The rise of new platforms such as Hulu and Netflix have given us an alternate model for distributing and exhibiting content. Shows on major networks have content that is usually controlled to a certain extent. Netflix and Hulu have started to produce their own original series, which has given mainstream television a new rival. Because platforms such as Netflix are so independent of major networks and cable outlets, the producers have more creativity in terms of aesthetic value and content.
In the Netflix original series Orange Is The New Black, there is rarely an episode that you can just drift in and out of. As I watched each episode there was always a reoccurring instance that made me jaw drop in one way or another. The style of content represented in this series was so unlike the smooth narrative one would find in conventional network programming. Certain aesthetic choices made my experience with this content far more participatory compared to my viewing habits with network television. For example, scenes of nudity and explicit material are blatantly present only a few minutes in the first episode. This meant that my attention was increasingly hard to wonder off course, simply because of the edgy material that made it impossible to ignore. In my opinion, the freedom that Kohan has with the unconventional aesthetics of this particular series gives her the ability to more effectively reveal the backstories and development of these various characters. The lack of network restraints on aesthetic creative choices help us better understand and identify with Piper’s life through her raw, intimate, and realistic experiences. This new platform has indirectly influenced television by providing unconventional aesthetic packaging of content.