Netflix stock just keeps going up, and reviews for Orange Is the New Black are more than just the icing on the cake of an impressive awards season for the streaming service: They cement Netflix’s place as a real player in the paid programming world.
Dylan Matthews of The Washington Post calls Orange Is the New Black “the best TV show about prison ever made,” and compares it to lauded dramas like Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Nora Grenfell of Mashable dubbed the show “the series Netflix was made for,” and cited it as proof of concept for Netflix.
She says it’s “a new kind of show that thrives under the streaming programming model rather than being compromised by it.”
Netflix started wading into the waters of original programming last year with its highly-publicized ad star-laden House of Cards, which managed to cinch pretty good reviews. They followed-up with the lackluster Hemlock Grove and a fourth season for Arrested Development, but it wasn’t until last week’s Emmy announcements that Netflix managed to elbow its way in among the greats at HBO, Showtime and AMC.
TV fanatic though I am and avowed believer in the Netflix model as the “future” of television, I haven’t gotten to Orange Is the New Black yet. It’s sitting in the instant queue alright, but after the high of House of Cards, the low of Hemlock Grove, and the happy in-between of Arrested Development Season 4, I just didn’t have the energy for a new Netflix show at the now.
But as we speak, I’m firing up the Playstation 3 and am about to press “play” on episode one of Orange Is the New Black just as soon as I hit “publish” here. Why? Because of Maureen Ryan.
“I don’t want to watch them,” The Huffington Post TV critic says of the last two episodes of Orange Is the New Black. “Actually, I do want to watch them, very much, but if I watch them, I’ll be done with the season. If I finish, there will be no more new episodes. I won’t get to spend any more time with the inmates of the Litchfield prison, and leaving that place has become a terrifying idea.”
That’s exactly how we all feel about that special show that changed your life, isn’t it? How many feel that way about Firefly, or how many fewer feel that way the obscure Bruce Campbell vehicle Brisco County Jr.?
In less than one year, Netflix managed to skate past awkward original content launch and into the big time with Kevin Spacey, a Vampire Diaries clone, a little help from the Bluths, and now a visit to the big house. The content will continue to be discussed, but perhaps not as much as Netflix itself, what it means for television and perhaps, in the near future, film.
Rightly so, I say. Off to watch Orange Is the New Black. Happy Monday!