Netflix certainly has been on a roll with their TV shows—House of Cards, Arrested Development, and now, Orange Is The New Black. Chances are you’re already watching Orange Is The New Black, but if you haven’t heard of this Netflix original series, then you need to watch it as soon as possible. Preferably immediately.
The dramedy, based on the memoir by Piper Kerman, was created by Jenji Kohan—the same mind behind Weeds. It follows one young woman, Piper Chapman (played by Taylor Schilling), who made a very big and very illegal mistake 10 years ago—transporting drug money for her then-girlfriend Alex. She now has to deal with the consequence—a 15 month prison sentence at a women’s facility. Once Piper begins to serve her time, we see how her prison sentence affects her relationships with her fiancé and her family, how her naiveté gets her into trouble with other inmates, and how she eventually forms bonds with these other women. Through every interaction, we learn about an array of characters like Crazy Eyes, Pennsatucky, Alex, and Red. Each one has a compelling story as to how they wound up in prison. As a viewer, you will start to empathize with them and you’ll hate when they are taken advantage of by prison guards and the prison system. The show is also well-acted; the actors are able to balance comedic performances with dramatic story lines. On top of that, the writers have tackled how to make hard-hitting issues (racism, dysfunctional families, and sexuality) work in a lighter format.
There are too many reasons why Orange Is The New Black is so good. It’s raunchy, hilarious, and very bizarre. But at the same time, it has a lot of heart. Once you watch the first episode, you’ll be hooked. You may or may not be guilty of watching the rest of the season in just a few days—we certainly are.
Orange Is The New Black is available for instant streaming on Netflix.