Orange is the New Black is a fantastic show. A show that begs viewers to binge watch. A show that deserves to be watched anywhere, anytime…except on a plane. Because I did that recently and boy did things get awkward.
I had just begun the second season during a trip to New York. I was midway through when I jumped on a return flight to Detroit. It was Southwest and I got on early, picked an aisle seat close to the back. It was a late flight, departing after 10pm. I hoped the darkness would allow me some privacy, perhaps a row to myself if I was lucky. If you’re familiar with the show, you know of its racy content. The shower scenes, the strip searches, the sex in the church—at times OITNB makes Game of Thrones seem G-rated. It’s not something you want to watch with a child nearby.
It was just my luck when a mother and daughter sat down next to me. The daughter being no more than 8-years-old. I rolled my eyes as they shuffled passed me to their seats. Secretly I considered dropping a horrific fart, a stink bomb so rancid that it would blind them for the flight’s entirety. Alas, my gas was only sub-par that night, a direct result of having skipped my usual lunch of hard-boiled eggs and broccoli. But I digress.
I waited until the flight had completely boarded, waited for the lights to go off before opening my tablet. I took the opportunity to smile at the mom next to me, hoped she understood what I was about to embark on.
I was 5 minutes in when things went south. A shower scene with prisoners running around naked.
It was a buffet of boobs and butts. It was all up in my face. I looked around, checked to see if anybody was peeping on me. I made a slight adjustment, leaned the tablet away from the mom and child. It was now at a 45 degree angle to the aisle.
I appeared to be in the clear. I exhaled, moved on with the episode. I figured that was the worst of it. I would finish this episode without a hitch. Boy was I wrong—very, very wrong.
About 13 minutes later there was a flashback scene. It literally came out of nowhere. I think I turned my head for a brief second. When I returned, HOLY LESBIAN ACTION. Possibly the most aggressive in the show’s history. There was scissoring, there was oral sex, there was moaning—it was Cinemax at night, it was softcore porn.
I quickly turned my head. With the tablet in the aisle, I knew there was a chance wandering eyes would notice. And what do you know? Joe Pervert, in the aisle seat one row behind me had his eyes glued to the screen. We made eye contact. It was brief. It was awkward. He looked away.
A bead of sweat appeared on my forehead. I thought about giving up right then and there. Maybe catch a few z’s before the flight landed. As I was pondering this, the sex scene reached a denouement. The women laid side-by-side, their breasts and hoo-hahs covered up for the time being. I relaxed, assumed a segue to a less risque scene would follow.
For the second time that night I was wrong. Very, very wrong.
A passionate kiss led to some aggressive cunnilingus. By the time my hand reached the stop button, the damage had been done. A menacing flight attendant walked by, gave me the stink eye. Another woman across the aisle looked at me disapprovingly. Like a mom who had just caught her son masturbating.
I was surrounded by judgmental women. Women who assumed I was a porn enthusiast. Women who assumed I was just a pervert on a plane.
Thankfully, the scene concluded and thankfully I caught what happened. I don’t want to spoil it for y’all out there but the ending turned out important to Poussey’s storyline.
I finished the episode without a hitch. I didn’t dare delve into another one. The flight landed not long after. I did my best to avoid eye contact with the flight attendant and the nosy woman across from me. I grabbed my carry-on and made a bee line for the parking lot.
It wasn’t until driving home that I questioned what the hell happened.
Was I pervert? Was I wrong for watching OITNB on a flight? Is there some unwritten rule about what you can watch on a plane?