First Aired: June 11, 2015
Creator: Jenji Kohan
Orange is the New Black is an original Netflix series that follows the lives of a diverse group of women who are incarcerated in a minimum security prison.
This show evolves with each passing season, turning into something larger than its original conception. In its first season, Orange is the New Black was centered around Piper Chapman, whose life the show is loosely based on. Now, in its third season, the show doesn’t seem to have a central character. For better, the show has become an ensemble that doesn’t favor any of its players. Everyone gets a shot at the spotlight.
There are plenty of comedic moments in Orange is the New Black but this show is not a comedy. It’s a drama with plenty of comedic moments. Sometimes a joke is played beyond the limits of the show’s tone.
In one scene, Piper gives a rousing speech to a group of inmates, trying to get them to join her in a business opportunity that she wants to expand. The speech comes across akin to the speech Bluto (John Belushi) gives in the movie Animal House. The Animal House speech works. This one does not. Probably because at its core, “Orange is the New Black” is a drama. If it’s going to stretch, it needs to stretch dramatically, not comedically.
Orange is the New Black may be a little too self aware. In ways, it feels like it’s pandering to its audience, which isn’t an altogether bad thing. A show that knows its audience can be great. But a show that beats its ideas over the head of its audience is maybe not so great. I’ll take the beating, though. This show is worth it.« « Comedy Bang! Bang! | Talk Salad & Scrambled Eggs (Frasier Reconsidered W/ Matt Mira & Kevin Smith) » »