#OrangeistheNewBlack is All the Rage and #Netflix #Gold

orange-is-the-new-black-logoOrange is the New Black went live on Netflix with its first season on July 11th. Within days, it became a hit. And, within days, the colorful cast of characters who live within the walls of the prison with the protagonist, Piper Chapman, became household names.  Red, Crazy Eyes, Pornstache, and Taystee all mean something to you if you’re watching the show. The amount of fabulous character actresses on this show is insane and it’s unbelievably entertaining. There are also inside references to American Pie (because of Jason Biggs and Natasha Leone, respectfully) and Star Trek (Kate Mulgrew played Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager. ) If you don’t have Netflix, get it. It’s worth it just to be able to binge-watch all 13 episodes of the first season. The show has been adapted from the memoir of an ex-con and Smith educated woman, Piper Kerman, who served 13 of her 15 month sentence in a federal prison for money laundering and drug trafficking. Even though it’s inspired by true events, the mix of reality and the world of the show is well balanced. It may seem intense. But leave it up to creator Jenji Kohan of Weeds fame to help add a little humor to prison. The characters are the real deal, including the actors who play them. It’s so wonderful to see a show where the writing is funny AND smart and the cast is predominantly female.  Netflix has really stepped up their game in recent years with original online-only content. This show is the reason to join the millions of subscribers.

 

The New Standard: #OrphanBlack Changes the Way Actors Look at Acting

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BBC America has always pushed the envelope when it comes to programming. From imports like Doctor Who and Sherlock to its original content like Copper,  it has some of the best shows on television. The new show Orphan Black which premiered in March of this year, is an actor’s dream job. Star Tatiana Maslany plays seven, count’em, SEVEN DIFFERENT characters. Much of the time, she is acting against herself. Her approach is reminiscent of the chameleon-like qualities of Meryl Streep, with the visceral intuitiveness of Angelina Jolie. Here’s the catch though. Her training is heavily improv based. Acting throughout her native Canada as a child, she became involved with an improv troupe and acted with them for ten years. As an actor, I think the series, especially the first season, is a master class for other actors. Watching the show makes me want to study more and work harder at my craft. Honestly, it makes me want to hone my skills as an actor and I don’t think any television show has done that for me.  Tatiana Maslany is definitely an actor’s actor. The characters are so vastly different that people may forget that they are watching the same person act. It’s amazing, and honestly, I can’t talk much about details without giving away the plot. But check out the clips below: