I just finished binge watching season one of the Netflix original series Orange Is The New Black.
I have officially become an addict of this new show. I’m actually playing Regina Spektor songs as I’m writing this post.
I started watching this show with my mom, which is to put it mildly, incredibly awkward and uncomfortable. But, as it turned out, I wasn’t the only one addicted. Where do I begin on the awesomeness that is Orange Is The New Black?
Let’s begin with a synopsis of what this show is about. Piper Chapman, a Brooklyn yuppie, decides to turn herself into the police for a crime she committed ten years ago. She’s a WASP who lives in a gentrified section of Brooklyn in a fabulous brownstone she shares with her fiancé Larry. However, 10 years ago when Piper got involved in some shenanigans with her then girlfriend Alex, she got caught up in an international heroin drug ring and helped Alex smuggle drugs in and out of the country. The privileged and allegedly “straight-laced” Piper is not all she appears to be.
The show introduces a colorful cast of characters which consist of fellow female inmates that Piper meets while she is incarcerated. The main characters truly give the show a life of its own.
Here’s a list:
I would classify her as the matriarch of the prison along with Red. She is feared among the inmates due to rumors of being a murderer. She was actually jailed for running a slave labor cleaning service. There is a mysterious quality about her character and there is a strong dichotomy between her nurturing and her capacity for violence.
Her child-like voice and waif frame gives her an innocence that makes her very approachable. She teaches Yoga in the women’s prison and gives advice and a listening ear to anyone who needs it. Yoga Jones is carrying around a heavy burden about her past that weighs as much as an anvil. She is one of the few inmates who feel remorse for her crime.
Alex is the woman responsible for Piper’s actions which led to her imprisonment. Alex comes from a single-parent childhood where she struggled financially. She soon found that pushing illegal substances was something she was really good at and it afforded her the opportunity to have the kind of wealth she always wanted. Alex is still in love with Piper.
Sophia is a transgendered woman who is fighting to maintain a relationship with her son from behind the four walls of prison. She’s the go-to-girlfriend for small talk at the salon and can hook you up with a fabulous do! Her crime was credit card fraud. Red Red is another matriarch who runs the kitchen and the Caucasian population in the prison. She was involved with the Russian mob and has taken several cues from her experiences with the mafia in organizing contraband through the kitchen. She has the power to feed or starve prisoners at will.
Nicky is a tough girl with a thick New England accent who is a member of Red’s group. She is a former drug addict who nearly died because of her excessive use which led to a bacterial infection of the heart. She has an on-again off-again relationship with Morello.
Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren is everything her name implies. She is wide-eyed mentally unstable prisoner who has a crazed obsession with Piper, who she refers to as “Dandelion”. She appears at moments to be more of an idiot savant than an actual crazy person. Her back story has yet to be defined.
Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett
Pennsatucky is a demented religious nut who works diligently to spread the Gospel to anyone willing to listen…or unwilling to listen. She killed an abortion doctor with a shotgun shortly after having one herself which led to her prison sentence.
Janae is one of the few prisoners with a background of privilege. She was a track star with a promising future, her insecurities got the best of her when it came to being a successful athlete in a neighborhood filled with less than successful people. She fell into a downward spiral filled with a life of crime.
Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson
Taystee is one of the more boisterous characters on the show; she was the only inmate to be released from the prison, and unfortunately returns shortly thereafter.
There are several other notable characters like Diaz, Menendez, Figueroa, Caputo and many more. The show has been approved for a second season on Netflix and I’m hungry and ready for a second dose of what the new season has to offer.
What are your thoughts on Orange Is The New Black?
Do you love it or hate it?