Why We Love ‘Orange Is the New Black’

Netflix's new series takes on race, white privilege and transgender issues with a serious dose of humor.


Her blithering ignorance at the top of the season is definitely laughable. And though she’s oblivious to her own racial privilege, she delivers some hard-hitting soliloquies taking down male and heterosexual privilege. Piper’s character alone is a stark essay on the impairment of privilege, but the stories and interactions of the women around her add additional depth to the discussion.

3. Laverne Cox Is Fab and Refreshing

Laverne Cox plays firefighter-turned-hairstylist Sophia Burset. (Netflix)

How awesome is it to see an actual transgender woman playing the role of a transgender woman?! Cox plays the sassy Sophia Burset, a former firefighter who works as the prison’s resident hairstylist. If Cox looks familiar, you may have seen her playing a sex worker on Law and Order, one of the most common roles available for transgender women in Hollywood — and even then, those gigs are often given to men. In a land where minority roles are routinely given to nonminority actors, this bit of casting is so encouraging. Also, Cox is an amazing actress with a powerful story. Seeing her on-screen is a joy.

4. It’s Funny!

Uzo Aduba as Crazy Eyes (Netflix); Danielle Brooks as Taystee (Netflix)

Even Shakespeare had his clowns. Without some humor interjected, the women’s stories and hardships could leave you downright depressed, but thankfully characters like Taystee, Crazy Eyes and even Sam Healy (who is occasionally laughable in his horribleness) are there to lighten the load. Also, Crazy Eyes may have given us the best new slang ever with “I threw my pie for you.”

5. It’s So Tweetable