People have many reasons for watching the show, but I am watching it for the same reason I watched Sons of Anarchy and the Walking Dead. It is interesting to me when a great writer can bring together a group of amazing actors that can make an audience actually feel what is happening in the moment. I enjoy watching the characters grow and follow their chosen path, especially when a writer can pave that path with the true heartache or joy that a real person would be feeling in that moment. When presented with something scary or horrific or challenging, how would we react? What lengths would we go to for those we love? For someone to love?
Taryn's performance evoked emotion from me, and validated for me the sadness and anguish felt from a rather unhappy early twenty's memory. When a character can do that without uttering a word, I'm drawn to the performance. Relateable characters are so few and far between today. I hope that I can write a character someday like Pennsatucky - a character that reaches out and touches someone through the world that's been created on the pages or the screen. She is like so many of us women are: a little flawed, a little broken, a little strong, and still so hopeful to find the best in life.
I've said before that I definitely include characters in my books that are created off of people from my life, which is very true. I also put a bit of myself into my characters. Writing them with my past experiences and hopes for the future allows me to make something positive out of things I'm not so proud of from the past. Sometimes the path they choose is my way of making a better decision than I did when I was younger, and sometimes it's a way for me to write out the path I could have taken and wisely chose not to.
I look at my baby girl and hope that she has the courage and strength to sidestep the same poor choices I made when presented with options as she grows. However, while I sometimes wish that I didn't have the memories OITNB evoked from me in her last episode - from a time when I was lonely, heartbroken, and afraid - I am also grateful for each choice I've made because the decisions and the consequences push me to think more and write more and remember that every day is a new opportunity.