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Binge Watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix

by Ilana Angel

June 17, 2014 | 2:41 pm

I’m not sure who it was that told me to watch Orange is the New Black, but when I remember I will call them and say thank you. Over the past 2 days I have watched all 26 episodes of this show on Netflix. That is insane. I became obsessed with the show around episode 3 of season 1 and could not turn it off. This show does what TV is supposed to do.

After about episode 6 of season 1, my vocabulary started to change. I am one who uses profanity in my daily language but it went to a whole other level. I started swearing like I was getting paid for every F bomb I dropped. I found myself thinking I should buy an orange sweater or pair of pants, and I wondered how I would fair if I landed in prison.

This show is brilliant. There is a lot of cursing, nudity, sex, and violence, yet that is not what you are left with when each episode ends. Instead you feel invested in the lives of the characters, both male and female. I quickly came to like them, care about them, and hope they would be okay. Well, most of them I wanted to be okay and happy.

Some I wanted to suffer a painful prison death by shank. That’s how I roll now. I use prison slang in my writing and everyday life. I’m a hard ass people. I have been visiting prison for over 26 hours and it has left me a changed woman.  I have no idea what it means to be in prison of course, but if this is it, I don’t want to ever go. It is a truly scary place.

I didn't know it was based on real life experiences of someone. That makes it more compelling and more terrifying. I won’t share any spoilers because people are still watching, but the end of season 2 is perfect. Not one scene left me disappointed, but every scene left me wanting more. That’s the problem with binge watching. Now I’m screwed.

I became so focused on wanting to know what happened next, I watched it all, and now I'm left without updates on these people for a year. A year! Season 3 is scheduled for June of 2015. Are they kidding me? That is torture. I should have paced myself and watched an episode a week to stretch it out so it would last longer. I can't wait so long.

Orange is the New Black is my first real experience with Netflix. I’ve watched other things with my son, namely Gavin and Stacy, the best sitcom ever, but this was my first Netflix show. I wish there had been a cautionary “Do Not Binge Watch” email sent warning me of the horrific withdrawal one feels when they race through a season too fast.

I am now left wondering what will happen next, while dealing with sleep deprivation. It is a fascinating look at prison, race, sex, hope, faith, and the madness that comes with being trapped inside your own head when you are in the SHU. Yes. That was my second prison slang reference. Sadly writing SHU is about as gangster as I get.

If anyone else has watched all of season 2, please email me at angel@jewishjournal.com so we can talk about it. I need to talk about how great it was without including any spoilers here. I don’t want to wreck the experience for anyone watching it now. This show is great TV, which is interesting since it’s not TV at all. Good job Netflix.

I don’t watch a lot of scripted shows because I don’t have time. I write about reality TV, so that is what I watch, but this show has changed that. There is really spectacular writing and acting happening. If you don’t watch you’re missing out. I’m now watching the behind the scene videos on the characters just to make it last a little longer.

I want to go to the set of this show and hang out. The actors are beyond talented, but I forget they're actors because they bring these people to life so vividly. I want to be on the set with the characters more than the actors. I want to sit next to Jenji Kohan and just listen to her talk about everything and nothing. I am in awe of Ms. Kohan.

Orange is the New Black is brilliant. The acting and writing is perfection and I could watch this show all day, everyday. I could, I did, and I may do it again. It is the type of show you can watch over and over again and catch something new each time. When I told my son how much I loved this show he had three words for me: House of Cards.

I will start on House of Cards, but won’t binge! I must stretch it out until the ladies of Litchfield Federal Penitentiary return. This show taught me a lot about myself. My reactions to these fictitious people reminds me how powerful words are. I am inspired to keep writing my truth, dream of meeting Jenji Kohan, and remember to keep the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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