Friday, July 12, 2013
Day One Hundred and Ninety-three - Orange is the New Black: Pilot, "So... Netflix is getting into the Skinemax game?"
I'm not exactly sure what the hubbub is about.
Telling the tale of a former drug mule, who offended exactly once a decade ago, OitNB is primarily about how a preppy, perky blonde deals with life on the inside, serving a fifteen month sentence because her former lover sold her out.
The pilot isn't exactly compelling stuff, what with it's Showtime levels of gratuitous nudity for it's own sake and less than sterling dialogue, OitNB does have an underlying human element that might develop into something worthwhile.
A lot of time is spent contrasting the adjustments that series focus Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) has to go through by intercutting her first few days in prison with the leadup both to her original crime when she was still with her drugrunner lover (That 70's Show's Laura Prepon) and her just prior to prison relationship with her fiance (Jason Biggs).
As realistic a portrait her time with Larry (Biggs) paints, pretty much the entirety of her relationship with Alex (Prepon) is laughable. I never feel believable chemistry in any of their scenes together, be it the strip tease, the drug run, or the post-customs meetup. Hopefully that will change as (surprise!) Alex shows up in the final moments of the pilot, herself being imprisoned at the same correctional facility.
I think, aside from the gauche nudity, what really grinds my gears in the pilot is Kate Mulgrew's horrendously cheesy Slavic accent. The moment it escaped her lips I felt the show slip from passable personal story to bottom shelf melodrama.
I'm crossing my fingers and hoping beyond hope that she's really a WASPy blue blood from Philly and only uses it to retain her intimidation factor, but I think the odds are low.
Yes, I'll give the series due diligence to see if it evens out as the premise itself is interesting and more than a few of the sidebar jokes and observations have real worth, but I'll just have to wait and see. I will say it's nice to have a women's prison story not instantly devolve into lesbian porno... though it does try for a few moments late in the episode.
Until tomorrow, Potatoes~