The thin line between “old school” TV and online streaming is blurred as both compete on an even playing field with both A-list talent and game-changing programming. Enter our November cover girls: the charismatic cast of Orange is the New Black. When showrunner Jenji Kohan brought the show to several networks, it was Netflix that ordered 13 episodes before its pilot even aired. Led by blonde bombshell Taylor Schilling, Orange tells the true story of Piper Kerman (Chapman), a writer whose life is forever changed by a prison stint stemming from a money-laundering scheme with ex-girlfriend Alex Vause. Somewhat naïve, straight-laced and engaged to a fellow WASP, Piper’s interactions with her fellow inmates not only awaken a part of her that she didn’t know existed, but make for binge-worthy indulgence.
Alongside Schilling is an overwhelming pool of talent, from newcomers to seasoned vets. They all wear orange, but their complexities are wide ranged. From a drug-addicted Jesus freak to an undercover lover and wide-eyed “Crazy Eyes,” the women of Orange is the New Black are some of the most progressive female characters to hit the small screen and a flawed prison system where women are separated by race and hierarchies. Somehow, OITNB writers have created a “so wrong it’s right” formula that makes the series worthy of its dramedy label.