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Author Topic: Orange is the New Black  (Read 398 times)
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totalnerduk

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« on: 09-11-2013 03:29 »

I began watching this thanks to constant references on other websites, and after three episodes I still don't know whether or not this is supposed to be funny.

It's as dark as Breaking Bad, which is sometimes described as a black comedy. That's in the show's lighter moments. But it's also incredibly funny, usually at the same time as being either utterly disgusting or as bleak as it's possible to get without having some old man calmly slicing up children for his lunch like it's the most normal thing in the world. I'm only sure of one thing - that I really don't ever want to go to prison.

It's about a woman who's busted for muling drug money for a cartel with her lesbian lover ten years ago. Now that she's settled down into a more normal sort of life, and is engaged to a man who knows nothing of her past, she's going to prison for fifteen months. Which sort of messes up the whole "normal" direction that her life was taking after she stopped being a drug mule. The ex-girlfriend who possibly ratted her out is in there too, and pretty much everybody has some kind of major dysfunction.

It's not a fun place for this woman, and it does a good job of making prison seem a truly awful place (even a minimum-security place where they get to watch TV once in a while, and are allowed to read). It's not everybody's cup of tea, but I think I'll give it a couple more episodes before I make up my mind.
Beamer

Space Pope
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« Reply #1 on: 09-11-2013 03:42 »

I've read some amazing reviews for it and it's been on my "to watch" list since it came out. Though I'm a bit dubious to watch another Jenji Kohan show after how god-awful the last couple of seasons of Weeds were.
Spacedal11

Space Pope
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« Reply #2 on: 09-11-2013 06:26 »

Well this show is still fresh and new, so it hasn't had enough to time get crappy. I haven't seen Weeds but I thoroughly enjoyed OITNB and spent one week burning through it.
Beamer

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« Reply #3 on: 09-11-2013 09:02 »

Well this show is still fresh and new, so it hasn't had enough to time get crappy. I haven't seen Weeds but I thoroughly enjoyed OITNB and spent one week burning through it.

Weeds was an incredibly flawed show, but I still retain some modicum of respect for it, as it paved the way for a lot of great things (namely Breaking Bad). Season 2 in particular is an utter masterpiece, and I'm personally partial to season 4 despite the general consensus on it. Ultimately though, the show lost focus far too soon in its run, and every time it appeared to be going somewhere, it would eventually prove to be completely aimless. It's a shame too, because the ending of season 6 would've been a perfect place to wrap it up while still retaining some semblance of credibility, but then it continued for a further two seasons which were fucking abymsal. frown

I'm very, very curious to check out Orange is the New Black, though. Female prisons in particular have been a very unmined subject source for television, outside of Cinemax sexploitation flicks and the scrapped Prison Break spin-off Cherry Hill. The critical acclaim I've seen for this show has gotten my hopes pretty high, regardless of my opinions on Kohan.
JoshTheater

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« Reply #4 on: 09-11-2013 22:03 »
« Last Edit on: 09-11-2013 22:04 »

I thought seasons 1-6 of Weeds were fantastic (and 1-3 were essentially perfect in my opinion), and it remains one of my favorite shows ever. But ya, 7 and 8 were definitely overkill.

As for this show, it's pretty darn good. I wouldn't say it's as funny as Weeds was, but it is funny and the setting and plot make for great drama. I liked it enough that like Spacedal I burned through the series in a week or two...same as I did with Netflix's other great show House of Cards.

The less said about Netflix's third show, Hemlock Grove, the better.
totalnerduk

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« Reply #5 on: 09-17-2013 01:13 »

Josh, OITNB is definitely worth watching. I finished the first season, and I'm now eagerly awaiting the second. The last few episodes really ramped up the stakes.
JoshTheater

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« Reply #6 on: 09-17-2013 03:22 »

I think you were addressing Beamer?
totalnerduk

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« Reply #7 on: 09-17-2013 03:24 »

Josh, Beamer, same thing. They both contain vowels. You can see where I got mixed up, right? tongue
Beamer

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« Reply #8 on: 01-21-2014 01:48 »

I've finally gotten around to watching this show... Haven't finished the first season yet, but I'm loving it so far. I'm really surprised at how relatively subtle/nuanced it is for something produced by Jenji Kohan - she's most definitely redeemed herself for the last two seasons of Weeds. This show's take on prison life manages to create a genuine sense of horror/discomfort without ever going overboard, and really deserves to be commended for the writing and performances in particular.

I also love how well this show handles sexuality - the episode with the transgender character's backstory was executed beautifully. Likewise for Piper's bisexuality, which they actually take seriously as opposed to, say, playing it up for laughs or shrugging it off as "a silly phase" or anything like that. Have such issues ever even been legitimately tackled in this kind of way on a tv series before?

On a side note, I've had the theme song stuck in my head for days now.
JoshTheater

Space Pope
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« Reply #9 on: 01-21-2014 05:31 »

I like Regina Spektor but for some reason I never really dug the theme song for this. Great show, though.
Beamer

Space Pope
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« Reply #10 on: 01-21-2014 05:43 »

I like Regina Spektor but for some reason I never really dug the theme song for this.

Because you're a crap? It's because you're a crap, right??
Spacedal11

Space Pope
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« Reply #11 on: 01-21-2014 05:49 »

I don't like Regina Spec(k)tor but the theme song and credits are perfect so shut up.
Beamer

Space Pope
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« Reply #12 on: 01-21-2014 05:56 »

I haven't heard enough of Reginald and the Spectors to judge, though I agree, the theme song is absolutely perfect.

JoshTheater probably just thinks otherwise because he's a crap.
JoshTheater

Space Pope
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« Reply #13 on: 01-21-2014 17:18 »

I definitely don't hate it, it just never really appealed to me as that great of a song. It might be the fact that it's clearly an edited version in the opening...maybe I'd like the full version more, but for me everything about the opening to this show is a little awkward. Can't really place why though.

I'm surprised neither of you like/have heard Regina Spektor, but I think she's a very cool and unique musician. Maybe if you heard some stronger songs from her albums you'd understand why the theme for this slightly disappointed me.
Beamer

Space Pope
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« Reply #14 on: 01-22-2014 01:23 »

I'm certainly not saying it's a perfect song, just perfect for this show (and works brilliantly with the intro sequence). smile
Beamer

Space Pope
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« Reply #15 on: 02-18-2014 01:27 »

BUMP! Season 2 has been announced for a June 6 release date. big grin
JoshTheater

Space Pope
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« Reply #16 on: 06-19-2014 06:42 »

I like how we forget these shows have their own threads and decide to talk about them in the TV test thread instead of bumping.

Anyway, I finally finished season 2. Totally brilliant stuff. I was grinning ear to ear for most of the final episode. Miles above season one and an easy contender for best of the year.
Spacedal11

Space Pope
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« Reply #17 on: 06-19-2014 06:51 »
« Last Edit on: 06-19-2014 06:52 »

You bumped the show's thread to talk about it in a very vague and unspecific way. I didn't forget we had this thread I just assumed not a lot of people were ready to talk about season 2 because I finished it pretty quickly. I mean judging from how in the span of less than a year this thread is still only one page long.
JoshTheater

Space Pope
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« Reply #18 on: 06-19-2014 07:32 »
« Last Edit on: 06-19-2014 07:37 »

Obviously I didn't think there was anything wrong with you posting about it in the TV test thread. I just like to utilize these threads, especially when they haven't gotten much use yet like you pointed out.

That's a good point though, shows' specific threads are more for spoiler territory. Although it's kind of odd figuring out how to interpret the rules about spoilers with these Netflix shows, which is why I left it vague anyway. With weekly shows the rule is once an episode is aired, in the show's thread what happened is fair game...but with Netflix people take their own time working their way through the episodes. So maybe it should be once the same amount of weeks have passed as episodes in the season since it goes up on Netflix, spoilers are acceptable? So...by August 29th? tongue
Spacedal11

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« Reply #19 on: 06-19-2014 07:34 »

Even the AVClub will be done talking about the show by then.
totalnerduk

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« Reply #20 on: 06-19-2014 08:39 »

Anyway, I finally finished season 2. Totally brilliant stuff. I was grinning ear to ear for most of the final episode. Miles above season one and an easy contender for best of the year.

Tell me about it.
was one of the funniest moments of the season. I don't know who I felt worse for at that point, but feeling bad for both of them didn't stop me from being amused by all of it. All of it.

Yes, I'm horrible.
Beamer

Space Pope
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« Reply #21 on: 07-02-2014 20:48 »

I finally got around to watching season 2. Absolutely enthralling television. The way this show manages to give every little character such depth and make them all so fascinating to watch never fails to astound me, but even more incredible is how the writers managed to juggle so many balls this season in terms of all the disparate plot points that occurred and then tied them all together in such a brilliant way in the end.

Easily the best season of television I've watched since Breaking Bad ended. And the clear front-runner for best tv show of 2014 so far.
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