When it burst onto the small screen last summer, Orange is the New Black quickly catapulted women's incarceration into pop culture consciousness, becoming most-watched of Netflix's series of 2013. As media has been buzzing about the all-at-once release of season two this Friday—speculating on plot development and characters—the real-life Piper Kerman has also been busy.
Orange is the New Black—the new Netflix original series premiering July 11—is a prison drama. But that's definitely not all it is. Following naïve yuppie Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) as she enters a women's prison for a 15-month stay, this rich, tactile show delves into gender and sexuality in a deeper way than first meets the eye.
A teen girl waits inside a creepy, empty house with a knife. She knows the killer is outside and she knows he's coming to kill her next. Her friends are dead, her clothes have been ripped to shreds, she is covered in blood, and she is all alone in the deserted house. But she is ready. She waits, ready to avenge her friends and save her own life. She is the Final Girl.
I grew up in a limited-television home, and didn't have a television to myself in college until senior year, when I was too busy to watch the free cable. Now that I'm paying my own bills, food and kitty litter have won out over those extra 40 channels, 35 of which I have little interest in. I've managed to acquire three different television sets for free, but for the first year or so they sat unwatched except on Thursday nights, when we would hooks up the antenna for The Office and its attendant Thursday night workplace comedies.
But even though I wasn't making my use of our television - televisions - I still had to watch my programs. But how could I? Where would I go? What method should I use? After ten years online, I knew that the Internet to be a many-splendored resource for media, but my tracking skills had gotten a little rusty.