Dangerous Women: Orange is the New Black


I want reasons to hate Orange is the New Black.  For one, I do not have a Netflix subscription, so despite all the advertisements, I was unable to start watching in July like other television addicts. In the irrational television lover's mind, this is a perfect reason for hate. Additionally, I know I should get all rah rah about a dramatic television show's marketing featuring women of color (woc for all you cool progressive abbreviations folk), but a show like Orange is the New Black leads to the superficial deep conversations and ponderings that tend to occupy space in my mind.
Internal conversation: "Ooh Yay! Black Women! Ooh No, They're Convicts!"
I would be perfectly fine hating this show, but my self selected media is telling me to love the show. Huff Post Live tells me its awesome, because one of the woc isn't just black: she's a black transgendered woman played by an actual black transgendered woman. Such representation! Or something. NPR is telling me this is another Netflix success. "Brilliance Behind Bars" is what I hear. Meh is what I see.

Despite my success in college citing articles I barely skimmed, and my dissertation chapter critiquing Down in the Delta- a movie I hadn't watched in years,  I openly admit that is hard to review new shows that you have never watched. All I have now is an advertisement of women posing in orange jumpsuits, that looks like the advertisements for most women ensemble tv shows in the last decade: racy or not(see Girlfriends, Army Wives, The L Word, Desperate Housewives).

Instead of critiquing, I will just reminisce as I tend to do on the original Dangerous Women. These women were the clique to fear for one hot late summer in 1991. I had some cognitive skills by then and understood that these women were criminals, my mother was addicted, and there was something James Brown BAAAD about them. The styling of the show was off in the way that only an early 90s nighttime soap opera could have been. And that added to the allure. It was dramatic. It was women with agency forging lives after making decisions or having decisions made for them.  Notably, the diversity mix back then was about the same it is in today's women ensemble shows minus the sometimes Asian character. So either this show was super progressive or much hasn't change.


Comments

  1. I've been hearing about this show but I had no idea what it was about. I'll have to look it up on Netflix in the near future.

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