Tuesday, July 16

Orange Is The New Holy Shit Watch This Show

Everything I was supposed to do this weekend:
Clean the apartment
Write jokes
Cook that $30 of chicken I bought at Whole Foods
Clean out my closet
(Well, organize my closet and then clean out my closet)
Clean out my computer
Figure out where I'm staying in Chicago next weekend
Clear out my inbox
Update the blog
Work on a New York City guide
and a London guide
(and an Iceland guide)
Schedule out a week's worth of meals like a wannabe Brooklyn mom
Catch up on The Jeselnik Offensive

Everything I did:
Watch the godforsakenly fabulous TV show, Orange Is The New Black.

Let me just put it this way: my friend Sofia let me in on the Netflixian secret at dinner time Friday evening, and I somehow managed to smush twelve episodes — twelve long, fabulous almost-hours — in over the weekend.

While my parents were in town.

My faux-diction problems have been well-documented since the time I didn't get frozen yogurt three days in a row as a teenager and burst immediately into tears, but truth be told, I have completely lost myself in this show. I instantly understand novelas, miss the days when cartoons were on my reading level and in a way, feel absolute doe-eyed stranded-all-alone loss for the fact that something could plummet into my life so quickly and then disappear so fast.

I finished the last twenty minutes of the series last night, and I'm lost without it. I miss it like a high school relationship that turned the corner on week 3 and fell apart before the weekend even began. I miss it like summer camp, with the tears and the bus letters and the pillow covered in multi-colored Sharpie scrawlings of bunkmates whom you'll keep in incessant touch with over AIM before slowly but surely fading away. What am I supposed to do now, watch Mad Men? Bob Benson doesn't hold a candle to this shit. For christ's sake, they've cobbled together a team of underworked '90s superstars. Remember how Marisa Tomei's career was resurrected by The Wrestler? This brilliant diamond gem cast fucking Taryn Manning, Laura Prepon, Natasha Lyonne and Jason Biggs, and they're all fantastic. The last time I saw Taryn Manning was dancing with four back-up stuffed bears as the musical guest on an aquatic musical game chairs television show, and that was this year. She's so unrecognizable and unexpectedly good as meth head-turned-evangelist Pennsatucky (everyone goes by their last names, it's a jail thing) that I didn't know it was her 'til after halfway through her episode arc.

I could say "You have to watch iiiitttt" in the nasal-y, whined voiced previously used solely for convincing my loved ones to buy me a Treasure Troll, but I don't even care. I'm too entangled in Googling about second season, watching regional TV interviews with the cast, wondering how the fuck Crazy Eyes got into acting in the first place, hoping this show can win awards, liking actresses' Facebook pages and still picking my jaw up off the floor for finding out Jenji Kohan is a woman. (Yep, you can thank Sofia for that one, too.)

They give you just enough of the characters' backstories to know what's going on but still desperately want to know more. They constantly make you question "Holy shit, does this actually happen in jail?!" And they do it all in such an incredible way that you'll start out as fearful and blind as Piper Chapman is the second she walks through those prison doors in neon orange uniformed scrubs, and learn your way along with her in real time. (Though, I personally think I'd be a hellofalot better at staving off a crazy-looking prison wife than she was.)

Just watch it. It's all there, in one lump sum, ready to derail your weekend, life and mental expectations of what a good television show is. Watch it. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some ground to cover on that to do list. (Including buying Piper Kerman's book on Amazon.)

1 comment:

nicolette said...

yes, yes, yes. i finished the entire season in a matter of days and feel lost. it's so incredible and i think, despite some criticism that i've read, does SUCH an amazing job of exploring queer, race, and class issues in the prison system. it's smart and funny and good god laura prepon and natasha lyonne i meannnnnn.

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