Orange Is the New Black – ‘Pilot’ Review

Written by Sue GB

NETFLIX has knocked another one out of the park with it’s new original series, “Orange Is The New Black” based on Piper Kerman’s Memoir and created by Jenji Kohan of “Weeds” fame.

What is apparent from the get-go, is that this show is rather like the symbiosis of “Oz” and the “L Word”, creating a fabulous Dramedy full of laugh-out-loud moments, F-bombs, and seriousness, with the right amount of revealing of character backstories. There are more than plenty of well-known faces to keep you glued to your screen for the next 52+ minutes.

White, blonde, pretty, and slightly-naive Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) will be surrendering herself to “PRISON”, (not jail as she tells someone), where she will be spending the next 15 months trying to gather as much life-changing experiences as she can get; all while trying to hope that the one-time mistake she made 10 years ago doesn’t haunt her forever.  I have a feeling Piper’s “whiteness” and naiveté are going to hinder her and that no amount of her reading of what I call “Prison for Dummies” is going to help her. I mention her being White only because I have a feeling she has been pampered and sheltered most of her life so far, and right from the get-go the other inmates peg her as a delicate flower who may or may not be mercilessly mocked for being so.

That being said, it’s nice to see a well-rounded balance of characters that range from motherly, to crazy, to your typical Prison Bitch.  It’s great that not all cliches are present and accounted for, nor too predictable.

By Piper’s side is her fiance, Larry Bloom, (Jason Biggs) who is shocked at first about her sordid past, but quickly proves he is a gentleman who will stand by Piper’s side no matter what. Time will tell how he will handle his own prison term of sorts while Piper is away.

Rounding out the cast are many actresses who have been known for their quirkiness, such as: Natasha Lyonne, Laura Prepon, Constance Shulman, and Taryn Manning, just to name a few.  However, the geek-girl in me is most excited to see Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway!!!) as convict “Galina ‘Red’ Reznikov”.

There is so much more I could write about, but I don’t want to reveal too much.  All I will say is that it will be a very interesting ride for the remaining 12 episodes. Will Piper adjust to her new temporary life while her loved ones carry on in theirs? Time will only tell!


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