14
Aug
13

Orange May be the New Black but Larry is Just an Old Jackass

“Waahhhh my fiance is in prison it’s so tough on meeeeeeeee… can you hand me another scotch and the TV remote?” image via listal.com

So I finally finished the first season of Orange is the New Black, one of Netflix’s batch of original series (all of which have been interesting and well executed efforts).

For those who don’t know, Orange is the New Black is the story of Piper Chapman, a woman serving a prison term for carrying drug money for her former girlfriend, Alex, when she was younger. Life had moved on for Piper, known among the prisoners as Chapman, but her past eventually caught up with her.

I know it’s been pretty hit or miss for people so far but overall I liked it quite a bit.

What I haven’t enjoyed has been the character of Larry, Chapman’s fiance.

Oh, by the way:

seriously kids don't open that door if you don't want them

seriously kids don’t open that door if you don’t want them

I suppose in order to contrast the insanity and abnormality of prison, the creators of Orange is the New Black decided they needed to balance it out with the normal world outside the barbed wired fences and prison walls.

Hence Larry, the fiance.

Any scene with Larry’s character is one, long, whine-filled segment of annoying filler.

Mind you, it’s not the fault of Jason Biggs, the actor. I don’t mind him, though he plays virtually the same character in everything I’ve ever seen him in.

No, the problem is that the writers have done a bad job of making him sympathetic. It’s really hard to feel anything but loathing for a guy complaining that he’s oh so lonely because he wife is in prison when he complains to his yuppie friends in his comfy pub while his wife is having her sleeping cube tossed by douche-bag the guard.

It’s like “hey I’m sure it’s really rough for you having to masturbate instead of having sex with your girlfriend but you know she’s in prison right?”

Followed by “feel free to finish sipping your Blue Moon beer and watching the end of the Yankee game before you answer, I’m sure your fiance will wait while she gets searched for contraband.”

The problem is that we only see Larry – or Chapman’s mom, her brother, her fiend Polly, Larry’s parents – occasionally and briefly. It’s not his show. It’s Chapman’s and as she’s in prison, well, that’s where the show is.

Unfortunately, since we’re supposed to see some of the life she is missing, we get stuck with Larry. Just not enough to show him in a sympathetic light.  In fact, just about every person in Chapman’s pre-prison life is a complete ass.

Even when Larry finally gets his “big break” as a writer, he (and it) comes off as self-serving. Larry writes an article about the effect of her incarceration on them as a couple, but while Chapman seems fine with it he clearly goes into details she’s not OK with. He then follows it up with an appearance on radio where he tells even more stories out of turn, which makes her life a nightmare.

At that point he’s found out that Chapman is sleeping with Alex Vause – the woman who got her into this mess in the first place. Instead of calling Piper on it or talking to her, he dodges her calls (a pretty petty thing to do to an inmate) and then heads onto the radio to blab about things he shouldn’t.

Even he says it’s childish and vindictive.

There’s an interesting angle here – that we often spend parts of our relationships pissed off at how our partner’s issues impact us, not them – but if that is subtext here, it’s so deep that we can’t see it.

So for Season 2 of this show, I truly hope that if Larry returns (and one assumes he will) they find a way to make him an actual character and not just a whiny douche.

Either that or have Pennsatucky survive and shank him in the Visitor’s Room.

Hey, are you following Dad Moon Rising on Twitter or Facebook? Why the hell not?

Advertisements

1 Response to “Orange May be the New Black but Larry is Just an Old Jackass”


  1. 1 Marie
    August 26, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    So I started watching, thanks to this post, and the fact that its by the creators of Weeds. Which as it turns out, is incredibly obvious, and I kind of like that it is. I was running out of shows with incredibly fucked up characters. I mean really, who wants to actually relate to a tv show? I want to get away from reality, not re-live it. Anyway, question. Why Pennsatucky specifically? I almost think that actually, she would be doing Chapman a favor.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow me on Twitter

Enter your email for updates right to your inbox by magical email fairies named Ted and Sammy.

Join 222 other followers

What I’m Into:

Reading: Dead Beat by Jim Butcher Listening to: The Heist, Macklemore Watching: Damages

%d bloggers like this: