Jason Biggs 370.
(photo credit: Reuters)
One day, years from now, when your grandkids are streaming content directly to
their brains, you’ll be able to share with them tales of an era when most TV
series could only be seen on something called network television.
remember,” you’ll say wistfully, leaning on your cane, “When it all started to
change, when Netflix broke ground by releasing an entire season of ‘Arrested
Development’—all at once! Next came ‘Orange Is the New Black.’ Now was that ever
better than the garbage you kids are watching these days!”
What, you say? You
haven’t yet tuned into the show everyone’s talking about? The one about Piper
Chapman, an artisinal soap-making yuppie spending 15 months in a federal women’s prison
for carrying a suitcase of drug money her former drug-dealing lesbian lover
(Laura Prepon)? Well then you really should—it’s pretty freaking
But we’re not here to tell you about how this show from “Weeds”
creator Jenji Kohan will likely help shape the future of TV. Instead, this being
6NoBacon and all, our job is to let you know that the series has a prominent
Jewish character: Larry Bloom, played by Jason Biggs.
While others in the
blogosphere have expressed concern that Larry is problematically painted in very
broad strokes as a typical New York Jew, we disagree. Sure, his parents (yenta
mom, lawyer dad) do sort of fit this description, but if you’re going to stuff
this guy into a box, it would be less JAP and more gentrified Brooklyn type. A
guy on “Girls” who has finally grown up, one might say.
Larry, a writer
who doesn’t appear to ever write anything, shops at Whole Foods, watches “Mad
Men,” and roasts a whole pig for Piper’s prison send-off party. Oh yeah, and he
also helps Piper’s brother fix his trailer–like with tools and everything. Not
exactly behavior you’d see from the male castmates on “Princesses: Long
Any doubt that he might not be Jewish is erased early on, in the
scene in which he proposes to Piper.
“Why would I want a felonious former
Lesbian WASP shiksa who is about to go to prison to marry me?” He asks, removing
a ring from a Ziploc bag. “Why? Because this underachieving, underemployed
Jewboy loves her.”
The truth is, despite a few awesome lines like this
one, Larry is one of the least complex characters on the show. But we attribute
this less to his cultural identity than to his gender. While the other men we
see on “Orange Is the New Black”–most of whom work inside the prison–are more
interesting than Piper’s husband-to-be, they are less layered and intelligent
than the female inmates they are trying to keep in check.
Not exactly the
kind of thing you see on most shows, but then again, this is Netflix. Here’s to
the future of television.