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[Article] – Orange Is The New Black: The Show That Could & Should Last Forever!

 

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Posted June 22, 2015 by

 
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Three seasons in and it is still one of the most talked about shows in recent history. The characters, the setting, and the performances all work together to create a masterpiece. Whether some episodes hit with you and miss with you, the ones that miss with you, definitely hit with someone else. There have been articles around the web that the show had “lost its footing” or that it has “slowed down”- I disagree. As a follower since day one, this show has not missed a step. The first season was new and something we had never seen before. The second season was giving us stories of everyone that we cared about and everyone that we hated. The third season gives us up-to-date stories that seem to be happening in real time. We are now experiencing stuff that we have been through – Unions, new relationships, break ups, deaths, family crisis. We are identifying more with this show than ever.

Raise your hand if you hated Pennsatucky from the start – now lower your hand and tell me you don’t absolutely love her now. I cannot take my eye off the screen when she is front and center. Her new friendship with Big Boo is something I never expected, but something I cherish now. The drama going on with a big company purchasing Litchfield is something that hits home with a lot of people and where they work. The unionization and the camaraderie of the guards is something we have never seen before, but now we are rooting for them – Season 1 we were hating them. This show is evolving and it is making us forget that it is taking place in a prison – That is where the magic starts to happen with this show.

The evolution of this show is also helping to evolve the world. Laverne Cox being front and center and the world falling in love with her is something you have never seen with a television drama before. The funny parts of being in a new relationship resonate with all of us. The part that we have never seen is that every relationship is same sex, whether it is best friends, parental, or sexual. The sadness of Litchfield possibly being shut down and everyone being separated or the guards losing their jobs and benefits. We know these people that are in these circumstances, in some situation, in real life. The feeling of knowing these situations puts us directly in Litchfield with these people – They aren’t just prisoners anymore, they are people. These people have become our friends.

Let’s get into the characters a bit and find who you are or who you identify with. Piper is seemingly the easiest to figure out, but she has more depth than meets the eye. First season we saw her scared and just trying to survive her sentence. Second season she got more time and had more obstacles. Third season she is back to will they won’t they tension, but she is now creating an empire. She is about to be the Walter White of Litchfield. She knows what she wants and usually gets it every time. She has followers, but she always needs guidance from someone. Somewhere inside we are all Piper. Alex, I don’t like Alex…never have, never will, but we all have that friend that we will never get rid of. She is there to be your partner in crime, there to stab you in the back, and always there whenever you want a romantic rendezvous. Pennsatucky, always been my favorite, is that judgemental friend that will condemn you in any way she can to make herself feel better or righteous. Pennsatucky also has a dark past and has reasons for being who she is. You hate her in season one, then she starts to grow on you and before long you are calling her Tiffany. Red went from being scary villain you did not want to mess with to someone that you wanted as a parent. Crazy Eyes made us love her craziness, but now we see how her mind works and it is heartbreaking. We actually care about her. Sophia is really the only character that has stayed true to who she was since the first episode. She has her ups and downs, but she never changes the ground that she stands on. This is human evolution. This is how the world is and this is not your cookie cutter sitcom or dramedy. The characters change within their given situation. We don’t see them change for one episode and then magically come back to who they are – Every episode they get deeper and darker, or happier and lighter into who they are becoming. They are us.

The world needs Orange is the New Black. The world was set on fire when they discovered Ruby Rose. People were even making the comments that they would “jump ship” for her. This is something no one has ever seen. No one ever said they would become lesbian for Topanga or Joey Potter, but they are now for some reason. This show is bringing to light way more than it ever dreamt that it would. I appreciate this show, but I appreciate it more for what it is doing to the world. Netflix started this revolution and it will continue to grow from where it is now. Homosexuality and being transgender should not be taboo. Orange is the New Black is teaching us that. This show is a teaching tool.

Let’s now touch on why it could live forever. The setting is a place that could withstand any era of television. As long as Litchfield stays open, Orange is the New Black could still air. Season 3 feels like it is happening in real time, which draws me in more than the other seasons. This season has gotten the most criticism, where I would defend it and say season 2 is the one that lost steam – But I still love season 2. It didn’t need to “gain” footing, it already had it. Stories in television shows come and go, just like prisoners do – we can see a whole new batch. I do not want a spinoff – let me make that very clear – but I would like to see Chapman get out and give an emotional goodbye, I’d like a random few episodes to be her on the outside, but by this time I care more about those people on the inside. I want to see them grow and I want to see them become better humans – like we are trying to do or how we should be doing. Did we care that much about Larry? I bet you forgot about Larry, or just sat there asking, “Wait, who is Larry?” For every new character that we get, it is someone that has an equivalent in this society – We can relate and we do relate. Thank you Orange is the New Black. Please keep helping us.

 

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Written by:

Drew and Champ

Drew Oliver
@DrewyK
Alone In The Theater
Freelance Contributor

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