Orange is the New Black

Do you ever get so into a TV programme that you start imagining your life in that show?

I do. I had a dream that I was being sent to prison, but it wasn’t a nightmare – it was the result of marathon-ing an entire series of Orange is the New Black in about 3 days.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Orange is the New Black is a Netflix original series about life in a women’s prison. The primary main character is Piper Chapman (played by Taylor Schilling) who is sentenced to 15 months inside after transporting drug money for her then girlfriend, international drug smuggler, Alex Vause (Laura Prepon). Most of the first series surrounds her experiences being locked up and the people she meets.

The prison is home to a variety of women of all ages and from all walks of life. In each episode, there are flashbacks to a character’s past to show the life they led before and how they ended up inside. It’s a creative way to get the stories across and it is essential for humanising the characters. It shows how complicated life can be and helps to build an understanding of who these women are.

It made me laugh, it made me cry and it even made me think. The show also deals with a range of issues including the care of the elderly and drug addiction just to name a few.  There are several storylines all cleverly interwoven and I really found myself lost in these character’s lives.

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It has a way of letting you form an opinion about someone in one episode and then completely turning the tables. At points I found myself screaming at my laptop, outraged by what someone has just done before realising that 1. That wasn’t going to change anything and 2. I looked a little mental, but I was that invested.

It’s rare that I find a show where I love everything about it – the writing, the acting and the production are all amazing. And Netflix really knows what they’re doing by releasing all the episodes of a series at once, if only all programmes worked like that (although then I’d probably never leave the house).

I could write pages about my favourite characters and the best bits, but that would be spoiling it. I will say is that it’s very addictive, and now that I’ve watched both seasons, I’m having serious withdrawal symptoms. My only complaint is now having to wait until season 3 is released next year!

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