Monthly Archives: June 2014

How “Orange is the New Black” Can Teach a Teen

Photo credit:  Netflix

Photo credit: Netflix

I just found out that Diva, my 16-year-old daughter (not her real name), watches “Orange is the New Black”.  I’m sure  you have heard of this superb Netflix drama.  The basic premise of the show is life in a woman’s prison.  The main character is taken from a middle/upper class environment and thrown in prison for a crime she committed several years ago.  The writing is excellent and the acting is great.  You get to know all of these women and their back stories make for interesting watching.  “Orange” gives you everything from drama to comedy to tragedy.  I binged watched the entire first season over three days.  I was hyped about watching the second season.

And then Diva dropped an OITNB reference and I froze.  My first thought was to cancel the Netflix subscription.  This show has language, violence and nudity.  And sex.  It is not suitable for children.  Is it appropriate for a teenager?  No. I was going to cancel Netflix.  (Right after I watched Season 2, of course.  Priorities, people.)

Then I decided to do something revolutionary.  I talked to my daughter to see what it was she was getting from the show.  She was getting an in your face manual of what happens when you make wrong decisions and follow the wrong people.  She was getting an illustration of every lesson I have been preaching/teaching.  OITNB was acting as a teaching tool for some serious decisions.

Netflix stays.  My season 2 viewing is saved.  And I have a better understanding of the way my daughter thinks about life.  Thanks to OITNB.   Or I could be a really bad parent.  Who knows.  Diva just wants me to catch up on the season so we can discuss.


Graduation Day


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