Orange Is The New Black (Thankfully Not In Real Life…Orange Does Not Suit Me)

So, I finished Hemlock Grove the other day. Watched about six episodes in one sitting (probably why I didn’t blog on Thursday; my bad) and I really did enjoy it. I was skeptical at first, but yeah, it was very good, and I was sad when it was over. I thought the production, the acting, the story…all very impressive. Most certainly a 4/5 and I’m looking forward to watching Series 2. They deliberately left a few things open so it’ll be interesting to see what direction they take it in. I’m hoping Roman and Peter (Roman slowly became my favourite character; a fascinating individual which Bill Skarsgard deserves a lot of credit for…best performance out of the Hemlock Grove cast) return, but I’m not going to get my hopes up. It’s one of those shows where it could bring in a fresh cast…we’ll see. Either way, I’m excited for that next year.

My only real criticism would be that certain things were left unexplained. There was one part of the ending that threw me off completely, while there were also several other matters that seemed to be glossed over rather easily. As I said, the Roman part of the ending was the only bad memory (not because of what happened, but because I didn’t get follow it; maybe if I look it up and learn a bit more, I’ll feel better about it), but stuff like the moment where Roman gives Peter a note saying ‘can I watch?’ needed to be elaborated further. How did Roman discover Peter’s secret? Why did Peter show him? I understand they want to keep the mystery with certain parts, but it seemed unnecessary here. Yes, it’s a minor point, but it did lose me unnecessarily. Hopefully it won’t happen again, but…eh, maybe I’m just being unobservant/thick. I’m sure Vanna will let me know when I ask her about it.

Anyway, I’m done with Hemlock Grove, and now I’m onto the next show. Once again, lost in the vast sea of options available to me, I decided to follow what Vanna was watching, and went for another Netflix exclusive, Orange Is The New Black. Vanna has watched half a dozen episodes of OISTNB, and though she wasn’t overly impressed, I thought I’d give it a go. Even if I don’t like it, it gives the two of us something to talk about when we’re messaging/skyping.

So far I have only seen two episodes, and except for the annoying opening theme song which is both grating and long-winded in equal measure (in comparison, I really liked the music and style to Hemlock Grove, and by the nomination it for the theme, I’m not the only one), I think it is quite good.

To briefly summarise, Orange Is The New Black is about Piper Chapman, a woman in her mid thirties who has been found guilty of carrying drug money across Europe ten years ago (something she did because she was deeply in love with her drug dealing girlfriend). As a result, Piper has to leave her comfortable life, including her nice house, nice lifestyle and nice fiance, to go serve a 15 month prison sentence for this crime.

Unsurprisingly, Piper isn’t really suited for a life behind bars, and finds the transition, well, difficult (an extreme fish out of water scenario, if you will). Even though she has been incarcerated for less than a week, Piper is already in trouble; first she offends the chef who starves her out as revenge, and then she attracts the unwanted attention of a crazy eyed lesbian. You know, as you do.

Orange Is The New Black is probably best described as a comedy drama, and though I haven’t found it particularly funny or dramatic (to be fair, I rarely do; see Derek), I have enjoyed what I’ve seen so far. I think the concept is interesting, and the cast, including some familiar faces (Jason Biggs the most notable, at least for me), looks good enough to support the plot. I’ll continue watching and let you know how it goes. Expect a proper review sometime in the future.

For now though, that’s all I have. Football is on, and I can smell my tea. Speak to you later!

Alex

 

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