Friday, 23 May 2014

How Orange Is The New Black Helped My Relationship

I don't know if you are as addicted to Netflix as I am, but it is miles better than Sky or Virgin. Why pay a bomb for subscription TV when you can pay £6 a month and have more TV and movies than you could ever wish for? (And before you wonder, no this isn't a sponsored post, how I wish it was!)

After watching something on Netflix one night, a trailer for Orange Is The New Black came on, and as I was too lazy to switch the Xbox remote back on, I watched it. Back in the day I was a big fan of Bad Girls, and this looked like a similar kind of thing, so I gave it a go.

Well. I was completely hooked straight away, I watched 3 episodes that night, and stayed awake for them all which is a miracle in itself! I was having to watch at least one episode a night, and was squealing, talking to and laughing at the TV, proof of a brilliant TV show, and you should go watch them all before the new series starts on June 6th if you haven't already.

I bet if you have watched it you are wondering how it helped my relationship, as none of the relationships shown in the show are particularly good ones, whether it's the one between Piper (the main character, who has ended up in prison due to transferring cash years ago for her drug smuggler ex-girlfriend) and her fiance Larry, Piper and the drug smuggler ex, or the inmate and the prison guard. However, the situation between Piper and Larry hit home with me, because Piper has been sent somewhere she doesn't particularly want to go, and has to remain there for a finite amount of time. Larry has been left behind in his old life, waiting for Piper to come back and carry on where they left off. They can talk regularly, but they can't see each other, and the world that Piper is in is a very different one to the one Larry is in, and he has never experienced anything like what Piper is going through.

This is really similar to Rich and myself at the moment, as he is similar to Piper in the fact that he is off in a completely different place and is stuck there until his "sentence" is up, and I am at home, on pause until he returns, similar to Larry. When Rich first left, a lot of relationship tension was generated from us both feeling like we had the worst deal, the other one had it so much easier and why couldn't they understand just how bad it was for them? We were both feeling the same way, and it wasn't until watching Orange Is The New Black, when Larry and Piper were having a very similar conversation, and I was siding with Piper, did I realise the comparison. It finally helped me to see things from Rich's point of view, how so much is going on at home that he has no control over, and how much he missed the normal things, which he couldn't do anymore in the same way, and just because he doesn't have to deal with the everyday rubbish like bills and house maintenance doesn't mean that he has it easy. He has a whole different set of things to deal with, it isn't a holiday for him any more than being home is a holiday for me.

Once this realisation dawned on me I felt terrible, and we had a huge chat where we both began to see things from each others viewpoint and it really helped to eliminate the tension between us so we could relax into the deployment and begin to support each other again. Ever since things have been so much better between us, and although it sucks that he's away, it is now very manageable and the end is coasting into sight.

Who knew that such an awesome TV show could have helped to improve my relationship? I think this should be mandatory viewing for all couples about to go though deployment, as it really helps to show things from both sides of the story, and you feel sorry for both of them.

If that isn't a reason to go watch Orange Is The New Black I don't know what else is. If you have already watched it - THE END OF THE LAST EPISODE!!!!!! I was shouting at my TV that the season couldn't end there, and I was on my feet. Literally. Getting so excited for season 2 now, and I love that Netflix are releasing all of the episodes at once. Roll on June 6th!

Rachel x


  1. OITNB is excellent - I spent the first few episodes feeling tense and expecting people to get shivved. Once I realised it wasn't that sort of prison show I really enjoyed it :) Glad to hear it helped you put some relationship things into a different perspective too! xxx

  2. that is one of the reasons why i love tv so much. it can help you through hard times, give you advice, give you a new perspective on things. whoever said tv was a waste of time was delusional.


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