Tag Archives: Taryn Manning

Orange Is The New Black (TV Series)

TV Review: Orange Is The New Black


Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) is engaged to Larry (Jason Biggs).  Her soap-making business she started with her best friend has products being carried at Barney’s department stores.   She juices, eats clean, and happily buys her groceries at Wholefoods.  Piper lives the ideal, suburban, preppy life.  Piper Chapman is also going to prison to serve a 15-month sentence for a drug smuggling-related crime committed ten years prior for her then-girlfriend-lover.  Based on Piper Kerman’s best-selling memoir of the same name, the 13-episode series documents Piper’s year spent at a lower-security federal prison.

“This is the most impressive group of female characters ever assembled in a series.”  Los Angeles Times

An all-womens Oz prison drama?  No, although there are at times moments of intensity.  A LOL-inducing comedy?  Yes and no.  Orange Is The New Black is what one would expect and want from television creator Jenji Kohan, the woman responsible for the outrageously delicious dramedy Weeds.  The show successfully fuses its comedic and dramatic storylines, but it’s the colorful characters and solid performances that are the driving force of this series.


The motley cast of standout characters include Piper’s former girlfriend Alex (Laura Prepon), prison “HBIC” inmate Red (Kate Mulgrew), resident loud-mouth Nicky (Natasha Lyonne), the Bible-touting “Pennsatucky” (frighteningly played by Taryn Manning), transgendered wife & mother Sophia (Laverne Cox), the hilarious “Crazy Eyes” stalker (Uzo Aduba) and the twerkalicious Taystee (Danielle Brooks).  All of these characters along with many others of the series are so interesting and engaging to watch that they practically take turns equally stealing scenes from one another.

Orange Is The New Black does however belong to Taylor Schilling‘s Piper.  Besides the Nicholas Sparks color-by-numbers film adaptation of The Lucky One, I had never seen or heard of Schilling before this.  She wows as the series lead, and maintains a clear presence amid the other showy characters and flashy plotlines.  Even when you know that her character is making a mistake, you still root for her unlike the many other series where you just roll your eyes and secretly want to see that character get punished.


“…if you are currently paying Netflix a fee, your membership just became more rewarding.”  USA TODAY

I liked House of Cards, but wasn’t completely slayed.  I just couldn’t get into Eli Roth’s deplorable Hemlock Grove.  And I don’t necessarily count Arrested Development as a true Netflix original series.  But even if I did, Orange Is The New Black trumps them all as the on-demand streaming service’s first original magnum opus.  It’s got a whole lot of heart and soul, and is guaranteed to make you laugh.  Orange Is The New Black is INDEED the new black!

Final Verdict:  WATCH THIS!


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The Year-End Lie

New Years Eve 2012 with Jonathan, Angela & Mike

New Years Eve 2012 with Jonathan & Harry

New Years Eve 2012 Party #1: Mike Hammonds’

Here is the LIE in print as written January of last year:  “I never had a kick-ass New Year’s Eve ever.  I’ve done the whole “go hard or go home” partying, I’ve dabbled in the intimate & lowkey evening with close friends, I’ve even slept through the countdown to midnight.  I just never had THAT New Year’s Eve night that should go down in my personal history books.

Each and every single year, it seems that my friends and I are scrambling last minute to figure out something to do.  We toy with the idea of doing something together, only to be separated from one another on the big night.  The two times that I were with my close friends were the only two nights that were actually memorable.

This particular year, it was the same ol’ New Year’s song & dance routine.  “What are you doing?  Where are you going?  Do you wanna do this?  Should we just go here?” …and on and on.

So, I’ve decided to to host my own New Year’s Eve party this year, that is if the world is still spinning after December 21, 2012.  It is something that I always casually mentioned doing, but kept putting off and never put into action.  So you all read it here first: there is proof in writing that I am throwing a New Year’s party in 2012!”

New Years Eve 2012 with Jess

New Years Eve 2012 Party #2: Jess’s

I lied.  I did not host a New Years Eve party as promised, mainly because I was suffering from event going & planning fatigue that accompanies the oversaturated Fall season (birthday, Thanksgiving and a dozen Christmas parties).  Also, I had already made plans to fly out to California to meet Neil.  When those travel plans fizzled, I succumbed to the usual no-plans for New Years Eve slump.  Staying home to watch the Ball Drop (or sleep through it)?  I’ve done it before and would not mind having to do it again.  Luckily, two close friends decided to throw intimate gatherings at their houses which became my New Years Eve 2012 plans.

I started the year off with a lie, and ended the year with that same lie… but everything in between those lies were fun and memorable times.  2012 was one of my favorite years in recent memory, and that is the TRUTH!

So here is this year’s lie promise, I promise to host a New Years Party in 2013 have plans for New Years Eve 2013 far in advance this year.  Happy New Year everybody!

Taryn Manning – Send Me Your Love (featuring Sultan + Ned Shepard)

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