Jenji Kohan is no stranger to television shows based around drugs and suburban housewives. Back in 2005 and lasting 8 seasons, Kohan brought us Weeds, the quirky dramedy about a suburban mother who turns to dealing marijuana after the death of her husband and now, Kohan has followed that up with Orange Is The New Black.
Based on the real-life memoirs of Piper Kerman, Orange Is The New Black brings us an often funny and sometimes dramatic look at Piper Chapman (played by Taylor Schilling), who finds herself leaving behind her perfect suburban life (including loving fiancée, witchy mother and a soon-to-be successful business) for 15 months inside a low-security women’s prison for transporting drug money across international borders 10 years earlier.
Orange Is The New Black is more Winners and Losers than it is Wentworth. Wentworth gave us a tough, in your-face and highly gritty look at life inside a women’s prison, Orange Is The New Black offers a somewhat satirical view even giving us the women’s prison genre typecasting – waspy blonde thrown into the lions den of heavy-set lesbians, aggressive black women from the Bronx, horny prison guards and even a transsexual, but, every character is so well cast and acted, this is easily forgiven.
So Orange Is The New Black worth a look in?
I say absolutely. The all-star cast (all playing against type) is worth a look alone. Joining Taylor Schilling is Laura Prepon (That 70’s Show) who plays Piper’s ex-girlfriend Alex Vause and Jason Biggs (of American Pie fame) as Piper’s fiancée Larry Bloom. Natasha Lyonne, Tarryn Manning, Lea DeLaria and an unrecognisable Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek Voyager) with Russian accent as prison chef Red are all involved too.
I’m currently 5 episodes in and loving it – though a word of warning, brace yourselves for Laura Prepon’s eyebrows. They alone, need a show of their own.
Orange Is The New Black is due to hit our screens before the end of the year and has been confirmed for a second series.