When I first heard the concept behind Orange is the new black, I have to say, I was not intrigued. That is because the idea of women in prison going at it for the audience’s viewing pleasure seemed just too much like a porn movie than anything else. After a couple of days after its release I started reading everywhere on the net that is was “the best lesbian show ever”, so I felt obliged to give it a try. And I’m glad I did.
Orange is the new black is completely different from what I was expecting. First of all, it’s based on a true story. It follows the story of a woman, Piper(played by Taylor Shilling), who, about to get married, gets incarcerated for a year for a crime committed ten years before: she had helped her then girlfriend to bring some drug money from one country to another. Here’s the twist though: when she gets to jail, who is there with her? Of course, her former girlfriend Alex (Laura Prepon).
I don’t want to spoil too much of the story, so I’ll just say that in the show is that we get to follow Piper in her new little universe, and we see her changing before our eyes. When she first gets in she is this very blond very middle class very appropriate woman, who has nothing to do with pretty much anybody in there, and we see her having a really hard time adjusting to the new reality. What’s great about this, is that even though there are some strong and dark topics, the show still manages to be light and fun for most of the time.
Besides adapting to the new life in prison, Piper has to deal with everything she’s left behind at home, from her fiancé to her job, and we’ll see how this will become more and more challenging as the episodes go by. I think the writers and the director have done a really terrific job conveying that sense of distance that she starts feeling after a while, and as a viewer you get sucked into this weird dimension that is the prison life, where there are many rules to follow, most of which are hard to understand (to give you an example, the women, by their own initiative, are divided into three main groups: Latinas, white women and black women).
The best part though, what in my opinion makes the show really worth watching, is the incredible supporting cast that makes up all of the inmates. Every episode focuses on the past life of one of the ladies, showing us where they come from and how they’ve ended up in jail.
Last but not least, I would say that Piper and Alex have really great chemistry: the two actresses work really great together and they play with your feelings a lot throughout the entire season. It might have also helped that I have a little crush on Alex, and I can definitely say that I’m in good company.
All the episodes came out on the same day on Netflix, so you can watch is the good way and binge if you feel like it. The show has already been picked up for season two and, after the last episode of season one, I can’t wait to see how it’s going to work out.
I’ve really enjoyed this show, I think it’s different than what you usually see on television, and it’s a lot of fun. Does anybody else think so? What did you like the most about it? What did you hate? Let me know in the comments!