Recently Netflix has started to produce their own shows which have provided a wide range of creativity when it comes to content. Unlike regular television shows, such as those seen on ABC or CBS, which monitor what is and is not seen on television; Netflix has been a way for shows to be more open to the content they show almost like the television shows on HBO. One show that has become popular on Netflix and is an example of content that is not commonly seen on television is Orange is the New Black. As we have discussed during class the difference between shows on television and whether or not they are indie; Orange is the New Black has proven to be a “real rival to cable” because of the content displayed throughout the show.
After watching the first episode, “I Wasn’t Ready,” of Orange is the New Black I noticed that nothing seemed to be censored. There is nudity present in the very first opening scene, which you most likely won’t find on say an episode of Glee. Right away after seeing this scene I knew that this show was going to be creative with the content and come off as somewhat indie. This episode did a great job of demonstrating how this show can be viewed as indie and I think the flashbacks are something that helped me get this indie vibe. Throughout the episode we see Chapman go through this process of going to jail, however, we are unclear of why she is going to jail until we see flashbacks of her life about 10 years ago.
One representation in this particular episode that I found to follow throughout the entire episode was the constant talk about lesbian. In the opening scene it is clear, although we don’t immediately know this about the main character, that the girl in the shower known as Chapman is a lesbian based on all the flashbacks. Throughout this episode the show progressively keeps touching on the subject of Chapman once being a lesbian. It seems as though Chapman has grown out of her lesbian ways from her years after college and has settled down with her fiance, however, as she goes to jail she has the possibility of being tempted with the lesbians in jail. In one of the articles it mentions, “It’s a truly impressive array of prisoners, played by actresses of varying ages and appearances, including types rarely shown on TV,” which is the difference between what is seen in this show compared to what is seen on regular television.
The show has a way of putting the viewer in an uncomfortable position when it is discussing the topic of lesbian and we are able to see what is going on in the prison with a bunch of women. Many viewers hear stories about what happens in all women prisons but we never visually see what happens. Orange is the New Black has a way of touching on this subject and addressing the situation unlike shows that might appear on television.