didn’t want to admit it. They wanted to think that by getting married, they could bury the hatchet and pretend it never happened. Since when did healthy relationships operate that way?
Oh, and let’s not forget that since Piper is the most interesting thing in his life, he decides to tell her stories to promote himself. And he does so without her permission. He does so without asking her whether or not it’s okay to expose some of the things that he did. I mean, it’s a good thing that the prison she went to wasn’t all that hardcore and while people generally gave her a hard time, her life was never really threatened. At least, not from the stuff he was spouting. But imagine if it did. Imagine if the shit that he told the world ticked off her prison mates enough for them to want her life. Well, good going there, Mr. fiance. You value a small bit of recognition over the life of the person you supposedly love. There’s absolutely no respect given there. I admit, she cheated. She’s a pretty horrible person, but what he did made me feel bad for Piper, because what he did could have potentially endangered her. I’m not defending her actions, I’m simply attacking his.
And then there’s Healy, who likes to think of himself as the ‘good guy’. Except the whole ‘good guy’ thing is just an act. I mean, he doesn’t realize it yet, but it is. He’s only the ‘good guy’ when he feels like it and when he is rewarded for playing that role. When things don’t go his way, or when he feels just slightly dejected, he takes his anger out on the inmates. Not to mention, the guy kind of has anger issues. And paranoia. Lots of paranoia revolving around lesbians. His whole theory of the lesbian is so comical that I think the writer’s just added it in for shits and giggles, but his genuine homophobia is slightly disturbing to me, which is kind of a weird mix of feelings.
Something I would like to see in future seasons is character development. Not just for the side characters (how sad is it when the side characters get more character development than the main character?), but for Piper. Mostly Piper. I want to know other people’s stories, but I also really want to see Piper become a badass.
I don’t have much input for the plot of the show itself because the plot mainly details Piper’s adventures as she goes through prison. It follows the people who Piper meets, the trials that Piper faces, and the aftermath of the decisions that Piper makes Therefore, most of my opinion for the show revolves around Piper, and the people that she meets. If I were to categorize the genre that this show falls under, I’d say it was mostly ‘slice of life’ with a hint of romance.
Of course, I have more input about the other people in the show besides the few that were mentioned, but I think that would turn this entry into a book. Therefore, I think I will just leave this here. Until next time!