Critics That ‘Orange is the New Black’ Can’t Win Over? The Formerly Incarcerated
“Orange is the New Black” had a big night at the Critics’ Choice Awards.
From E! Online:
The ladies of Orange Is the New Black walked away big winners tonight at the fourth annual 2014 Critics’ Choice TV Awards snagging Best Comedy Series, along with two more awards for Supporting Actress in a Comedy (Kate Mulgrew) and Guest Performer in a Comedy (Uzo Aduba). Aduba thanked OITNB showrunner Jenji Kohan “for changing my life.”
But if there’s at least one group of critics that the show can’t win over, it’s the formerly incarcerated. Adam Dawson of the Washington City Paper sat down and watched the first four episodes of season two with Sarah K., a white former heroin addict who spent more than four years in a Maryland state prison for armed robbery. Sarah remarks that the show nails the racist imbalance in sentencing laws:
Alex convinces Piper to lie on the witness stand. Alex then tells the truth when it’s her turn to testify. She is then apparently freed.
I’ll totally believe that.
Oh, people turn on each other constantly. All the time. And not even for getting released, you know? They do it for getting their sentence reduced by a few months. Anyone who tells you there’s this honor code, or thinks that their homeboys won’t rat them out is in for a rude awakening. But I’ll tell you the most believable thing about this whole series is the idea that Piper only got 15 months for running dope money.
Why is that believable?
Because she’s white, rich, and blonde.
Does that make a difference?
I’m a white blonde girl who went out and willfully fucked up and committed armed robbery, and I got five years. There were tons of black girls in my prison who were holding onto a bag of dope for a couple of days, and they always seemed to get, like, 10 years. If you ever find yourself in prison and wonder why there’s tension between white and black, shit like that is probably one of the reasons.
That’s incredibly unfair.
It absolutely is. But that didn’t prevent me from moonwalking the fuck out of that place when the time came.
But other things, like the kitchen and the playful banter with guards, are totally unrealistic. You can read more of her review here. And as for cheering for the show, Sarah makes it clear: “Its prison, dude. There’s nothing to cheer about.”