When discussing in class the other day what makes television shows and movies “Indie”, the main idea that stuck out to me was that Indie has this way of portraying characters in an organic light. How many Indie films or shows have you seen where you felt that, no matter how farfetched a person’s character or story may be, the characters seem like real people. I feel that this is a vital element to Indie media, it all seems so tangible.
One writer and producer who accurately conveys that idea is Jenji Kohan, who not only created Weeds, but wrote and produced for Gilmore Girls, and my all time favorite right now, Orange is the New Black. An article I found on indiewire really demonstrates Kohan’s support for making characters real:
“I love flawed characters, male or female, and I only want to talk about flawed characters, really, in what I do. I think likability is bullshit — we are complicated beings, sometimes we’re likable and sometimes we’re not… and sometimes we fuck up radically. I want to live in that gray area, I never want to sit in the black or the white — I would get bored and I don’t think it reflects reality. Women are flawed, and people are flawed, and why not talk about that?”
I also feel this show pertains to what we discussed in class the other day. It combines highbrow and lowbrow elements through attracting people of different ideologies to come together and be invested in these characters stories without hesitation of the character’s background. There are scenes that cause you to think, especially the characters’ flashbacks, and there are moments where all you have to do is watch, typically in scenes that seem like reality TV, like when Piper insults the head cook’s food.
Orange is the New Black is truly a great show and I look forward to analyzing it further for it holds so many things worth studying, especially in the Indie scene.
Here’s a Preview of Orange is the New Black: