Brown is the New Black

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.

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One thought on “Brown is the New Black

  1. I got turned on to this blog via a Stars & Stripes article on Manning. I just watched this series after a point-out from NPR. The thing I think that struck me most was how much the min security prison enviornment reminded me of being deployed. The anxiety & dread knowing you were about to be on lock-down. The lack of contact w/the outside world, the changing nature of relationships, the “Groundhog Day” effect. We always joked about the correlation while we were there, but didn’t realize how close it was until watching this & listening to interviews w/the real Pipper. Thanks for helping CI to keep this blog, giving us another view of life on the inside. Best to both of you.

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