Go Go Gadget Nit-Picky ‘OITNB’ Complaint!
LIKE you, I’m a huge fan of the Netflix original series, “Orange Is The New Black.”
Oh my goodness, huge fan. Huge fan.
From the theme song that goes on and on and on and on and on for, I believe – and correct me if I’m wrong – the first twenty-three minutes of each episode’s fifty-five-minute run time, to the marvelously uneven writing that ricochets back and forth willy-nilly between intense drama to absurd comedy, to the cast of 1,200 characters we’re supposed to keep track of and care about, to – now understand I haven’t spent any considerable time in women’s prison – what I would guess are some rather unrealistic story lines, to a self-absorbed main character that, heaven help us all, the average female viewer is supposed to identify with, my God, I can’t get enough of this show!
Another reason I keep tuning in is that I like cartoons, and due to that wildly erratic writing, a good portion of the cast are required to play their roles as cartoon characters, at least half of the time.
Besides, I’m thrilled to see renowned Twitter wag Jason Biggs (Jim from “American Pie”) back here playing a new character, “Jim-from-American-Pie.”
[Side note: Deborah Rush, who played Jim’s future mother-in-law in “American Wedding” is back , too, playing a new character: “Jim’s-Future-Mother-In-Law-in-American-Wedding!” Hooray!]
Wait, OITNB fans argue, Bigg’s character’s name is Larry – and he’s playing a completely different character here.
Oh, my, yes. Yes, of course he is.
…And yet then there’s this, which directly references two iconic scenes from the first and third “American Pie” movies:
Sadly, I’m not Jason Biggs – though like you, I aspire to be him someday. But if I was Jason Biggs, why, I’d have taken one look at those lines in the script and say, “Nuh-uh. Nope. Change it.”
I’d probably even take the series creator, Jenji Kohan, aside and say something helpful like, “Okay, you’re trying to do a progressive, groundbreaking show about women in prison…and you’re going to squander it on references to my old movies…Really? Reeeally?”
But I’m guessing Jason Biggs was probably too busy crafting one of those delightfully mean-spirited Tweets of his to notice the details of the script.
Anyway – where was I?
Ah yes – cartoons. For a show whose writers evidently are cartoons fans as well, I find it shocking when they get details of actual cartoons wrong. Shocking!
Case in point:
Lead character Pooper Chapstick, returning from a little vacation to another prison, finds that in her absence, all of her stuff has been co-opted by the other inmates. While reclaiming a tiny radio, she’s called “Inspector Gadget” by Cindy, the girl who took it.
To which Pooper expresses over-the-top indignation, and replies with…
As many of you know, oh my goodness, I’m a huge fan of “Inspector Gadget.”
(No seriously, I am.)
So I find that last line inexcusable.
There is no “the” before the dog’s name in “Inspector Gadget.” It was never Penny and the Brain. It’s Penny and Brain.
There’s “Pinky and the Brain,” sure, but those are different characters from a different cartoon from a different decade.
If you’re going to make a point to derail a scene so the main character can spout some cute dialogue purely for a cheap laugh, you might want to get the details right.
It’s almost as bad as me somehow getting main character Piper Chapman’s name wrong up there.
Anyway, Cindy obviously agrees with me. She has no interest in being schooled on the minutia of 1980s cartoons and casually replies with a much more believable line that almost redeems the inanity of Piper’s dialogue:
Or maybe she was just more of a “Jem” fan.