Right before the release of “Orange is the New Black” season 4, I read an article that listed how much time each inmate has left, how long she has been in prison, and why she was there. Even just reading the one-sentence descriptions brought me almost to tears while commuting to work on the subway. Each character is that vivid.
Jenji Kohan has a way of writing and showrunning that somehow makes a story come from the bottom of each character’s heart. She writes about women being powerful and messing up. Becoming antiheroes. She adds something to the television landscape that was missing.
Orange is the New Black changed the way we watch television. It changed the way we judge television. The creative process and timing on set every single day is changed by the way they do hair and makeup. Each year, somehow, more than a trilogy-sized film comes and goes in a weekend.
The show is renewed for at least three more seasons; Ms. Kohan has another show in development at Neflix (“Glow”); and the actors continue to soar as they gain notoriety and respect.
Sometimes when I watch the show, I am clutching my chest in agony. Sometimes I am laughing at the jokes. But there is an ever-present and enormous amount of respect and awe to all the people that create this show. Filmmaking is a team art. Congratulations to all involved, and thank you.