Screen In All The Right Places - Pt. 1: Orange Is The New Black
Students love nothing better than crashing in front of the television. Back in the day that used to mean ironically watching Podge and Rodge and Catchphrase. But we are in the middle of a TV revolution, with some of the greatest shows ever created now beamed into our living rooms. We talk to the stars of Netflix’s latest smash Orange Is The New Black and to the creator of the soon-to-conclude Breaking Bad.
Ed Power & Roe McDermott, 05 Sep 2013
Between Netflix, Sky+, UPC On Demand and the many wheel-cranking gnomes of the internet, the way we consume telly is definitely changing, but the post-show post-mortem, be it on Twitter, or at the office water cooler, ain’t going nowhere.
In 2013, we’re spending more time discussing the plot twists and turns of our favourite TV programmes than ever… and with more people than ever (if you found comfort in your Facebook feed after Dan Stevens’ shock departure from Downton Abbey, you’ll know what I mean!)
Thanks to innovators like Vince Gilligan, Lena Dunham and Louis C.K., telly drama has entered a new golden age, and frankly, we’re finding it hard to keep up!
For this reason (and also, because we think Laura Prepon is a stone cold fox!), we decided a Hot Press TV special was in order. Over the next few pages, we meetthe brilliant brains behind show-stopping dramas Orange Is The New Black and Breaking Bad as well as bigging up some of our favourite serials of the moment.
It seemed fitting to celebrate some of TV’s most talked-about shows in our annual Student Issue, given that Team Hot Press spent a good portion of our years in third level education catching up on and trading box-sets (shhh! don’t tell our professors!)
That said, even if you don’t have a huge amount of time on your hands, we whole-heartedly recommend you get acquainted with the brilliant shows profiled on the following pages.
Just don’t come crying to us when you find yourself planning your social calendar around Game Of Thrones binge-watching sessions…
Talk about a baptism of phwoar. For her very first scene in the buzzy new drama Orange Is The New Black, Laura Prepon was required to take all her clothes off and, tongues akimbo, snog co-star Taylor Schilling. It took half a day to shoot and was, it would appear, almost as squirm inducing as you imagine.
“It was a shower scene,” says Prepon, a 31-year old New Jersey native. “That was the opening shot on the opening day. Me and Taylor in the shower. I’d met Taylor already and knew we had creative chemistry. I remember saying to her, ‘Thank God it’s you I’m doing this with!’ I can’t imagine what it might have been like with someone else. It would have been different, that’s for sure.”
Orange Is The New Black is the hottest thing on television, even if it’s not on quite on TV. A prison drama set in an all women’s penitentiary it’s the latest production from on-demand streaming service Netflix and follows this year’s acclaimed remake of political romp House Of Cards. Based on the true life story of a middle-class woman dispatched to the clinker after a youthful flirtation with drug smuggling returns to haunt her - any resemblance to real world events is strictly coincidental – Orange has something for everything: snappy dialogue, richly evoked characters and – we might as well be the ones to say it – lashings of soft core lesbian goings on (that’s all bases covered then).
“When I saw the script, it was clear it was head and shoulders over everything I had read,” says Prepon, still best-known for playing Donna Pinciotti in That Seventies Show, with subsequent stints on Law And Order and CSI.
Originally she had auditioned for the lead role of Piper Chapman, an artisan soap creator banged up for helping transport laundered drug money ten years previously. That role went to Schilling, whose chief claim to our attention until now was acting opposite Zac Effron’s quiff in 2012 rom-dram The Lucky One. However, Orange... creator Jenji Cohan (credits include another suburban drug drama, Weeds) thought Prepon would be perfect as Alex Vause, Piper’s former drug smuggling lover (aka the one who got her into her present mess in the first place, with whom she reconnects, in a very physical sense, in prison).