OITNB Review

I’ve been re-watching “Orange Is the New Black”, we need to talk about it! The direction and plot are some of the best writing and work I’ve ever seen. It’s a series that shows a woman who held money for a drug-smuggling ring 10 years ago. The statute of limitations for that crime is 12 years. She goes to jail with a new fiance and a new company on the way. The depiction of jail is a pretty realistic description of things I’ve watched and read. The writers illuminate the racism that is present in jails, showing everyone sticking to their racial groups and showing dialogue of them bad-mouthing the other races. They form cliques and stick to their groups when eating lunch or doing anything at all. It shows a lot of sexual assault that is present in jail systems and how powerless the women that are put in these situations are. I’m glad that jail isn’t shown as any better than it really is, it’s realistic and raw. There is one character who was pregnant and gave birth, only allowed to go to the hospital when her contractions were 1 minute apart. Afterward, she wasn’t allowed to keep or hold her child that much longer after birth. That is a real protocol in jail. They show the loss of privacy, the delusion of your individual character, and the uncleanliness of jails. There’s only one bathroom that has a stall door, and Piper, the main character, has to fashion shoes with tissues and hair ties. The food shows the realistic version of jail food, whereas long as the inmates are receiving the minimum amount of nutrition then it’s okay to serve them. The food has mold, is spoiled, or is rotten. The characters are fully developed and realized in the first episode, and they only become more interesting as the season progresses. The plot progresses as well, in a realistic way. 

Piper has the perfect portrayal of the illusion that comes with wealth and Upper Middle-Class status in modern American society. The other characters interact with her in a way that is completely realistic, and the plot progresses and you learn more about them later on. I like that they don’t feed you their life story, but as it goes on things become more progressive. Aside from that, the show says so much about the issues with the jail industry. The jailing systems are focused heavily on profit, personal gain, and punishment rather than rehabilitation. Rather than pouring money into the quality of products, money is cut and budgets are met. It’s a very entertaining show that is well written and well-directed, and yet it remains realistic.