Thursday 5 September 2013

Telly Obsession: Orange Is the New Black


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A couple of weeks ago, after watching episode 9 ('Blood Money') of Breaking Bad on Netflix, I sat slumped across my bed, feeling gutted that I had to wait another week to watch the next installment of my favourite tv series. In true Netflix style, something random started playing all of a sudden and instead of getting up to turn it off, like I normally would - I found myself intrigued by what I was seeing.

It was the promotional trailer for a new Netflix original series called Orange Is the New Black. After watching this trailer, I decided to give the series a whirl and before I knew it, I found myself binge-watching episodes everyday until the ungodly hour of 4AM.

I would describe Orange Is the New Black as an American version of the UK hit show Bad Girls, only slightly less harrowing and a lot funnier.

OITNB follows the life of Piper Chapman, who is uprooted from her 'normal' happy life with her fiance, Larry Bloom, when she is summoned to serve a 15 month sentence for a crime she committed in her earlier life. The series focuses on her time in prison and the trials and tribulations she faces when trying to 'fit in' with her fellow inmates and earn their respect. Piper makes some friends straight away such as Nicky Nichols and Lorna Morello, but others prove harder to connect with, and Piper finds herself out of her depths when trying to build friendships with them. In another unexpected twist, Piper finds herself face to face with her ex lesbian lover, Alex Vause, who is also serving time in the same prison. Alex was the reason for Piper's arrest, as they were both involved in an international drug smuggling scheme, and therefore Piper is initially raging when she sees her. However, over the course of the series, sparks fly chemistry-wise and the two find themselves seeking solace in each other.

What I personally love about this programme is the complexity of it. While Piper Chapman is the main character, and we follow her story, we also get to know the personalities of other characters within the prison. You will find yourself loving even the scariest of characters as you are shown their background and upbringing in a series of flashbacks which show the reason for each inmates arrest. My personal favourite characters are Tasha 'Taystee' Jefferson and Nicky Nichols. Yet I find myself enjoying the crazy and slightly scary characters of Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren and god-fearing Tiffany 'Pennsatucky' Doggett.

While Orange Is the New Black has some fantastically funny moments, it also explores themes like rape, drug addiction and homelessness in a realistic manner through its clever intertwining stories and flashbacks. Each character tells a different story but when stripped back, many of them are very similar. Because of this, the series also contains inner morals and values which become apparent when a character has a lesson to be learnt.

OITNB is one of those programmes you will be glued to. I found it impossible to watch just one episode and am now lost after finishing series one. While no date has been set for series two yet, it has been reported that Netflix commissioned a second series before the first had even aired, and we can expect this sometime in 2014.

I would seriously encourage anyone who is a fan of dramedies to give this show a chance. Even the opening theme 'You've Got Time' by Regina Spektor is incredibly catchy and will be stuck in your head for days. Get yourself a Netflix account - or borrow a friends like I do - and get watching the first series, I guarantee that by the end, you will be itching to watch the second!


  1. Tempted!
    Following you now! Great blog. Hope you follow back too :D
    Red Alice

  2. I absolutely love Orange is the New Black! I love the humor, with a touch of serious, but man the characters are so easy to get attached and like, with all of their flaws.