Prison films are usually a tough watch. This is where Orange is the New Black differs from the rest. Yes, it is touching and sad in certain parts and gritty in others, but for the most part it is warm and funny. Odd considering the women in this prison live very depressing lives with their every movement monitored and regulated. Somehow the writers have for the most part brought lightness into the whole mess while still instilling it with realism.


orange is the new black season 1Piper Chapman (played by Taylor Schilling) is an upper middle class woman who has pretty much sailed through life. That is until the drug running she did for former girlfriend Alex (played by Laura Prepon) comes to bite her in the butt. By that I mean she is sentenced to fifteen months in prison. It comes as a shock to her fiancé Larry (played by Jason Biggs). They decide to make the best of it and promise to carry on with their plans to be married once she is out.


That is a bit naïve as jail is tough. A real adjustment for Piper. She has to deal with offending the woman in charge of the kitchen Red (played by Kate Muldrew), a slightly unhinged woman named Crazy Eyes (played by Uzo Aduba) who believes Piper is her wife, a ultra-religious woman (played by Taryn Manning) who wants to do her harm and the fact that her ex Alex is in the same prison. Piper is not going to come out of this the same woman.


The strength of the series is character development. It allows each to grow without forcing them upon you. They don’t manipulate you into liking them. All have faults while still being likable. Very human. Starts a little slow then picks up pace to get really engaging as it goes on.


Special Features:

-I Wasn’t Ready Audio Commentary with Producers Jenji Cohan, Tara Herrmann and Mark Burley

-Trailers for Weeds: The Complete Collection – Limited Edition, Nurse Jackie: Season Five, Mad Men: Season 6, Lionsgate Series on Blu-ray and DVD

-New Kid on the Cell Block

-Gag Reel

-It’s Tribal

-Mother Hen: Red Runs the Coop

-Can’t Fix Crazy Audio Commentary with Producers Jenji Kohan, Tara Herrmann and Mark Burley

-Prison Rules