(The Root) — Netflix's original series Orange Is the New Black has taken the Internet by storm since its release July 11. Not everyone is on the bandwagon, but many are lauding the show, describing it with words like "addictive," "fresh" and "ambitious."
We're big fans of the show, too, and Orange Is the New Black has us all waiting not so patiently for the second season, which we won't get until next year. In the meantime, we'll just have to sit and reflect on why we like it so much. Here are six quick reasons.
Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman (Netflix)
The show's main character, Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), is beyond annoying. To put it bluntly, she's the whitest white girl in the world — steeped in privilege, completely oblivious to the world outside of her posh New York bubble. As other women in the prison struggle with the real-life problems of poverty and maintaining the families that depend on them while in the clink, Piper hogs up telephone time asking her fiancé to describe to her the fancy snacks he bought at Whole Foods. We watch and roll our eyes, begging her to get a clue.
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.
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.
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."
Since Orange Is the New Black is a Netflix show, live-tweeting is kind of difficult; rather than the show being released at a certain time each week, the whole season hit the Internet. Still, there's no shortage of people talking about the show (#OITNB) on social media.
Matt McGorry as prison guard John Bennett (Netflix)
Tracy Clayton is a writer, humorist and blogger from Louisville, Ky.