Must-See TV

Must-see TV: Orange is the New Black is a binge-watcher's delight

Must-see TV: Orange is the New Black is binge watcher's delight

Orange is the New Black TV series poster
Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), center, is sent to prison for carrying drug money for her former girlfriend and meets a recurring cast of characters. Collider.com

They say admitting your problem is the first step. So, I confess: I'm addicted to Orange is the New Black. It's quirky, brilliant and so all-consuming that it's hard not to watch all 13 episodes in one sitting. With House of Cards, Arrested Development and now, Orange is the New Black (or OITNB), Netflix has reinvented television and made binge-watching easy, as all episodes of a series are released on the web at the same time. 

My affection for the Internet streaming provider began when I found it had all seasons of The Office, Frasier (don't get me started, it's genius!), Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock.  While watching these shows, I noticed the commercials for OITNB, but thought, "Who wants to watch a bunch of girls in prison?" Within a week after its premiere, however, friends told me I had to watch it. 

I just didn't realize it would happen all in one day.

 I started the first episode at 10:30 a.m. and didn't stop until I reached the inevitable end late that night. I have no regrets wasting a perfectly good Sunday.  

I started the first episode at 10:30 a.m. and didn't stop until I reached the inevitable end late that night. I have no regrets wasting a perfectly good Sunday. 

At times the show is truly terrifying, but it's also funny and thought provoking. Not to mention, isn't Regina Spektor's "You've Got Time" the perfect intro song?

Before watching the show, I failed to see prisoners as real people—a mother, someone's daughter, best friend, sister, or even grandmother. During the past decade, nearly 95,000 women have been locked up for non-violent drug offenses. Author Piper Kerman pleads for reforming the criminal justice system in her memoir, Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison, which served as the basis for the TV series.

In the series, Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), an upper class Smith College graduate, is sent to prison for carrying drug money for her former girlfriend, Alex (Laura Prepon). Though Piper is the  show's focal point, it's the amazing cast of inmates who are the most intriguing. Rather than creating a docudrama of Kerman's experience, creator Jenji Kohan (who is also the mastermind behind the Showtime series, Weeds) weaves an original story of friendship and the human condition.

While watching the show all at one time, some random thoughts entered my mind (admittedly, they don't make sense, unless you have actually seen the show, but if you have, you know what I'm talking about):

  • Who would have thought American Pie hottie Jason Biggs, who plays Piper's boyfriend, could snag a serious role and be good at it?
  • Favorite friendship: Taystee (Danielle Brooks) and Poussey (Samira Wiley). They are hilarious together and heroines in their own right.
  • I have a love/hate radical evangelist 'Pennsatucky' played by Taryn Manning, who always seems to play this type of wacky/trash character so well (remember 8 Mile?)
  • Absolute shit list character: the Pornstashe guy (Pablo Schreiber). He haunts my worst nightmares. 

 

No, you don't have to watch it all in one day, but I promise, you won't want to hit pause. 

For those who don't get Netflix, OITNB will end up on DVD very soon. And the cast is already filming the season two of the hit series, which is due out next year.

I can't wait.