Dark humor meets drama in Orange Is the New Black

Posted on 09 March, 2020





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When an upper-middle-class woman living in New York City gets charged for a crime she committed 10 years prior, she’ll have to serve her sentence in a minimum-security women’s prison as she reconnects with her drug smuggler ex-girlfriend and tries to maintain her outside relationships. Orange Is the New Black is based on a memoir by Piper Kerman entitled Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison. It revolves around the main character, Piper Chapman, adjusting to her new life in prison.

A choral portrait

The show also dives into the lives of the other inmates, using flashbacks to explain their backstory, exploring themes of sexuality, race, and the prison system in the United States with a mix of dark humor and heavy drama. 

In doing so, the tone and themes remember that of other successful series such as Desperate Housewives or Fleabag.

The series has become Netflix’s most-watched original series as of 2019, followed by Stranger Things and The Umbrella Academy. It was also the first to get Emmy nominations in drama and comedy.


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