Netflix series coming to a course near you

One of television’s most talked-about shows is the topic of a new course at SVSU.

“Orange is the New Black,” a Netflix original series, premiered on the video streaming website in July 2013. The show is currently in its second season, with a third season being filmed.

The show revolves around the lives of inmates in a New York women’s federal prison. Piper Chapman, the protagonist, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for passing off a suitcase of drug money to her then-girlfriend.

Kim Lacey, assistant professor of English, will integrate the show into her curriculum next semester as the subject for her two blocks of ENGL 212. The topic will be “Writing about Oppression on TV.”

Lacey, a big fan of the show, said there were many elements that factored into her decision to run “Orange is the New Black” as the topic of her courses.

“When I was watching the show, I just wanted to talk about it constantly online,” she said. “People are obsessed with it, and it’s very interesting to talk to students about it.”

The course will focus on gender, race, class and the current state of the United States’ prison system.

More importantly, what Lacey wants to give students is an outlet to discuss these topics.

“I always try to incorporate pop culture into any course I teach, and I’ve become so obsessed with the show, so I want to keep talking about its important themes as much as possible,” Lacey said. “I feel a lot of these themes are gaining more attention, but many still don’t know how to talk about them yet.”

Those who enroll in the course will watch both seasons in their entirety – some episodes in class, some as homework.

The show’s content will be coupled in the curriculum with the textbook “Media Messages: What Film, Television, and Popular Music Teach Us About Race, Class, Gender, and Sexual Orientation” by Linda Holtzman and Leon Sharpe.

Though the show has increasingly grown in popularity since its 2013 premiere, Lacey is excited for the chance to discuss the show with those who haven’t watched the show yet.

“Many have seen the show already, but there were a couple of students who’ve enrolled who haven’t yet that want to know what it’s all about,” she said.

Depending on the success of the course, Lacey is not opposed to exploring other shows upon which to base her curriculum, such as “The Wire” and “Sons of Anarchy.”

Both blocks of the course being offered next semester are filled. Though overrides are not offered at this time, any students interested in more information can email Lacey at [email protected].

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