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Orange is the New Black – Season One (first four episodes)

Miz is intrigued by this season and has watched the first four episodes (just finished Imaginary Enemies S01.04) of the Netflix show Orange is the New Black. It’s entertaining. Especially as it’s based on a true story and a novel penned by Piper Kerman.

There are the hated characters (the awful predatory prison guard with the dirty moustache who makes Miz shudder) and the “misunderstood” characters (everyone in the prison)! Good backstories push along this series and Piper’s story somewhat falls by the wayside, which is for the better, though she is needed to provide continuity to series’ storyline. Piper is just the viewpoint from which the viewers see inside the prison and she’s not needed to complete all the scenes anymore.

This latest episode (01.04) is no exception to an interesting backstory and controversial criminal acts: the person in this episode is Claudette who is seen cleaning up after stabbing a client after he molested one of her cleaning ladies. Viewers are left assuming that this is what she was arrested for (rather than for an illegal immigration ring which it was made to look like at first). Added drama with a younger guy friend, Baptiste, means that this is a deep character with an emphasis on cleanliness and rules. This story will keep unravelling in the next few episodes with the culmination (Miz is guessing!) with an appeals hearing and hopefully early release.

The one of the best things about this show is the people dynamic and authority struggle. The innate power struggle between the guards and the inmates displays itself in this episode by virtue of the missing screwdriver: a short-term conflict escalating into a personality, authority and race war. The screwdriver remains “missing”/used as a sex toy (in an entertaining scene) so is likely to resurface later in the series. The interesting part was when the electrical shop supervisor, who is painted as an uneducated drunken but has some great one-liners and facial expressions, covered up the mistake by replacing the missing screwdriver to make the problem go away.

The power struggle within the inmate population is also entertaining; the most vivid of this in Miz’s watching was shown through Red and Piper being starved out of prison food. Red is a highly entertaining character!!

Yip, Miz will keep trucking through this series as it is easy to pick up and put down again. All 13 episodes have been released and it’s been released for a second series. Oh la la.