A woman with blonde hair, blue eyes and money is the epitome of attraction. But that doesn’t matter. When Piper Chapman went to prison, the world she knew in midst of high rise buildings and the latest technologies, disappeared before her eyes. Suddenly, open bathrooms, and private toilet paper with a side of public sex was the norm.
Created by Jenji Kohan and adapted from the memoir by Piper Kerman, “Orange Is The New Black” is available for streaming and has already toppled all notions of what a television series about women looks and sounds like. While network shows have slowly added minority characters, the cast of this series has dozens. Laverne Cox, the actress playing the transgender beautician, Sophia, is transgender herself.
That’s not the only exception. All the women are of all different shapes and sizes. Many of the characters are over 40. There are short women, straight, gay, old; everyone is represented here. Audiences have fallen in love with these women in one way or another. It’s easy to identify with certain characters because women get to see themselves. It’s a complete mythbuster.
One of the myths busted by OITNB is that female characters have to be a little likable. They are criminals. Drug mules. Murderers. Thieves. But what should repel us about them is ultimately what draws us to them. Full fledged criminals became women we know, women we care about, women we root for. “Sometimes unpleasant, but always human.”
Their humanity would not come through without the cast Kohan has assembled. “I think ‘Orange’ is phenomenal,” says Alexa Fogel, casting director of “The Wire,” which pioneered roles for minority men in the same way “Orange” has for women. “They’re writing about a unique environment that we haven’t seen before and I think that’s part of the reason people are so taken with the show.”
Both HBO and Showtime turned down “Orange Is the New Black” when she pitched the series to them. Now Netflix, which has renewed “Orange” for a fourth season (obviously), has the most buzz worthy female-centric show on all of television, with its network confirming that its popularity has surpassed hit show “House of Cards.”
Check out “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder” for more female-centric goodness! Tell us what your favourite show is in the comments below!