Orange is the New Black

14 Jul

Last month, the second season of Orange is the New Black premiered. A fan of the show, I inhaled all episodes in a two-day period. The series is about a woman, Piper Chapman, a woman in her thirties who is sentenced to fifteen months in prison after being convicted of a decade-old crime of transporting money for her drug-dealing girlfriend.[1]

Humans of New York, a Facebook page commonly known as HONY, gives us beautiful, funny, honest, and sometimes very profound glimpses into the lives of ordinary people. It currently has over 7.7 million followers, with thousands of “likes” and comments on most posts.

What does OITNB and HONY have in common? They each provide a glimpse into the lives of everyday men and women and how each of us has a story to tell.

What makes OITNB interesting to this viewer is the flashbacks of particular inmates. We see them as they are in prison, but the flashbacks give us a chance to understand who they were before their prison sentence. Understanding these women makes you want to cheer for many of them and hope they can make things better in their life. Albeit, these are fictionalized stories, they come from truth somewhere, and we can all find something in our own lives that somehow relates has a bit of relevancy. Miss Rosa, played by Barbara Rosenblat, was featured more season 2 and became one of my favorites. Her story was incredibly sad, but the last episode had me shedding “happy tears”.

HONY allows us to see what is inside the person that we pass on the street, in the supermarket, at the library, etc…Most of the posts have stories that upon first glance of the individual, we never would have guessed their situation or story. In a day and age where it seems humanity is all but lost, we get bursts of genuine thoughtfulness, unconditional love, and zest for life through Brandon’s snapshot.

Each of us has a story and each one regardless how boring, disappointing, exciting, fulfilled it is, it may touch another soul for the better. Knowing someone else’s story and situation can open our minds and help become more sympathetic to one another and judge less quickly.






7 Responses to “Orange is the New Black”

  1. Open Book July 18, 2014 at 1:53 PM #

    U Said-“Each of us has a story and each one regardless how boring, disappointing, exciting, fulfilled it is, it may touch another soul for the better.”

    I love what u said LB and great great article and topic to discuss. Far to often we take for granted the little things until they are gone. I’ve not watched this series but I might check it out the premise sounds very interesting. Do u think this show is a sign more people are finding the celebrity gossip & scandal media less interesting?

    • littlebells July 19, 2014 at 12:04 AM #

      I wish I could say yes, but it seems Katrashian and other stupid celebrity news is still big enough that it’s on our news and magazine stands. That is NOT to say that there isn’t a huge following that enjoy that stuff. There are just enough people who do pay attention to it that it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon.

      (I have to say I have enjoyed a lot of Netflix’s movie series. One of my news favorites is with Ricky Gervais in Derek: funny and yet so tender.)

  2. Open Book July 18, 2014 at 2:04 PM #

    U Said: “Knowing someone else’s story and situation can open our minds and help become more sympathetic to one another and judge less quickly.”

    So, so true and well said. I love the HONY site u shared. Do other cities have them?

    • Open Book July 18, 2014 at 2:07 PM #

      U know what I like about the premise are the characters they are trying to make the most out of their situation. No it’s not ideal but they are trying to cope. Am I wrong? Is that perhaps why people are drawn to this series? Why do u like it?

      • littlebells July 21, 2014 at 1:33 PM #

        I definitely think these characters are trying to make the best of their situation and SURVIVE. I know that the rules of normal life do not apply in prisons and you have to do whatever needs to be done to make it out alive and not be scarred forever. i pass no judgment on anyone who resorts to things he or she would not normally do on the outside.

        I do believe that the popularity of the show does have to deal with the how realistic this show tries to portray women inmates and prison life. I think we are curious as to what really goes on, but their is much interest in who these women really are. They started out like you and me at some point and along the way poor decisions were made. They could be anyone of us. As I watched I would question myself about what would I do in this situation? How would I handle it?

    • littlebells July 21, 2014 at 1:26 PM #

      As far as I know, no. Brandon is really the first of his kind and I cannot see someone else attempting this and being as successful. Brandon truly is gifted in getting these individuals to open up and be vulnerable for the world to see.

  3. littlebells July 21, 2014 at 1:42 PM #

    Another reason why I feel OITNB is doing so well is the fact that 1) it is a predominantly female cast and 2) you have great female leads and characters. There are some very powerful women and that is so fantastic to see on screen. I’m sure someone would pooh-pooh the fact that these powerful women are in prison, but it’s a matter of what they are doing with this power that can be encouraging. “Red” is a powerhouse and her focus is on family and taking care of one another. She can’t take care of her outside family so she created her own in prison. She does what she does to take care of them. Granted not the best way to handle things, but she does provide the example of being a strong minded woman who is still very nurturing and loving–something that society needs to see.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: