Have you guys been watching this show? Oh, man, this show.
Orange is the New Black is a new Netflix original series about Piper Chapman, a young well-to-do white woman who goes to prison for drug running and learns things. It could easily have been terrible, but while it is in some ways problematic (there are moments that smack of the “white savior” trope), it is in many ways awesome. It has to be one of the most diverse casts in a television series, with many black, Asian, and Latina women as well as a transgender woman and at least one amputee. There are lesbians and bisexuals and people who don’t conform to simplistic representations of sexuality. And for the most part these characters are three-dimensional and interesting to the point that there’s even a scene in which a group of women of color mock the “sassy black friend” trope in other series.
Of course, the main character, her fiance, and her ex-girlfriend are all white, but c’est la vie.
One other fun bit of diversity is that the main character is an atheist. Check out this scene:
I believe in science. I believe in evolution. I believe in Nate Silver, Neil Degrasse Tyson, and Christopher Hitchens. Although I do admit he can be kind of an asshole. I can’t get behind a supreme being that weighs in on the Tony awards while a million people get whacked by machetes. I don’t believe a billion Indians are going to hell. I don’t think that we get cancer to learn life lessons, and I don’t believe people die young because God needs another angel. I think it’s just bullshit.
Saying she believes in Hitchens while acknowledging he was an asshole? Approved. I love this show.
Have you seen it? What do you think?
Oh and here’s Laverne Cox, the transgender actress, talking about her character:
Oh my god her real-life twin brother plays her before her transition! Amazing.