Who: The show is available to Netflix subscribers exclusively, as it is Netflix produced original content.
What: “Orange is the New Black,” a comedy drama about a Manhattan woman whose past catches up to her and for which she must serve time in federal prison.
Taylor Schilling plays Piper Chapman, a seemingly run-of-the-mill woman and maker of homemade soaps who just became engaged to be married to Larry Bloom, her unemployed but wholly supportive writer boyfriend. Unfortunately, Piper learns that she must serve a short sentence in federal prison after she is implicated in the bust of an international drug cartel, of which her former girlfriend, Alex Vause (Prepon), was a member and who Piper aided and abetted. Piper’s wild and adventurous past, including her ambiguous sexual orientation, becomes a secret revealed not only to Larry and his family but to her family as well.
What’s more, Piper finds, at first, that she is wholly unequipped for prison. Though some, like unabashed, self-proclaimed “lesbian junkie” Nicky Nichols (Natasha Lyonne), are kind and helpful to her, others, like kitchen head Red (Mulgrew) in the first season, show her no mercy, particularly after Piper accidentally criticizes the cooking. In addition, the guards, all men, are mostly drunk on their own power, the prison counselors play favorites and are easily offended, and the prison population is divided by race, unofficially but automatically, which offends Piper’s liberal sensibilities. If all that weren’t complicated enough, Piper’s ex Alex is sent to the same prison, and Piper’s emotions are deeply conflicted, as she reasons that only Alex could have pointed the finger to get her in trouble in the first place, while at the same, the old attractions between the two women remain undeniably present. In the meantime, Larry attempts to make the best of his temporary separation from Piper, though he is less than comfortable with the news that Piper and Alex are doing time together.
When: All 13 third season episodes became available for viewing on June 12, 2015.
Where: The show is set in New York, though flashbacks for each of the prisoners who comprise the cast of characters sometimes venture away from New York.
Why: I saw the teaser trailers for the series while watching other programming on Netflix and also on network TV. I was originally drawn in by the fact that Kate Mulgrew, best known as Captain Kathryn Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager, plays a Russian prisoner and the “mama” of the motley cast of inmates. I later discovered that Laura Prepon, aka Donna from That ’70s Show, is also a featured regular.
How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)
After branching out from blogging reviews about Orange is the New Black’s first season, to expanding to one of our first ever podcast episodes to discuss the second (listen here), this particular panel of fellow Couch Potatoes and Orange enthusiasts grew as we sat down to talk all things season three of the wildly popular Netflix drama for this latest podcast episode. In fact, this episode is the first of two CPU! entries focused entirely upon OITNB’s third season, as moderator and Chief Couch Potato Kylie, Kristen, Krista, and Nick, newly joined by Eddie and Amanda, engaged in heady discussion about some of the plot lines we saw emerge in this slightly differently structured third season. What do you think? Do you agree? Do you disagree? What are your hopes, fears, expectations, speculations, or predictions for the resolution of some of third season’s cliffhangers going into season four?
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, and/or our iTunes channel. Let us know what you think! What’s more, return to the blog and the YouTube/iTunes channels next week for part two of our OITNB discussion, which will include the usual CPU! features, such as questions raised by the third season and parting shots. Until then!
Orange is the New Black was renewed for a fourth season, which is tentatively slated to premiere in June 2016. Part Two of this podcast will premiere next week! Stay tuned!