3 Reasons Why Literary People will Enjoy Netflix’s Orange is the New Black

orange_custom-s3-c85If you haven’t yet gotten around to watching the new Netflix Original Series by Jenji Kohan, Orange is the New Black, you should. Personally, I consumed all thirteen episodes in a matter of days, but resist if you can. You’ll want the show to last as long as possible.

1. What some may not know about the series is that it’s based on the real book Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. Although the book has been knocked for failing to develop the other female characters as well as the main character, Piper, I still plan on giving it a read–only if to compare it to the TV series. What I enjoyed the most about this series is the writing. Unlike its book counterpart, Kohan’s show actually does a good job at developing the characters of many of the other female inmates in prison with Piper. I say actually, because Weeds (also created by Jenji Kohan) was also decent before Season 4, when it got a little bit too far-fetched.

2. The show has several awesome literary references (which can be seen below).

Like when Piper threatens to make a teenage girl in a wheelchair her bitch using Pablo Neruda’s poem “Everyday you play.” Oh, but don’t worry, it was for charity:

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Or, when Taystee quotes from The Help:

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Or, when “Crazy Eyes” randomly starts quoting Shakespeare, quite convincingly I might add:

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As always, the best was saved for last–a spot on analysis by Piper of the much-read poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost:

Bam!
Bam!

3. In prison, inmates read a lot of books. The women on the show can constantly be seen with a book in hand. Miss. Claudette, Piper’s roommate, has her own small library, including books like Emma and and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. There are even a few copies of Fifty Shades of Grey lying around. I won’t list all of the books referenced and read by inmates on the show here, because the folks over at BuzzFeed already did that. To take a look at that list, click here.

It’ll be a while before the next season of Orange is the New Black airs on Netflix, but, for now, I think I might wait it out by reading a few of the books featured on BuzzFeed’s list–although, I think i’ll skip Fifty Shades. If I want to watch porn, I have a computer.

– Melanie Figueroa

Melanie Figueroa

Melanie is the Editor in Chief at The Poetics Project. Having earned a masters in writing and book publishing from Portland State University and gained experience as an in-house editor, she now works as a freelance editor and writer. Her favorite book is The Bell Jar. You can follow Melanie on Twitter or Instagram @wellmelsbells.

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