True confessions: I have a thing for prison dramas. Can’t get enough of the stuff.
It’s your fault, Netflix.
I’m having a pure love relationship with old episodes of Breakout Kings, but especially the first two minutes and thirty one seconds of breaking-out-of-the-penintentiary bliss. And the show doesn’t even get four full stars.
And Orange is the New Black? Ugh. Don’t get me started, don’t even get me started. It pretty much consumed a good 52 minutes of every night of our road until we wept like little schoolgirls, realizing that we’d have to wait an entire 10 months to view season two.
Now I’ll admit part of the problem is this: I live in San Francisco. I know, that’s like blaming Netflix for my own love of life in The Farm, when via live streaming, I’m willingly clicking “play.” First-world problems. But hear me out: when you choose to reside in the City by the Bay, you’re subconsciously choosing the Giants over any other form of so-called “baseball” in the state of California. You’re choosing organic meats and free-range chicken eggs, and with giddy delight, you’re picking up your CSA box every Thursday from the Outer Sunset. You’re biking and walking and taking public transportation as much as humanly possible, and you’ve always got a library book or your Kindle tucked into your bag for reading on the go. Because you are an educated, literate individual, and a conversation about such literary pursuits is always on the portals of your mind.
You just don’t watch TV, and you certainly don’t admit it as such on the Internet.
But I just did.
Is there a support meeting I can go to for this?
A couple weeks’ ago, Rachel Held Evans wrote a featured piece for the CNN Belief Blog on Breaking Bad, and while I don’t know if these meth-savvy stars eventually land themselves in Sing Sing, I appreciated her admission of loving the show. [Following RHE’s post, we too watched two episodes, but couldn’t continue with it: although, as she writes, the show puts us in touch with our own dark, sin-filled humanity, it was just a little too dark for our taste.]
So while Breaking Bad wasn’t my cup o’ tea, Orange is the New Black captured my heart, boomeranging it back to me again. And again and again. Certainly, themes of darkness pervade this show as well: violence and death and prison bitches; sex, drugs and, well actually, but for the Hallejujah-filled Christmas show at the end of season one, there’s not a whole lot of rock-n-roll.
But there is HOPE – and as some of you know, Hope is one of my very favorites. Hope is all that remains at the end of the day, after all the bad news has set in, and you’re not sure how you can make it another day. Hope is the grace note that keeps one going. Hope is that tiny little spark that lights the darkness, reminding all that light can invade the dreariest of situations.
So I suppose that’s why I made the very best of efforts to prioritize streaming Netflix over vacation: in a crazy sort of way, the show reminded me to hope and of hope, through the grimiest of landscapes. It’s a theme that pervades the landscape of plot and characters, and our leading lady, “Piper Chapman,” realizes that she’s no better than the women around her. Her experience transforms her, and our hearts are in her own soul’s greatest adventure of discovering true self. At the end of her orange-uniformed day, hope is all that remains for her and the show’s other characters: hope that she’ll be her authentic, true self, hope that she’ll find love, hope that she’ll empower others to do the same.
I’m in need of hope, in a clingy, desperate sort of way – and I’m betting you are as well.
So Hope, I leave room for you. I’ll look for you in the everyday, and I’ll lean into You, my Hope of Glory. I’ll find you in the little things, and when the good-hard comes, I’ll cling to you, for at the end of the day, you’re all I have left.
And don’t you worry, I’ll continue to click “play” on my prison dramas.
What about you? What gives you hope? Where do you find HOPE in the most unlikely of places?