Netflix’s “Orange Is The New Black” Highlights Women as Individuals

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Netflix is at it again with a new original series, and this time it is amazing! This weekend I discovered “Orange Is The New Black” and I accidentally got addicted and binge-watched the whole first season.

“Orange Is The New Black,” an adaptation of a true story, follows Piper Chapman’s time in prison. Piper is a college-educated women who fell in love with a drug smuggler, Alex Vause (played by Laura Prepon —you know, Donna from “That 70s Show”), and gets involved with the drug ring. After ditching Alex, Piper decides to live a “normal” life by getting engaged to this guy named Larry and selling artisanal soaps, yet she is arrested and sent to a federal women’s prison, where Alex is serving time as well, for their time with this international drug ring.

I absolutely love this show because it’s all about women as individuals. This show doesn’t just look at the prison time of Piper and Alex, two white women who were busted on drug offenses, but the show also looks at the stories of women from various backgrounds. I can’t remember a show that looks at the stories of not only women, but various types of women—women of color, transgender women, women of different ages, different socioeconomic backgrounds, and different sexual orientations. It doesn’t have women as two-dimensional characters or as typical tropes, but it shows women are complex individuals.

“Orange Is The New Black” looks at topics of race, sexuality, and gender without making them caricatures or stereotypes. It tackles the issues of race relations within the prison by having women of different races and ethnicities. The show tackles the issue of female sexuality by having characters that are all over the Kinsey scale, from lesbians to bisexuality to simple experimentation. The best part is that the show honestly looks at the sexuality of women as well as displaying the complex relationships attached instead of simply oversexualizing it. “Orange Is The New Black” looks at gender and the struggles of being a woman in prison. The show looks at a transgender woman, Sophia (who is actually played by a transgender women). It also portrays the complex dynamic between the corrections officers and how they interact with the women.

If you’re looking for a show that displays the stories of women, has a bit of comedy, a bit of drama, and a lot of complexity, “Orange Is The New Black” needs to be on your instant queue as soon as possible.