Orange is the New Black

I almost didn’t give Orange is the New Black a chance, based simply on hating the title. It suggested to me that we’d be watching “Elle Woods Goes to the Big House.” I envisioned a main character who would apply for dispensation to wear Manolos with her jumpsuit, or teach her cell mates whatever is the 2013 equivalent of the bend-and-snap.

oitnb

A show about a woman going to prison, produced exclusively for Netflix, could as well go the other way: all rape-y and terrifying. Also not something I was eager to embrace.

Somehow, this show–evidenced by the pilot–pulls off a delicate balance of realism, drama and humor. I was surprised at how much I laughed. More amazing, it actually made me, an average middle-class white woman look at the central character, Piper (Taylor Schilling), and think, “That could be me.” If, somehow, I had done something in my past that came back to bite me in the ass, I would totally go on Amazon and buy books to prepare for prison. Continue reading

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That ’70s Show

That ’70s Show has recently started airing on TeenNick, introducing the decade when we didn’t know Vader was Luke’s father* to a generation that wasn’t born yet, so it’s due for a look. Also, star Laura Prepon has been cast in the forthcoming Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea, so in case you need a reminder who she is…

The official Episode 1.1, which aired in August 1998, is about Eric Foreman (Topher Grace) inheriting his parents’ Vista Cruiser. I’m convinced there was another first episode, an actual pilot, before this. Am I crazy? I remember the pilot as an episode about Donna’s (Laura Prepon) parents going out of town and a rivalry between Eric and Hyde (Danny Materson) for Donna’s affections. And Donna had a younger sister who was never seen again. It felt very pilot-y, like the writers didn’t quite have a handle on the characters yet. Even the opening sequence was a little different, possibly with a different version of the theme song. If anyone knows what in the world I’m talking about please leave a comment! Continue reading