Written by Piper Kerman, an American memoirist, Orange is the New Black recounts her experience of the thirteen months she spent in a women’s federal prison. The show starts with introducing two main characters Piper Chapman and her partner Alex Vause. The two are involved in the illegal transportation of drug money across international borders. Jumping to ten years after, Chapman is headed to jail for the crime she tried so desperately to move on from.
She moves into the prison, leaving behind her fiancé Larry Bloom. The two make a promise to remain faithful no matter the circumstances. Once in the prison, Piper is exposed to things she has never seen before and is suddenly surrounded by hundreds of fellow criminals. At the end of the first episode, Piper ends up running into her past partner and fellow criminal, Alex.
Throughout the season, Piper realizes there are far more challenges of being in prison than she realized. Aside from the fact of simply being in jail, Piper encounters the person she hates the most, Alex, as well many lesbians who are longing for her attention.
On the very first day of jail she insults the kitchen food in front of the cook who ends up starving her for the next week and being away from her fiancé, Larry, ends up taking a huge toll on their relationship later in the season. Finally, being surrounded by other inmates who definitely don’t like girls with a college education, perfect blonde hair, and who are opinionated certainly doesn’t help.
As the season continues on, Piper becomes acclimated with her new life style and even begins to get along with the other inmates, even Alex. Being that her relationship with Alex is up and coming, an old flame is soon rekindled much to her fiancé’s dismay.
Piper begins to somewhat enjoy her life in prison, but after Larry appears in a radio segment where he discusses all the things Piper disliked about the prison when she first entered, things between him and her take a turn for the worst and she is faced with an ultimatum; either she marries Larry while in prison, or their relationship has to end.
Other main characters include Laura Prepon as Alex, Danielle Brooks as Tasha, Taryn Manning as Tiffany, Michael Harney as Sam Healy, Kate Mulgew as ‘Red’, Jason Biggs as Larry Bloom, and Natasha Lyonne as Nicky Nichols.
The show is considered to be a dark comedy-drama and can truly appeal to a vast audience. With occasional vulgar scenes and foul language, the plot line is intriguing and truly powerful. I definitely recommend it!