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Sunday 4 December 2016

It seems that a violent, dirty, mediocre TV show is now the new black

Orange Is The New Black
Orange Is The New Black

I remember someone once asking me: "Do you think that being a lesbian ex-nun had anything to do with you getting onto Big Brother?"

Eh, duh. The question was as ridiculous as the famous Mrs Merton question to Debbie McGee, "so what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?"

Some things are just plain obvious and I imagine the people who commissioned Orange Is The New Black were pitched taglines and story lines that were as unsubtle as a lesbian ex-nun turning straight for a millionaire.

Orange, as we like to call it, is one of Netflix's most popular drama series and has ticked so many minority boxes it should be getting every diversity award under the sun. Lesbians, blacks, Hispanics, transgenders, nuns, hillbillys all play a part.

limited

It's sexy, violent, dirty (in a rat floating across the water sort of way). It's basic, blunt and fundamentally limited in the stories it tells.

It also has probably the most irritating opening title sequences of all time, with a music track that makes me want to tear my ears off. So why does this detention centre of mediocrity continue to capture my telly time? I'm not entirely sure.

Series Three so far is pretty dire. It opened with a Mother's Day-themed episode. To me it seemed like this was written halfway through the series and later shoehorned to the start. It came from nowhere and went nowhere.

The first and second seasons were much better. But still, the writing and story lines are so thin, the only enjoyment we get is from the sex scenes. And there ain't a lot of those to go around.

Orange is short enough to not get too frustrated with the disappointment and also short enough to skip on to the next episode, hoping for more. But taglines and labels will only get you so far. If you don't have the substance to back it up, you will eventually get caught out.

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