By Katlyn LaPorte
Orange is the New Black is Netflix’s original series written and created by Jenji Kohan that aired July 11, 2013 on Netflix. Three different seasons have been aired throughout the past three years of the show and the next season is set to air June 17, 2016.
The show stars Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman, a big time public relations executive with a major career and a brand new fiancé. Chapman was associated with a drug runner 10 years prior, and when it finally caught up to her she was sentenced to 15 months in Litchfield Minimum Security Prison in Connecticut.
The inmates Piper is forced to befriend at Litchfield are some very unusual yet unexpectedly extraordinary women.
One of the first inmates Piper meets is Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren, portrayed by Uzo Aduba. Suzanne develops a huge crush on Piper almost immediately and begins calling Piper, her “prison wife.” When Piper cannot take any more of it, she goes off on Suzanne causing her to lash back at Piper throughout the rest of season one.
Amongst many others, Piper runs into to her drug runner ex-girlfriend Alex Vause and it causes much anger and tension between the characters. Piper has a vengeance for Alex for turning her in to the police and causing her to be sent to prison, while Alex has a vengeance for Piper for breaking her heart 10 years prior. Alex and Piper’s feud continues throughout the show, but they eventually end up finding love for each other once again.
Galina “Red” Reznikov, played by Kate Mulgrew, is a Russian chef with fiery red hair and an even more fiery attitude. Red develops a hatred for Piper right off the bat when Piper insults her cooking, unknowingly. Throughout Piper’s first weeks at Litchfield, Red does everything in her power to make Piper miserable.
There are various iconic characters on the show, including Sophia Burset (Laverne Cox), Nicky Nichols (Natasha Lyonne), Tiffany Doggett (Taryn Manning) and many more eccentric, unique women.
Not only is Orange is the New Black a comedy series about life in prison, but throughout the show valuable life lessons are taught that stick out in many different ways. A few of those are to hold on to simple pleasures as a light of guiding hope, there are times to break the rules and times where they need to be followed, chocolate can turn anyone’s day around, recognize the sacrifices others make for you and always be clear with your hair dresser. The most important lesson is, we all make bad choices, just some of us have different bad choices to make.