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Orange is the New Black

From the creator of Weeds comes a Netflix show the likes of which we haven't seen before — Orange is the New Black!


Based on the 2010 memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison by Piper Kerman, the series follows the story of Piper Chapman (played by Taylor Schilling) as she spends 15 months incarcerated in a women's prison after getting caught up in a drug trafficking ring thanks to her ex-lover Alex Vause (played by That '70s Show's Laura Prepon). Flitting between drama and comedy — often without missing a beat — OITNB offers a potent look at life in a women's prison. (Helloooo… drama!)


How can I see Orange Is the New Black? If you subscribe to Netflix, you’re in luck! They’ve made the entire Season 1 of the show available, so put on those sweats, grab some popcorn, and get ready for a marathon of the TV-watching variety. Itching for Season 2? Brand-new episodes are expected to hit Netflix in early-to-mid 2014.


What is Orange Is the New Black about? Season 1 begins with Chapman's willful surrender for her involvement with a drug ring a decade before the show's beginning. A series of flashbacks into Chapman's pre-prison life dovetail with the moments leading up to the beginning of her incarceration, establishing the general gist of the series: well-to-do woman ends up in prison under strange circumstances and is forced to adapt to the culture shock of penitentiary life.


Chapman's WASP-ish naivete amplifies her struggle to adapt to life behind bars, and much of the story is focused around her conflicts and interactions with other inmates. The show also delves into Chapman's struggle to maintain her relationship with her fiancé while trying to reevaluate and reconcile her relationship with Alex.


Spoiler! Major Season 2 plot point revealed!


Who are the stars of Orange Is the New Black? While Taylor Schilling's character acts as the show's protagonist, Orange is the New Black notably features a large ensemble cast of recurring characters, from the lovable to the loathable.


Initially portrayed as an innocent, yuppie-ish blond, Piper's day-to-day life pre-prison consisted largely of running an artisanal soap line with her best friend, spending time with her writer fiancé (played by Jason Biggs), trying out various fasts and cleanses and other stereotypically suburban activities. Unfortunately for present-day Chapman, the Chapman a decade prior found herself embroiled with a drug cartel when she was going through a "lesbian phase," thanks to her former girlfriend, Alex Vause (Laura Prepon). With a statute of limitations for the drug case spanning 12 years, Chapman and Vause both wind up incarcerated thanks to the activities they engaged in during their relationship.


Other major players include Sam Healy (Michael Harney), Chapman's passive-aggressive correctional officer and social worker; Miss Claudette (Michelle Hurst), Chapman's incredibly strict cellmate; and Galina "Red" Reznikov (Kate Mulgrew), who runs the prison's kitchen with an iron fist — do not mess with this lady or you’ll go hungry! — but also has a maternal side.


Will Laura Prepon be back for Season 2? Get all the details!


Who is working on Orange Is the New Black? If you loved Weeds, then it’s no wonder if you love Orange Is the New Black. Jenji Kohan, the woman who brought us the HBO series about a weed-selling suburban housewife, is also at the helm of everyone’s new favorite Netflix show. Kohan serves as co-creator, writer, and producer of OITNB.

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