Stereotypical Orange

Sadly enough, I haven’t been very productive in my time away from the colossal display of verbal brilliance which emanates from this site which you’ve so wisely visited. I’ve had a couple of stories kicking around in my noggin lately, and have been trying to flesh those out instead of posting more than just the occasional blog.

 

Beyond that, I’ve been testing the wellness program at work by tracking my intake and exertions, reading vast collections of neologisms which have just about achieved their goals, and packing on a pound or two.

 

Yeah, I’ll probably go back and reword that one to make sure the context is correct, but dagnabbit, I really wanted to use that word.

 

Now that we’ve gotten past the moot reasons for my absence, let’s get down to the reason I’m even here today.

 

Orange Is The New Black.

 

I’m going to put it out there right now that the title I just threw out there is a pain in the ass to type out, and I have no desire to create an Autocorrect for it in my Office software. Going forward, I’ll refer to it as just plain “Orange”.

 

On background, let’s talk about Netflix.

 

AtariFor those of you not familiar with this service, Netflix is a little store out on the internet which offers a streaming feature of movies, TV shows, and other crap that you could most likely find on YouTube. You can pick it up through your computer, your smart phone, your tablet, or even your properly equipped game console.

 

For the record, the Atari 2600 is not a properly equipped game console.

 

Scarlett-Johansson-Black-Widow-009-1The first month is free, and certainly not all it’s cracked up to be unless you’re looking for a method to deliver really crappy movies to you computer. Once the trial is over, more choices open up. At this point, I think we’ve had it in the domain here for about 4 months. That means I can watch The Avengers featuring the lovely and talented Scarlett Johansson in skin tight attire and loaded for bear (or bare) on line, even though I have it on DVD and in my iTunes.

 

So anyway, Netflix has been well on its way to expanding the universe of streaming media for several years now. At the same time, I’m sure they’ve steadily been dismantling the Blockbuster client base of homebodies with questionable hygiene practices who would rather watch their soft core porn without being upsold on the candy, soda, and popcorn deal at the video store.

 

Even though Netflix could very well just have left it at that by devouring a big chunk of the market share of the video rental racket, some higher up muckity muck within the organization got all creative-like and decided that producing original series would be a pretty darn good idea.

 

The idea appears to have paid off. This last week, House Of Cards, a Netflix series garnered a whole buncha Emmy nominations. Netflix is the first outlet not offered through TV that has ever managed to do that.

 

Hmmmmm. I wonder if that’s right. There’s a cool video out on YouTube which features a lovely ginger discussing the Mayan apocalypse which won an Emmy a few years ago.

 

 

It’s possible the media may have been lying when they claimed that Netflix was the first one to git-r-done.

 

In the last week or so, I’ve spent a total of 13 hours watching the entire first season of Netflix’s newest series, Orange. I told you I wasn’t going to type the entire title out anymore.

 

Get a load of this, people. Orange is a show about women in prison.

 

I know. Right?

 

Better yet, the show appears to be getting critical acclaim and it was signed on for a second season before the first season was made available for viewing.

 

Did I mention that I watched the whole darn thing?

 

To consider it, movies and TV shows which feature women in prison tend to have all of the same elements. They typically revolve around the main character who serves as the waspy debutante who just doesn’t plain belong there. Our heroin is typically ostracized at the beginning because she’s the new kid on the block who’s perceived to think she’s better than her current predicament.

 

It doesn’t stop there though. There’s a battle axe of an older woman who serves as a mother figure for some of the younger inmates. There’s a new-age type who teaches Yoga and other stuff like that who’s always characterized as a flake. There’s a Christian who’s always characterized as a radical type and typically written to be the chief antagonist to the main character. There’s an element from the main character’s past which serves to stir the pot and bring out unwanted demons.

 

Don’t forget the sadistic prison guard who has his own little drug ring going on in the prison. He’s the one that’s committing acts of illegal unga-bunga with the inmates. The other guard is a better person, but he also has some secrets of his own.

 

Did I mention the gratuitous lesbianism which is so stereotypical of stories about women in prison? What about the racial divide among the inmates? Of course, no prison story would be complete without a subplot involving a corrupt administration running the prison.

 

What about the loyal boyfriend on the outside who’s trying to come to terms with the fact that his debutante girlfriend is on the inside with access to the demons of her past? In Orange, this role is played by Jason Biggs. You may remember Biggs as the guy who performed acts of sexual assault on an apple pie in one of his earlier flicks. Just last fall during the 2012 election season, he took to Twitter pondering similar assaults on Ann Romney.

 

Remember the screwdriver that disappeared around episode 3. It’s safe to assume it will re-emerge in the season finale when the main character has to fight for her life against the most psychotic of her enemies while the administration looks the other way.

 

Here’s the deal though.

 

As many movies and TV programs as I’ve ever watched, I can’t name one show at all (outside of Orange) which tells the story about women in prison. I’m sure they’re out there. I just can’t think of any.

 

To have no conscious memory of watching any show whatsoever about women in prison, I find it pretty strange to have recognized in Orange every cliché element known to exist in this type of story line. If it follows in line with House Of Cards (another good series featuring Kevin “What’s in the box” Spacey and Robin “Buttercup” Wright) by earning Emmy nominations next year, my prediction is that Taryn Manning will be recognized for her unnerving portrayal of the psychotic Christian. There are a few other nods I could see as well, however Manning stands out in my mind as the one to watch for.

 

Every since I figured out the date of my anticipated retirement from cubeville so that I could pursue a career in selling ‘No Soliciting’ signs door to door, I’ve been looking for new and creative ways of wasting time. It would seem that Netflix will be a valued tool in that particular venture.

 

PS: It occurs to me now (12 hours after publishing this blog) that the Mayan video above won an Oscar instead of an Emmy.

Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

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