Sunday, July 19, 2015

Ms. Hen reviews Season 3 of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK

Season 3

Ms. Hen watched the first and second season of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK last summer. She does not binge watch TV shows; however, she usually watches them one at a time. She thinks there are too many other things to do with one’s day than sit in front of the TV or the computer for thirteen hours at a time; she would rather spend her other time writing, reading, exercising and sometimes working. But she got involved with the characters on this TV show and she grew to love them, and she longed for more when she finished watching the second season.

Ms. Hen loves the characters on OITNB. She loves Piper and Alex and their relationship, she loves Red because she is a strong woman who doesn’t take any garbage from anyone, she loves Murillo because she’s crazy, and she loves Pennsatucky because she is stupid, but endearing at the same time. The characters on the show are so well written that they remind Ms. Hen of the people she knows, they are complex and despicable in their own way. What Gloria says at the end of season three is true, they’re all trapped together and they act like animals and that’s not the way they really would be if they weren’t incarcerated.

Piper changes in Season 3. She’s rid of the man in her life, who is doesn’t appear this season. Piper becomes a prison animal, trapped in a cage with a bunch of other inmates desperately trying to scratch out a living. She comes up with an idea to sell panties that female inmates have worn to perverted customers. She ropes in her brother to help with the online distribution, and some other inmates to wear the panties that she makes from the extra cloth from the prison panty factory. Nothing but chaos can ensue when this happens.

Piper is in control and when she’s in charge all hell is about to break loose. She puts her freedom at risk, chancing more prison time with her scheme. With the help of her Aussie inmate new friend, Stella, they scheme together. Piper and Alex have problems, and all the other inmates have problems with Piper taking all the money. Other stories surround the season, such as Daya and Bennett’s ill-fated relationship, Caputo and the new bosses, Sophia and Gloria getting into a fight over their sons’ friendship.

Ms. Hen read the memoir ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK by Piper Kerman, and was not as impressed with it as she is with the TV show. The real Piper is an executive producer on the show. Ms. Hen imagines that Piper has a lot of fun thinking up cool and dangerous escapades that her television alter-ego can embroil her character into. Ms. Hen thinks that this is what fiction should be, taking real life experiences and making them more interesting. If not a novel or a story, a TV show works well also. TV is more accessible to the masses, but Ms. Hen does not care much for the masses.

Ms. Hen does care for chickens. The magical chicken makes an appearance in this season. One of Ms. Hen favorite parts of OITNB is the chicken. She thinks that everyone should experience a magic chicken once or twice in life.

Ms. Hen enjoys the mostly female dominated cast with the strong women characters. She also likes the tragic-comic aspect of the show, which reminds her a lot of Russian novelists, such as Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. She thinks that OITNB would please the fans of such authors, who pine for agony and soul-drenching pain tinged with laughter in their entertainment.

Ms. Hen does not spend a lot of time watching TV, and she does not recommend a lot of TV shows. However, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK is a rare combination of great writing, acting and collaboration that brings a subculture of society to light. Ms. Hen has never been in prison, but the show is written and acted so well that it makes her empathize with the characters. Ms. Hen loves ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK because it shows the gritty reality of how terrible it is to be a prisoner, but also the beauty of humanity working together for survival.

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