Why we love "Orange is the New Black" so much
Prison. It's dirty, confining, strict, and filled with some pretty scary hardened criminals. Safe to say, not pinned to your Pinterest board under "Dream Home <3". So, you have to wonder why so many well behaved collegiates like ourselves are obsessing over Seasons 1 and 2 of Jenji Kohan's "Orange is the New Black" like Crazy Eyes obsesses over Dandelion. Sure, we love "Keeping up with the Kardashians" and "The Bachelorette", but that makes sense. We WANT an unreasonable amount of fame for letting a camera crew film us doing commonplace stuff like shopping or eating dinner (or we just love Lord Disick), and we all secretly wish we had like 20+ hot guys to date at once and it be socially acceptable, but to be behind bars? Probably not on everyone's bucket list. So what makes OITNB so successful?
After much careful thought and consideration, I've decided it's a combination of finding the inner good in everyone and the excuse to talk about prison like we know what it's like without ever actually having to leave our comfy beds and MacBook Pros. Really though, I believe the characters have been crafted in such a way to make us relate to them and sympathize with their back-stories, almost forgetting their title as a felon. It gives us a new perspective on life behind bars, one that reminds us that we might have more in common with criminals than we think. Each character has such an intriguing and unique path that landed them in Litchfield Women's correctional center, each one has a story to tell. Susan Fischer, the most sympathetic of the prison guards, puts it best when she says "Anyway, I just want you to know that as far as I'm concerned, you and me are the same. The only difference between us is that when I made bad decisions in life I didn't get caught. It could've been me here in khaki, easy." The quote stuck out to me because it seemed so out of place for a correctional officer to say to an inmate, an admittance to equality and a shattering of the symbolic wall between inmate and guard, a wall officers like "Pornstache" try so hard to maintain. We don't like to think that a few bad decisions or being in the wrong place at the wrong time could have put us in prison jumpsuits, but Kohan does a beautiful job of showing us we're not so different from these women. They have struggles, secrets, insecurities, problems and relationship drama, just like us. Or maybe I'm completely wrong about all of this and we just watch it to collectively rally against Vee because let's face it there doesn't seem to be anything redeemable about her. Either way, I'll be watching out for season three with the same fervor and intensity as Piper searched for that random prison chicken!