Award Worthy Shows – Comedy: Orange is the New Black

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this drama changes the audience preconception, and allows great scripts to shine.

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This drama changes the audience preconception on crime and punishment to deliver a hard hitting and eye opening black comedy, a must see.

With the dust settling over the results of the Golden Globes, we at The Edge take a look at the shows nominated for Best Television Drama, and why they are worthy of the big award. This time, Kirsty takes a look at one of the bigger shows which as ever draws focus, Orange is the New Black.

Orange is the New Black was a refreshing and cut throat new drama which was hosted by Netflix, putting the video streaming company on the map. It explores the life of Piper Chapman a ‘non-textbook’ criminal imprisoned for 18 months. It is a fresh new take on prison life with the majority of the story happening within the prison walls. By being portrayed against a boring background the script is able to shine, the diverse and vibrant content can be celebrated without too much reliance on the set.

It is the first drama of its kind which dealt with the intricacies of female prison physiological and social interactions, effortlessly combined with hilarity.  It was created by Jenji Kohan and the first series was released in 2013, followed by a successful second season, which was just as gripping as the first. The drama is so dynamic and seems to portray prison expertly, so unsurprisingly it is based on a book by Piper Kerman, describing her experiences in prison.

Taylor Schilling plays the main character, Chapman, her acting is top class she is supported by a multitude of great actors, each fully embracing their role, adding to the entire experience. As such, this comedy has been nominated for a smattering of awards every year since its release and won Best Comedy Series 4th Critics’ Choice Television Awards last year. This year sees the release of the third series in June and the nomination for a 3 Golden Globe Awards; Best Performance for the star, Schilling, and supporting role, Uso Aduba, who plays Suzanne aka “Crazy Eyes” and Best TV Comedy,  but unfortunately was beaten to the post. Orange is the New Black delves into the previously unknown aspects of the US justice system and sees the perspective swapped to the prisoners point of view, exploring the social inner workings of prison and the often shocking interactions of the women.

Most importantly the drama changes the audience preconception, it shows the prisoners not as criminals but instead as people, which is what we often forget. The drama softens our view on criminals from damned beings in need of rehabilitation, but sometimes women just caught at the wrong place and time in their lives. There is no formula for becoming an offender and there’s no type either. Of course not all in this drama are innocent and their severity is presented without a filter, which is what makes it so refreshing.

The real value of this drama is the two ends of this scale, severity and vulnerability are successfully supported by the script and cast. It provides a dynamic interesting journey even though these characters can’t go anywhere.  I’ll be sure to don my jumpsuit for the thirds series this year, don’t you know Orange is in this year too.

Season 3 of Orange is the New Black will premiere this summer, 2015. 

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