Trapped, trapped, trapped 'til the cage is full
February will be here very soon, boys and girls. And you know what that means, right? It means that "29 Posts in 28 Days" will be here very soon.
As in previous years, 2 or 3 lines will celebrate February – the shortest month of the year – with daily posts (plus a bonus post on SuperBowl Sunday) instead of following its usual thrice-weekly schedule.
Today's post incorporates both themes – sort of. It does so only indirectly, of course. I'm a tricky fellow, and I'm not going to make it easy for you to figure out what the two themes are.
The themes will usually be expressed in the title of the featured song, or the artists who recorded it. But sometimes the quoted lyrics express the theme. And on occasion – this post is an example – the theme is expressed elsewhere in the post. (Like I said, I'm a tricky fellow.)
So good luck figuring out what the two themes of this year "29 Posts in 28 Days" are. First one to come up with the correct answers will win lunch with yours truly, Mr. 2 or 3 lines himself.
Perhaps the most striking thing about the Netflix television series, Orange Is the New Black – which is set in a women's prison – is that none of the female characters look like the women you usually see on television or in the movies. If you're looking for eye candy, I suggest you watch Entourage or Californication instead.
Orange Is the New Black has over 30 recurring female inmate roles. They include white, black, and Hispanic characters – plus one very strange Asian woman. Some of the prisoners are younger, and some are older. Some are in good shape, but many are overweight – and a couple are very overweight.
Some are straight, and some are gay, while some are essentially straight but have sex with fellow inmates out of loneliness or simple erotic need. One character is a transgendered woman, who is played by a transgendered female actress.
Orange Is the New Black has received virtually unanimous critical acclaim. It received 12 Emmy Award nominations after its first season, including one for "Outstanding Comedy Series."
The show has many funny moments, but it's hardly what most people would think of as a comedy. However, the competition among drama series has been much tougher the last few years than the competition among comedy series. Click here to read more about Emmy category shenanigans.
The dramatic signature of Orange Is the New Black is its regular use of flashbacks to reveal the characters' backstories. Those flashbacks give depth to the recurring characters, and make them three-dimensional individuals . . . warts and all. Without the flashbacks, you'd have a hard time keeping all the characters straight.
|Laura Prepon in her "That 70s Show" days|
One of the lead characters is played by Laura Prepon, who I remember vividly from That '70s Show. I had a pretty major crush on her back then, but she's barely recognizable as the same person who played Donna, the 19-year-old, redheaded girl-next-door who made That '70s Show must-see TV.
No one would call Prepon a girl-next-door type any more. In Orange Is the New Black, she portrays a thirty-something drug dealer with loads of tattoos, horn-rimmed glasses, and black hair.
The scariest character on the show is probably Tiffany "Pennsytucky" Doggett. Pennsytucky is a skinny little redneck meth addict who had five abortions before she was locked up. While in prison, she found Jesus and became an aggressive proselytizer.
I have a hard time not averting my gaze when Pennsatucky is speaking because she suffers from an advanced case of "meth mouth" -- the severe decay and other dental problems that methamphetamine users often exhibit.
Pennsatucky is not a pretty sight, boys and girls, and the actress who portrays her (Taryn Manning) deserves a lot of credit for her willingness to look about as repulsive and unattractive as any female character I've ever seen on television. (Kudos to the people who do her makeup.)
|"Pennsatucky" (Taryn Manning)|
A shortened version of our featured song, "You've Got Time," plays during the opening credits of the show. "You've Got Time" (which was nominated for a 2014 Grammy) was written and recorded by Regina Spektor, who was born in Moscow but moved to the U.S. with her parents and brother in 1989, when she was nine years old.
Spektor, who has recorded six studio albums, names the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Radiohead, Tom Waits, and Frédéric Chopin as her primary musical influences.
"You've Got Time"was written specifically for Orange Is the New Black. The lyrics – which are both clever and poignant – are an excellent fit for the show.
Here's "You've Got Time":
Click below to buy the song from Amazon: