I don’t normally write posts of my own on this blog I maintain for Russ, but I think I should publish a short note regarding a TV show I recently watched called Orange is the New Black by Jenji Kohan, creator of Weeds.
The first season of the show, which is now available on Netflix, follows a “yuppie” white woman through the first few months of her 15 months sentence in a women’s prison in upstate New York. The story is an adaptation of a book written by the real life version of the show’s main character.
I heard about the show via an article on TV|Line and immediately started streaming the first episode. I didn’t consciously decide to watch it because I wanted to get a glimpse of what
Russ’ life might be like, but that’s what I think I got. The show illustrates many of the nuances of prison life that Russ writes about in his letters and tries to explain in his posts. Like Russ has described the inmate population at the USDB, the women’s prisonsubculture is divided along racial lines. There are what Russ calls “heavies,” who, for the most part, keep the discipline and structure of the prison just as effectively (if not more so) than the guards do.
Here’s a great Q & A between Jenji and my favorite entertainment website, TV|Line.