Some spoilers, but not really.
Hand up, I’m probably late to the Dannemora party. But I watched four episodes of this show over the weekend, and it is AWESOME. Man oh man. It makes me want to go to prison! I want to “do time”!! Nothing too crazy—maybe a month or two. Just enough time to make some friends, take up painting, and beat a bunch of the best basketball players in H.O.R.S.E. Christ, I’ve got chills just thinking about the crowds that would gather as I upstage the most badass hoop star in the joint with my hook shots and behind-the-backboard loopers. They’d call me Red, probably. As in, “Watch out for Red. He’s connected.”
Obviously I haven’t finished the show, and I don’t remember the outcome of this story when it happened in real life. I’m desperately avoiding the Wikipedia page so as to be surprised by the ending. BUT, here’s my biggest takeaway so far: men will do ANYTHING for freedom.
We used to talk about beer goggles in college. This was the phenomenon of seeing people around you as more attractive than they actually were, because you were wearing beer-influenced lenses. Threes became fives, fives became sevens, etc. We’ve all been there. We also have the friend who routinely hooked up with creatures of the depths and blamed it on alcohol, even though he/she would do it sober too. It was funny for years; now it’s just a bummer.
Dannemora taught me that beer goggles are a joke compared to prison goggles. Oh my goodness, Paul Dano and Benicio Del Toro end up seducing Patricia Arquette’s “Tilly” so that she’ll help them escape. And buddy, she is a sight for sore, blind eyes. Arquette is brilliant and gained a ton of weight for the role. They basically had her do what Charlize Theron did for Monster. I don’t think it’s sexist to say that her character is revolting, because that’s what they were going for. She wears these horrific shirts, her hair is a nightmare, and she would be unfuckable in 99% of all environments. Except prison.
Ironically, Paul Dano has sex with her before Benicio approaches him about escaping. Which means that Paul Dano wasn’t banging her for his freedom; he was just banging her because, uhhh, he wanted to. When you’ve been in prison for a decade, I guess you’ll take what you can get. Even if it looks like a human quilt.
Here’s the real Joyce Mitchell:
And here’s Patricia Arquette in the role: