Formerly incarcerated woman on why 'Orange Is The New Black' is mostly inaccurate

Orange is the New Black.

Orange is the New Black.

A confession: I'm not a fan of the TV series "Orange is the New Black." I love some of the actors on the show, but I think it's kind of a romanticized white fantasy that makes cute of an experience that is not cute, as even today's headlines on this very blog reveal. With glee, I read this Washington City Paper analysis of the show by a woman who served time in prison on a drug-related offense. She is very funny, and her critique is informative.

So this kitchen is unrealistic?

This kitchen is fucking Fantasy Island! There are a lot of things that drive me crazy about the show, but the kitchen is killing me. In the first season there always seemed to be these wooden crates loaded with fresh vegetables, like Whole Foods was catering everybody’s lockdown experience, and Star Trek [Red] was running around with a clipboard, barking orders at everybody.

Weren’t prisoners put to work in the kitchen?

Sure, but the idea that one chick would be this kitchen overlord is ridiculous. The guards would never allow one prisoner to have that much authority. And “working in the kitchen” means “Open that can. Put it in the pot. Turn on the heat. Go mop the floor. Come back. Stir. Go mop again. Go over there. Put that tray of fish sticks in. Press the button. Repeat.” And guards were back there supervising the whole thing.

So no deep fat fryers, dough mixers, or deli meat cutters?

What, so some crackhead chick with a grudge can throw hot oil on somebody? Or push somebody’s hand into the meat slicer? Or use the dough mixer to fuck their hands up so they can get sent to the infirmary for some Vicodin? Hell no. I’d also like to point out that the handyman working on the radiator with no guard protection whatsoever has all sorts of screwdrivers and wrenches just hanging on his tool belt. They might as well have just stabbed him before he went to work and saved him the commute.

“Where the Fuck Are All the Guards?!” An Ex-Con Reviews Orange Is the New Black

[HT: @carolynedgar]