Red is the new Orange

One of the few little pleasures I can still afford from time to time is getting myself a bunch of DVDs. Usually I wait until their price goes down and they end up in the budget/ sales tray, but this time I couldn’t resist and grabbed Orange is the new Black season one right on the day of release last week. I so wanted to see Kate Mulgrew‘s depiction of Red, perhaps one of the inevitable sideeffects of being a Star Trek fan and incidentally also watching Voyager for the ump-teenth time (say what you will about some of the terrible acting and bad scripts in too many episodes, but Janeway always stands out on top in terms of quality). So how is it? While I don’t believed the hype with all the Emmys and that, I knew that this series would be at least unique and original and luckily I wasn’t disappointed. It’s full of colorful and interesting characters and you want to get to know them. Well, that is once you actually begin to understand the relations and the language. For me as a non-native English speaking person it was sometimes quite difficult to catch some dialog here and there, but that will no doubt clear up with the second, third and so on viewing. This will also help me get over some of the more annoying things, one of which ironically are that awful relation of Piper with her fiance and her seemingly never-ending personality quirks. She comes across as very dull initially and only gets more sympathetic as she toughens up. Other characters that would be more interesting don’t get much of a background, but there’s always hope for the next season. Some revelations are also quite shocking like Tricia overdosing and being used as a drug mule when she only wanted to do right by everyone and was a kind soul. Same for Mrs. Claudette when she just snapped and was taken to maximum security, but under all that rough surface is as caring as your mother. Alex is actually pretty cool in that she’s very clear about what she wants and speaks up. Pensatucky is just plain batshit crazy, but at least her storyline stirs things up a bit. And of course Red! Certainly her story is full of stereotypes about Russians as is the fake accent, but she’s in an odd way also funny and you sympathize with her for holding everything together. That scene where she popped that other woman’s fake boob was just hilarious! On the other side are of course the guards and wardens, but unlike the inmates they don’t necessarily feel “real” and come across more like caricatures at times. Figueroa feels like a nympho business lady and as the name implies Pornstache (Mendez) probably couldn’t find a girl to give him a blowjob in the outside world. Caputo is indeed perhaps trying too hard to take over the reigns and therefore never succeeds. Healy initially looked like a nice guy, but his issues with “lesbianing” ultimately get in the way. Bennett is of course also there, but in light of his own insecurities it’s too obvious that he’s going to ditch Daya and the baby most likely. Overall it’s been a very satisfying experience and I’m already looking forward to season two. In the meantime I’m going to keep watching Voyager and then have to decide what’s next, but perhaps some German Amazon vouchers will fall out of the sky. Picking up House of Cards would be kinda nice…

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