“Orange is the New Black” recap (1.1): Meet the Prisoners

 
 

I know what you’re wondering: Is Orange is the New Black the kind of show where we have to wait until 14 episodes in to see a maybe-queer character have a maybe-queer moment? Nope! Try 26 seconds into the opening. Good job, show.

We meet Piper Chapman via her lifelong enjoyment of cleanliness, including a shower with her lesbian ex-lover and a bath with her current straight-boy fiancé. And then we skip straight to her first shower in prison, right before the opening credits.

OK, remember how Helena went to prison in The L Word and they made one million jokes about dropping the soap as though prison rape is hilarious and then Helena got a hawt roommate and everything in prison was hawt? This is not that show. And let’s take a moment to be grateful for many reasons. But also uncomfortable, because man, does Orange is the New Black get uncomfortable, which is kind of the point.

So the prison shower is uncomfortable in the sense that it’s invasive and un-private, and Chapman is showering with maxi pads rubber banded to her feet because she doesn’t have flip-flops. Another inmate compliments her tits in a way that is somewhere between invasive-friendly and maybe lascivious? Hard to say, which will probably be true of a lot of things here.

oitnb_Piper

Images Courtesy of Netflix/ by Barbara Nitke

Flashback!

We’re at Piper’s pre-prison party, a pig roast that her fiancé, Larry, has thrown her and a couple of friends. Piper is strong during the roast and stoic about the fact that she’s about to check into prison, but later takes a break during her final sexing with Larry to go have a demure freakout in the next room.

Larry drives Piper to prison – she’s surrendering herself after plea bargaining to a 15-month sentence – and they have some sweet/prickly awkwardness over where he should stash her engagement ring for her.

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