I kept seeing people on my social media networks talk about this Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black. I had even seen a preview for it somewhere, but it exited my brain as fast as it went in. A close friend of mine posted on Facebook that he watched the entire series in a weekend; he couldn't stop and was completely addicted. Well, I'm all about being addicted to a television show that I can watch back-to-back while I crochet. I decided to give it a go since I have Netflix streaming and I'm so glad I did! There is a perfect balance of drama and comedy in the series, which is based on the book by Piper Kerman, Orange is the New black: My Year in a Women's Prison.
Reason #1: Piper Chapman - The lead character played by the magnificent Taylor Schilling, brings quick wit and an apparent naivety. She is a hoity toity, blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl that you are sure is going to get eaten alive when she enters prison for the next fifteen months of her life. She is in the seemingly perfect, trendy relationship with Larry (Jason Biggs, who is also fantastic in this role) in New York when her past comes back to haunt her. Ten years ago she was in a lesbian relationship with Alex Vause (Laura Prepon), who was part of an international drug cartel. Piper carried a bag of money once and her action has now reared its ugly head. All the while, this information comes as a big surprise to Larry.
Reason #2: Alex Vause - Piper's former former girlfriend happens to be locked up in the same prison. Gone are the days of That 70's Show, Laura Prepon delivers her character perfectly. A dominant, yet seductive lesbian that can nearly get a straight woman's heart racing. There is an excellent tension between Alex and Piper that eventually borders along the line of longing for each other.
Reason #3: Crazy Eyes - I love this woman. Played by the brilliant Uzo Aduba - she is able to make you feel afraid of her, laugh at her, and sympathize with her all in one episode. She's nuts, but deep down I think her intentions are good. Honestly though, if I was in prison and had to be someone's wife, I'd probably choose her only because nobody messes with Crazy Eyes! If you need just one reason to watch this show, it's her.
Reason #4: Daya and Officer Bennett - I love these two. Their relationship is so wrong (not to mention illegal), but it is so right. They comes from two different worlds and could very well have nothing in common, but they connect and all you can do is root for them. Daya (Dash Polanco) is so sweet it almost seems like she shouldn't be locked up. As for Officer Bennett (Matt McGorry)...well, I'll be the first to admit I have one heck of a crush on him.
Reason #5: Prison Politics - Being one that has never stepped foot in a prison, I always imagined it being scary, no one is to be trusted, and you run the risk of getting a beat-down for looking at someone wrong. However, bonds are in fact made between inmates, but can easily be broken. Forgiveness doesn't come easily when you wrong someone, even if by mistake (as Piper learns in the first episode), and actions speak much louder than words. It's all about what you can do for/give to someone to make things right.
You'll love to hate Pornstache, laugh along with Taystee, want to be a part of Red's posse of "daughters", and want to hang out with the transsexual, Sophia just because she is fabulous. If you haven't watched Orange is the New Black, plan your weekend in, invite a friend over, settle in with some snacks, turn on your Netflix, and welcome to the addiction.
The second season is currently being filmed in New York and will be released in 2014.
**Note, the show is not to the faint of heart!**