On this day in 2013, Orange
is the New Black premiered on Netflix. Ever since the show burst onto
everyone with an internet connection’s radar, it has been praised for its fresh
depictions of women’s stories and has been introducing baby lesbians to their
new celebrity crushes with characters like Poussey Washington, Alex Vause, and
The ensemble cast of Orange is the New Black pose for a promo photo for season one (x).
Loosely based on a 2010 memoir titled Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, the show
tells the story of Piper Chapman, a wealthy white woman who is sentenced
to 15 months in Litchfield Penitentiary for having been involved in her
ex-girlfriend’s drug smuggling business 10 years prior. Although Piper is in a seemingly happy marriage with her husband Larry, her relationship status is complicated when she discovers that her ex-girlfriend, Alex Vause, is also doing time at Litchfield. Piper is technically
the main character of the series, but she has been described as a “Trojan horse” by
the series’ own creator, Jenji Kohan; it is through Piper’s perspective that
the audience enters Litchfield, but when there, the show is undeniably stolen by
her nuanced and lovable supporting characters. Piper’s privileged life is put in stark contrast
with the unprivileged lives of her prison mates who are varyingly lesbian, trans,
low-income women of color.
Take a trip down memory lane and watch the trailer for season one of the series!
The fifth season of Orange
is the New Black was just released in June of 2017 and, to date, it is the
most viewed original series Netflix has ever produced. After the first season
was released in 2013, the series won an impressive 12 Emmy wins and has been nominated
for a collection of Emmys and Golden Globes ever since its debut. Although the
show attempts to tackle social issues such as the prison-industrial complex and police
brutality, it has often missed the mark and received backlash,
particularly for the killing of Poussey Washington in season four who was a
beloved fan favorite and one of the few black lesbian characters in today’s
television landscape. Despite the criticism, you can expect to see Orange is
the New Black back on your laptop or television screen for at least two more
years as it has been renewed for a sixth and seventh season. What are your
thoughts on the show? Who is your OITNB crush?