Girls in prison


I’ve heard really good things about this new show, Orange is the New Black, and last night I finally got around to watching the first episode. Yeah, I liked it. I can see why I’ve heard so much about it. I’m drawn to the idea of prison as this sort of alternate reality where smartphones are obsolete and escapism is nearly impossible. I like that women get to be bad asses, drawing on their survival skills. I like the reverse-edginess, where the prison culture feels like it could break down into a knitting circle at any moment.

At one point, a male guard tells Chapman (the main character) not to make any friends. What? Don’t make any friends? Why not? Is is even possible for a group of women to live in close quarters without making friends? I say no. Ladies, making friends is our superpower. No wonder the male guard warned against it. It makes his job that much harder.

I did have one gripe, though. It bugged me how Chapman’s past and present are pointedly at odds with each other. Her decade-old lesbian relationship bought her a ticket to prison, forcing Chapman to put off her marriage to her nice-Jewish-boy fiance. Now, I’ve only watched one episode, so maybe the writers will redeem themselves. But really? The glaring stereotypes strike me as outdated.

Have you watched it? What did you think?

2 thoughts on “Girls in prison

  1. Give it a few episodes. The writing and the acting are pretty great. The series is actually based on a memoir by Piper Kerman. The book isn’t nearly as steamy and exciting as the show though ;). In the real life version, Kerman had to wait 5 years before she actually went to prison and did her time (which really put her past and present at odds with each other).

    The lesbian prison stereo-typing in the show is kinda over the top, but it does make for good TV!

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