Orange is the New Black (Season 1 and 2) Review

The Netflix TV Series ‘Orange is the New Black’ has successfully been able to capture our attention through its nitty gritty narrative and unforgettable characters.

Orange is the New Black (OITNB) follows the life of Piper Chapman who lands herself in prison by getting mixed up with her ex-girlfriends international drug smuggling business. As episodes go by we see what prison is like through the eyes of Chapman. We begin to learn the rules of staying safe, who we can trust and what we can say. Chapman ultimately discovers new friends and learns a whole lot more about herself.

Indeed every sentence has a story and OITNB wonderfully portrays this through character storytelling and actually giving these ‘criminals’ a chance to share their story. Creater Jenjie Kohan tells the story in not only an entertaining way, but where we quench for the next episode wanting to see more drama and learn about new characters. The show is incredibly funny and there are a number of memorable scenes and pieces of dialogue. It’s gripping and most importantly, it’s real. There’s something about the show where it doesn’t hide away the truth, it doesn’t put on a stereotypical costume nor portrays anything pretty. It’s all real, hardcore people, confused emotions and a whole lot of different drama. From emotional moments of missing your family, to relentless treats of snotty food, to being felt up when no ones watching.

And what makes the show come alive, is the memorable characters:

piper chapman

Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman, portrays this strong women who believes she can get through this, but not strong enough to admit who she really loves. As well as being understanding, Chapman proves she has a temper and when she gets angry you can literally see smoke coming out of her ears! I like the fact that she’s smart and snoops her way round prison. After learning her lesson, she now tries to stay out of trouble, but manages to complete her mission with always leaving a few accidental marks.

Nicky copy

Natasha Lyonne as Nicky ‘Nickels’ is one of my favourite characters. Her carefree and laid back personality is somewhat likeable. You can count on her to keep a secret and she’s always there to talk to. She comes out with some of the funniest things and dies down the tension. As a past drug addict, Nicky’s done well with keeping herself clean, especially with help from her prison family which includes her prison mother ‘Red’.

AlexLaura Prepon as Alex Vause, the girlfriend everybody’s after is one of those brave people who literally does not care about what anyone thinks. She always puts on this sneaky smile and her romance with Chapman is somewhat cared for.

Crazy eyesUzo Aduba as Susan Warren or should I say ‘Crazy Eyes’ is definitely the highlight of the show. Indeed she’s crazy, but we quite like her character. Yes she can go pretty insane sometimes, but when she calms down and actually realises her mistakes or what she’s become, we sort of feel sorry for her.

RedKate Mulgrew as Red, is the fierce one who lets no one come in her way. With being the kitchen chef and bringing in contraband, she ultimately had this power over the girls and literally ran the prison under her nose. Though, with being caught out and ripped from the one thing she loves; cooking, Red struggles to get back to the top. She finds a way out of the weak light, by discovering a hole in her latest garden club. In rivalry against Vee, Red causes a few hiccups and lets just say ends up losing that red streak she always had.

VeeNevertheless, this brings me onto Vee Parker (Lorraine Toussaint) the mother of heroin and a very violent person. Her words spoken with power yet soft keeping the inmates scared and wary to get in her business. Get in trouble with Vee and you’ve had it. But lets just say that Red’s discovered hole, makes Vee vanish for good (Well atleast that’s what I think).

LornaYael Stone as Lorna, the one with the red lips and blushed face, is always so smiley and friendly. Chapman’s first friend and kind-of trustworthy driver. Lorna is quite the psycho and has the tendency to stalk her ex boyfriend. Yet her friendly attitude makes her likable and her passion for dreaming is plausible.

TaysteeTaystee (Danielle Brooks), also one of my favourite characters, her bubbly attitude and hilarious approach is amazing. She’s like one of those people you need as a friend. She would stand up to anyone and is always there for a laugh. She gets you and will let no BS get in the way.

PousseyPoussey (Samira Wiley), best friend of Taystee, is yet another memorable character who is full of swag. Poussey is incredibly hilarious and a brave soul. Standing up against Vee is something she truly believes in, she’s not a follower and values friendship. A friend like P is definitely one-of-a-kind.

DayaDascha Polanco as Daya, along with her Spanish crew or should I say ‘family’ bring the cultural side to OITNB. Yes Spanish people seem quite fierce, they’re strong and direct, but they stick together. Getting pregnant isn’t her only issue, but dancing between two guys, one she loves (a kind correctional officer – Bennet) and one she hates (another correctional officer –Mendez) seems simple yet gets complicated. They’re both OC’s. Nuff’ said.

DoggettDogget (Taryn Manning) a great believer of Jesus, sticks to what she believes in. She plays this irritating character, yet her independency and bravery can be plausible. She’s quite close with her counselor buddy, Healey and believes in expressing her feelings.

Big BooBig Boo (Lea DeLaria), who can forget Boo, the one that’s always hungry and I’m not just talking about food. She gets around pretty quickly, especially competing with Nicky. We thought she was a good friend, but she turned out to be a tell tale in exchange for candy.

SophiaLaverne Cox as Sophie, a transgender women who ends up in prison due to fraud.  She’s a brave woman who believes in her rights and will do anything to get her hormone treatment going. Did I also mention she’s the prison hairdresser? She fits right in.

I could go on with the characters, as they’re all endlessly brilliant in their own way. From the inmates, to the correctional officers, they bring their own personalities and traits to the table and that’s what makes OITNB different (and addictive).

If you haven’t watched it yet, then your definitely missing out. Season three is currently filming and is set to be released in 2015.

2 thoughts on “Orange is the New Black (Season 1 and 2) Review

  1. The first season was better than the second, by far, however, they’re both pretty amazing. Needless to say, I’m absolutely hooked for season 3. Good review Meera.

    1. Yes the first season felt more fresh in every episode, whereas the second towards the end was quite dragging! But yes overall its a brilliant show, looking forward for season three 🙂 Thanks for you comment.

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