Netflix scores a win with Orange is the New Black


Netflix is currently sitting pretty. With original programming already demanding attention from the Emmys, it is starting to look like Netflix might be a big winner when it comes to television awards and at less than $10 a month for a subscription, it’s easily a bargain.

But Netflix isn’t even a television station, it’s a web service, an archive that houses thousands of television shows, documentaries, independent and feature films, all of which were syndicated from various networks until now.  Recently, Netflix set out on a new venture, and in a short period of time, it has proven to be more successful than ever imagined.

Netflix originals are directed, produced, and distributed exclusively for Netflix.  This original programming includes shows like Hemlock Grove, House of Cards, Derek and the widely successful Orange is the New Black.

Decidedly the most popular and most talked about Netflix original, Orange is the New Black or OITNB, released season two in its entirety on June 6 of this year.  This comedy-drama, sometimes called a dramedy, tends to transcend societal guidelines. It explores a whole new sector of life, something that the audience is both intrigued by and fears: prison.  While the show is relentlessly juicy, it still manages to deliver when it comes to comedy.  And rightly so since you might find yourself in need of something light once you completely immerse yourself in the intensity and tragedy.

Binge watching OITNB is nearly impossible to avoid.  Delving into the lives of these inmates, one genuinely becomes emotionally invested in the trials and tribulations of their day to day lives.  The intricate story lines and intense relationships that go on within the confines of the “lock up” are so enticing that it is easy to get caught up.

Created by Jenji Kohan who gave us HBO’s hit WEEDS, OITNB centers around a white, debutante-like, rich girl named Piper played by Taylor Shilling. She has been thrown into prison for her involvement in the international drug trade.  Piper’s ex-girlfriend Alex, played by Laura Prepon, is an integral part of her incarceration.  There are also fan favorites with nicknames like Red, Posseau and Tasty, and some you love to hate like Vee and Pennsatucky.

Race, lesbian relationships, prison abuses, drugs, rape, and considerable amounts of scandal are just a few of the subjects that OITNB has tackled, so be warned, this is not a show for the whole family.  Orange is the New Black has received rave reviews, bypassing criticism for its raunchy exploits and copious amounts of lesbian shower sex.  It continues to be one of the most viewed shows on Netflix.

In addition to its prominent standing on Netflix, OITNB has won the Critic’s Choice Award for best comedy show and is being considered for other, including several Emmys.  Taylor Shilling (Piper) has been nominated for Best Lead Actress in a comedy series, Kate Mulgrew (Red) for Outstanding Supporting Actress and LaVerne Cox (Sophia) and Uzo Aduba (Crazy Eyes) for Outstanding Guest Actress in a comedy series.

If all the controversial subject matter isn’t enough to persuade you to check out OITNB, the stellar cast and multiple Emmy nominations should convince you. Filled with drama, human relationships, comedy and suspense, OITNB could very well become your new guilty pleasure.