Orange Is the New Black is an Americn Netflix comedy-drama created by Jenji Kohan. The series is inspired by Piper Kerman’s memoir Orange Is the New Black: My life in a Women’s Prison (2010)- she wrote about her experiences at FCI Danbury, which is a minimum-security federal prison. It was produced by Tilted Proctions, and the first season premiered on Netflix on July 26, 2019.
OITNB was a huge success- it became Netflix’s most-watched and also its longest-running original series, garned 12 Emmy Award nominations and won three. The second season also received four Emmy nominations, as well as six Golden Globe Award nominations.
The story revolves around Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a 33 year old woman from New York City, who was sentenced to 15 months in women’s federal prison. Ten years prior, she transported a suitcase full of drug money for her girlfriend Alex Vause (Laura Prepon), which is why she ended up there. After the incident, Piper changed her life entirely- she started leading a quiet life among New York’s upper middle class with her fiancé, family, and friends. However, her sudden indictment disrupted her relationships with everyone.
Season 1- Litchfield Power Dynamics
The show explores the experiences of Piper and the other female inmates she meets during her time in Litchfield Penitentiary. Piper struggles to adjust to life in prison and faces challenges like navigating the complex social hierarchies and dealing with the various personalities of her fellow inmates.
Throughout the season, we see Piper’s backstory and the events that led to her incarceration, including her relationship with Alex and her past involvement with drugs. We also get to know some of the other inmates, including “Crazy Eyes” Warren (played by Uzo Aduba), who becomes infatuated with Piper, and Miss Claudette Pelage (played by Michelle Hurst), an older inmate who serves as a mentor to her.
Other notable characters include the prison’s stern but fair head of security, George Mendez (played by Pablo Schreiber), and the prison’s chaplain, Sister Ingalls (played by Beth Fowler).
As the season progresses, we see Piper struggling to come to terms with her new reality and trying to make the best of her situation. She also faces challenges from both the other inmates and the prison staff, including her volatile relationship with Alex.
Overall, the first season of “Orange Is the New Black” sets the stage for the series by introducing us to the diverse group of characters who make up the Litchfield prison community and exploring the themes of friendship, power dynamics, and survival in a harsh environment.
Season 2- New Order
In the second season, the story picks up where it left off in the first season. Chapman is still serving her sentence at Litchfield Penitentiary, and is dealing with the fallout from her actions in the previous season.
Several new characters are introduced, including Vee Parker, a former drug dealer and old acquaintance of Red, the head cook at Litchfield. Vee quickly becomes a central figure in the prison, manipulating and controlling other inmates to do her bidding.
Other storylines include the arrival of a new counselor, Berdie Rogers, who brings a fresh perspective to the prison and helps the inmates deal with their personal traumas; the ongoing feud between Red and Gloria, another inmate who takes over as head cook; and the development of a romantic relationship between Piper and her former fiancé, Larry.
Season 3- Mistreatment of Inmates
The season explores the backstory of some of the main characters, including Big Boo, Pennsatucky, and Daya. It also introduces several new characters, such as Stella Carlin, a new inmate who catches the eye of Piper Chapman.
Throughout the season, the show delves into themes of power dynamics, sexuality, mental health, and corruption within the prison system. It also addresses issues surrounding privatization of prisons and the mistreatment of inmates.
Overall, the third season of “Orange Is the New Black” received positive reviews from critics and fans alike. It is known for its well-developed characters, witty humor, and thought-provoking social commentary.
Season 4- Arrival of New Inmates
One of the major storylines in the fourth season is the arrival of a large group of new inmates from a maximum-security prison, which puts even more strain on the already overcrowded prison. The season also delves into the backstories of some of the new inmates, as well as the main characters from previous ones.
Season 5- Justice
Season 5 picks up right where the fourth season left off, with the inmates of Litchfield Penitentiary rioting and taking control of the prison. The entire season takes place over the course of just a few days, with tensions running high and new alliances forming as the inmates fight for their rights and demand better treatment from the prison staff. The season also explores the aftermath of Poussey’s death at the hands of a guard in the previous season, with the inmates seeking justice and accountability for her death.
Season 6- ICE detainees
The season explores the consequences of the riot and the trials faced by the inmates, including the move to a maximum security prison.
In this season, viewers see the emergence of new power dynamics among the inmates and the introduction of new characters, including the ICE detainees who were transferred to the prison. The season also delves deeper into the backstories of some of the inmates and addresses important social issues, such as immigration and the criminal justice system.
Season 7- Life Outside
The main storyline revolves around Piper Chapman’s struggles to adjust to life outside of prison and her attempts to reconcile with her estranged wife, Alex Vause. Meanwhile, the other inmates face their own challenges, including immigration issues, addiction, and the harsh realities of life in the prison system.
Can We Expect a Season 8?
Unfortunately, there will not be an eighth season of “Orange Is the New Black.” The series concluded with its seventh season, which was released on Netflix in July 2019. The show’s creator, Jenji Kohan, confirmed that the seventh season was the final season of the series.