You'd better sit down for this one.
You're speeding along through Netflix's newest original series Orange Is the New Black. You're really investing in the ups and downs of anti-heroine Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a white collar criminal adjusting to life in a New York prison. By now, despite all her flaws, you've come to love Piper. You wonder if she'll turn it all around and abandon her proclivity for bad choices. You wonder if she'll earn the trust and friendship of her fellow inmates, many of whom have not taken kindly to her uppity sensibilities. But you also wonder, on the other hand, if the prison will take her down, bury her beneath the dark rubble that exists within her. Well, wonder no further; it doesn't matter. Because she doesn't exist.
If you've made it to the 11th episode of Orange Is the New Black, you might have taken note of a gift bequeathed upon a group of downtrodden inmates by one Poussey Washington (Samira Wiley): a bag of Let's Potato Chips. An innocuous sight to many. But to Community fans, the Let's brand will jog a few memories.
Memories of Leonard "The Human Raisin" Rodriguez (Richard Erdman) proclaiming his delight with the snack food on his YouTube channel. Of Dean Craig Pelton (Jim Rash) paying an unannounced visit to students Troy Barnes (Donald Glover) and Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi), munchies in tow. Of Troy and girlfriend Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs) squabbling over the quality of the product... although that was a Season 4 episode, so we don't have to talk about it. Yes, while Let's may not be a real potato chip syndicate, it exists with quite a fervor in the Community universe. And, apparently, in the Orange Is the New Black universe. Which means, quite inarguably, that these two shows exist in the same universe.
And, of course, it doesn't stop there. Not even close.
If you're an Orange Is the New Black watcher, then we must assume you are a subscriber to Netflix. And if you are a living human, then we must assume that you're a fan of Arrested Development. In said case, you might have caught a glimpse of GOB munching a few Let's Potato Chips while chumming around with his newly acquired entourage. Does this mean there are three shows that fall into the mix? Hell no. It means there are about a thousand.
Back in the days of Arrested yore, fans were treated to a scrapbooking seminar taught by undercover detective John Munch — Richard Belzer's character in the Law & Order franchise. Belzer, as Munch, had a series of other one-off cameos (The X-Files, The Wire, Sesame Street, 30 Rock) and appeared on Homicide: Life on the Street... a show linked by the Alfre Woodard character Roxanne Turner to none other than St. Elsewhere. St. Elsewhere famously concluded by revealing (spoilers!) that the entire six-season reality existed inside the mind of an autistic child named Tommy Westphall. And with this reveal, it would be only logical to conclude that Homicide (due to the Turner connection) was also concocted by young Tommy. As well as every show linked to that one by John Munch... and every show linked to every one of those shows. It gets pretty extensive.
This is old news, of course. Many have spent years calculating the mass of victims of Tommy Westphall's insatiable imagination. And now, we can welcome Orange Is the New Black into this community. Also Community.
So next time you're watching Litchfield's psychotic world unravel around the hapless (or nefarious?) Piper Chapman, fearing you might no longer be able to bear the treacherous events crafted by Weeds creator Jenji Kohan, take relief in the simple fact that it's all just the daydreams of some kid staring into space in 1988.
But take heed: the Tommy Westphall universe is forever growing, striking down the veritability of people and places everywhere. You might be next.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter | Follow hollywood.com on Twitter @hollywood_com
More:'Orange' Is the New 'Lost''Orange Is the New Black' Has a 'Doug' Connection'The Simpsons' and 'Family Guy' Crossover
From Our PartnersBattle of the Bikini Bodies (Celebuzz)Fangbanging: Complete Guide to All of 'True Blood's Sex Scenes (Vh1)
FOB Heads to 90210: Fall Out Boy – who recently announced a comeback album/tour after a three year break – is set to perform on 90210 for an episode slated for April 29. The performance will be a part of a big concert event on the CW drama. The band will perform their new single, "My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light Em Up)," off their sixth studio album, Save Rock and Roll, which hits stores worldwide on May 6, 2013. [E!]
Pilot Castings Galore: The CW cast Arrow's Stephen Amell's cousin Robbie Amell as the lead in The Tomorrow People, the drama pilot from Arrow boss Greg Berlanti and The Vampire Diaries EP Julie Plec based on the 1970s UK series. [TVLine] Nicole Beharie landed the lead in Sleepy Hollow, Fox's drama pilot. The modern-day supernatural thriller is based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Daniel Stern has been cast in NBC's single-camera comedy pilot Girlfriend In a Coma as the father of the titular woman who wakes up from a coma to discover she has a 17-year-old daughter (Miranda Cosgrove). [Deadline] Joey McIntyre and Jessica Chaffin have been cast in CBS/Sony TV single-camera comedy pilot The McCarthys. Directed by Fred Savage, the comedy revolves around an Irish-Catholic, sports-crazed Boston clan and the gay son whose greatest sin is not his sexuality but his desire to spend less time with his family. The CW is bringing back another member from the original cast of The Selection. Australian actress Peta Sergeant has been added to the retooled pilot, reprising her role as Gaia, a rebel leader who is working to overthrow the monarchy. Sean Patrick Thomas is also reprising his role. Set 300 years in the future, The Selection is an epic romance centering on a working class young woman chosen by lottery to participate in a competition with 25 other women for the royal prince’s hand to become the nation’s next queen. [Deadline] Veronica Mars alum Ryan Hansen has signed on to CBS’ Bad Teacher, the single-camera comedy based on the 2011 Cameron Diaz movie about a sexy, foul-mouthed divorcee who becomes a teacher to find her next husband. Hansen will play Joel, the shorts-sporting athletic coach at Nixon Middle School. [TVLine] Mira Sorvino landed a starring role opposite Jim Gaffigan in his CBS comedy pilot. Written by Gaffigan and Peter Tolan, the project centers on Jim (Gaffigan) a guy who lives with his wife Jeannie (Sorvino) and five kids in a 2-bedroom New York apartment. Sorvino’s Jeannie is a super-wife and super-mom. [Deadline]
RELATED: TV Tidbits: Tricia Helfer Gets 'Killer' Role, 'OC' Alum Heads to 'Nashville'
Dwight Gets a Nemesis: Sopranos alum Michael Imperioli has been cast as a nemesis for The Office’s Dwight. He will play Sensei Billy, the karate instructor who's about ready to commit hara-kiri over Dwight’s inimitable "presence" in his dojo. Imperioli’s episode is slated to air in the spring. [TVLine]
Entourage Lady Heads to The Newsroom: Entourage’s Constance Zimmer has just been cast to recur on Aaron Sorkin's drama The Newsroom. On the upcoming Season 2, which reflects on the recent presidential campaign, Zimmer will play Taylor, a press spokesperson for the Mitt Romney campaign. [Deadline]
VH1 Picks Up 3 New Shows, Renews 1: VH1 has ordered three news shows for spring 2013: The Gossip Game, which follows ambitious women covering the urban entertainment beat; I’m Married To A…, a documentary series that examines some unusual couples in love; and 100 Sexiest Artists, a five-part countdown special. The network has also has picked up a third season of T.I. And Tiny: The Family Hustle, featuring rapper T.I. "Tip" Harris, his wife, entrepreneur and singer Tameka "Tiny" Harris, and their six children. [Deadline]
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Aruna Gilbert/Wenn]
From Our Partners:25 Forgotten Celebrity Crushes of the ‘90s (Vh1)30 Stars Who Have Gone Topless (Celebuzz)
Grey's Anatomy dropped a huge shocker last week when physician's advisor Dr. Alana Cahill revealed that the only way to save Seattle Grace from its inevitable bankruptcy is to sell it. But what does that mean for our favorite doctors, the ones with and without a large settlement from the plane crash fiasco?
Hollywood.com got the chance to chat with the woman behind the bearer of bad news, Constance Zimmer, about just that. Check out what she had to say about Thursday's all-new episode, Cahill's future (and her mysterious past with Dr. Weber!), and Seattle Grace itself:
RELATED: 'Grey's Anatomy' Recap: The Fate of Seattle Grace Comes to a (Fore)Closure
Hollywood.com: So tell me about Thursday’s episode, “The Face of Change”?
Constance Zimmer: I am bringing in some potential buyers to look at the hospital, and I show them everything I have implemented to make it a very well-oiled machine. At the same time, we’re trying to put a face to the hospital — specifically Jackson and Alex — so they are trying to compete to be the face of the hospital. And the rest of the hospital is trying to see how it’s going to operate without any ER anymore. So that brings up conflict, and it brings up people needing to do things behind other people’s backs.
So if there are multiple interested buyers, is there a difference between them?
Yes, it depends. For instance, we’re bringing in this company called Pegasus. Pegasus is a company that has taken over other hospitals, so Richard and Callie end up going on an adventure searching out these other hospitals that Pegasus has taken over, seeing how it would change their hospital if and when they were to take over Seattle Grace. It’s a very specific buyer, but they have to be able to see what they’ll get out of it.
Would this potential sale be good for the hospital and our favorite doctors?
Everybody has their own opinion. As far as Cahill’s opinion is concerned, it should be better for the doctors, because a more efficient hospital should be better for everybody, right? Patients and doctors and everybody involved. But I’m sure that the doctors don’t think so.
Should we be worried about the fate of anyone’s job during all these changes?
Anybody’s at risk when there’s a big change going on. But I also know that the risk means that people need to step up more. It’s a matter of if they could all step up. Even though they might be at risk, they can solve their own problems just by working together. You would hope.
RELATED: 'Grey's Anatomy' Preview: Mr. Seattle Grace
So we know that Alex and Jackson are going to be competing to be the face of Seattle Grace. Does that title come with any perks?
Not necessarily. It just means you get to see their face all over the hospital. It would be like being the brand ambassador. Going and having meetings, talking to people about the hospital — so they need an overall good package. Somebody that can represent the hospital overall; what it does for the patients and for people that work there.
Why was Cahill so reluctant to catch up with Dr. Weber, even though they knew each other from a long time ago? Is there a deeper story behind that?
The immediate story between them is that Dr. Weber represents a time in her life that is not a good time. It was something very specific that caused their time together to be cut short. You will get to hear the story in some episodes coming up about why that all stopped so abruptly. I just think that Weber represents a dream of hers that didn’t get to come to fruition. She doesn’t really have anything against him, it just reminds her of what she lost.
Does that have anything to do with why she stopped operating and became a physician’s advisor?
Yes. What happened to her to make her stop doing surgery was just too much emotionally. So she chose a profession where she could help people, but do it in a way where she maybe had more control over the situation.
Will Dr. Cahill be sticking around for a while, or have we almost neared the end of the line for her?
I did a total of five episodes, and this week will be my third. So you still have a couple more for me to bring in bad news!
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 PM ET/PT on ABC.
[Photo Credit: ABC]
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
From Our Partners:
40 Most Scandalous See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)
Insane ‘ Fast & Furious 6’ Trailer! (Moviefone)
Last season's American Horror Story tackled a haunted house in every sense of the word: We witnessed ghosts, an infantata, and a murderous rubber man terrorize the Harmon family. And this year, it looks like American Horror Story: Asylum is holding nothing back once again.
We've had the scary pleasure of watching the first two episodes of the new season, and Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have set up one crazy story (ahem, no pun intended). AHS: Asylum premieres Wednesday, and to tide you over until then, I’ve compiled a list of the 10 things you need to know to prepare yourselves for this dark, twisted, no-holds-barred round two — and it goes without saying that this is spoiler-free!
1. Like we have already pointed out after viewing AHS: Asylum's trailers, Jenna Dewan and Adam Levine’s newlywed couple are asking for it. Now, what "it" is, I'm not going to say, nor am I going to reveal whether "it" is good or bad. But, boy, do they deserve it. Whatever it is.
2. Bloody Face is an accurate name for the legendary serial killer. And his weapon of choice is quite surprising. Evil things come in small packages.
3. The death chute indeed exists, and dead bodies do disappear... after, of course, serving a purpose as disgusting as it is mysterious. Oh, Ryan Murphy.
4. While promos led us to assume that Jessica Lange’s asylum headmistress would be as scandalous and evil as last season's Constance, this time around, she actually serves as a Greek chorus, trying to figure out alongside the audience who is behind the evil in Briarcliff. 5. That’s not to say she is entirely innocent either. Sister Jude has committed her own sins in the past, and they will definitely be revealed. Let's just say she's a long way from holy. 6. If you thought last season's ghosts and frankenbaby were crazy, get ready for an out-of-this-world encounter. 7. Bloody Face isn’t the only person to fear in Briarcliff… and Briarcliff isn’t the only place to fear Bloody Face. 8. Zachary Quinto’s psychiatrist does a complete 180 from his ghostly counterpart in Season 1. 9. Bloody Face may not be responsible for all the murders associated with him. So who is the other monster hiding in plain sight? 10. While there is plenty to fear inside the sanitorium, is it really safer to be outside? There is something moving in the woods surrounding Briarcliff... and a nun is feeding it. And we're not talkin' communion wafers. Ready to be spooked? Tune into AHS: Asylum, which premieres Wednesday on FX. Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum [Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FX] More: 'American Horror Story: Asylum': Watch the First Five Minutes Now! 'American Horror Story: Asylum' Scares Up New Promo -- VIDEO 'American Horror Story' Teaser Is Just As Weird As You Thought It Would Be — VIDEO