Truly Cool TV: Orange Is the New Black is Criminally Good

STORY BY Holly Ramos

Published: August 21, 2013

Truly Cool TV: Orange Is the New Black is Criminally Good

Half Irish and half Puerto Rican, I probably appear white to most people but I come from a rich Latin background and I have a real sensitivity to the lack of people like me in the media. Lucky to have a diverse community of friends of all different colors sexualities, shapes and sizes, I miss seeing them properly portrayed as well. Being a woman adds a whole other dimension to this lack of proper representation.  Books have been written on the subject so I will refrain from elaborating. The great news is that we are moving a step in the right direction with a splendid new original series on Netflix: Orange Is the New Black

Orange Is the New Black is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name, about her year-long stay in a federal prison for money laundering while in a relationship with a woman involved in a drug ring. The crime went unpunished for a while and Kerman was engaged to the man she eventually married by the time the conviction came.

On the show the lovely Taylor Schilling plays Piper Chapman, a Connecticut born Smith college graduate living in New York when not behind bars. Both the actor and the character she plays are cool, pretty, smart and entertaining. The story is engaging and the well-written show delivers addictive content that keeps you coming back for more. But what elevates the show to brilliance is the incredible cast of characters.

The show features a wide variety of well-developed African American, Latina, and lesbian characters, as well as a transgender character, not often seen on television, some never seen. What a pleasure to behold this range of woman of so many different colors and body types with sexual preferences that fall across a wide spectrum. It gets even better because these women have complicated feelings and complicated relationships. And to top it all off, the show is not giving us all of this richness to prove a point. There is no tiresome agenda getting in the way. The show is casually serving up all of these flavors while doing its job, giving us great entertainment.

Orange Is the New Black is an anomaly, a great show featuring interesting woman ranging in ethnicity and sexuality and living complex lives. I am a bit in awe. Lets spread the word so we can see more shows like it. Netflix has renewed the show for a second season.

 

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