I had to play catch up with the first season of Orange is the New Black because I hadn’t read the book, and I like to read the book before watching its television or film version. But then, in the midst of a very aggravating week or three, I was pointed to this video by a trusted internet friend (Thanks Ms. Mary Mack!). And of the almost 150k views, I think my children and I account for about a million. It got us all through a LONG winter.
So I skipped the book and went straight to the show for a binge-watch session. I’d read some of the criticism about stereotypes and gratuitous sex prior to watching, so I waited to be unimpressed. Oh, but no. I loved it. I loved that it smushed privilege into our faces and acknowledged all sorts of attitudes towards race and sex. I developed an adoration of Taystee and Crazy Eyes, and I admired the chutzpah of Red and Gloria. I liked that it made me think. And all this with the awareness that OITNB reflects prison life about as accurately as NYPD Blue reflected police work or GLEE reflects high school.
Waiting until June for the second season of Orange is the New Black was daunting, but I managed somehow. And last night I was lucky enough to attend the Netflix premiere and after party for the new OITNB season. And I went all out fan girl.
Now, I’m not big on treating entertainers and artists as SuperHuman. I lived in Brooklyn, after all – the crown jewel of NYC’s whatever, so you’re famous attitude. And now, in my current town, it’s just as true. Stephen Colbert can shop at Whole Foods and Patrick Wilson can jog shirtless without anyone blinking an eye (until they’re out of earshot). But I put all that on hold last night.
Lori Petty is lovely. (And YES! She’s in #OITNBSeasonTwo!) She’s really personable and was kind enough to pose for a second photo when the flash didn’t work on the first one. I confidently informed Selenis Leyva that the grilled cheese being served was divine. I got a smile from Vicky Jeudy when I blurted out “Gorgeous!” as she walked by. My companion, Georgette, got a squeeze on the arm from Samira Wiley when she gasped, “It’s Poussey!” A highlight was taking a photo with the gracious and beautiful Danielle Brooks. Her friends took the photo. But I didn’t see Uzo Aduba. And that was the one real disappointment of the night. Crazy Eyes (Suzanne) is my favorite character in OITNB, and I am so happy that she’s been made a series regular for Season 2!
And speaking of Orange is the New Black Season 2, make sure to get ready to watch it on Netflix starting June 6th! The first episode will make you want more. And more.