Don't you just hate it when past mistakes come back to haunt you? That's the feeling of the main character in this Netflix original series based on a true story. In her experimental youth, Piper Chapman transported drug money, but she did it all for love. Jump years into the future, and Piper's ex-girlfriend has spilled the entire story in a plea-bargain deal. Piper is yanked out of her Brooklyn home for 15 months, leaving family, friends, a new business and a fiancé behind. Her new neighbors include a Russian cook who runs more than the kitchen; a transsexual hairdresser; a bank robber undergoing chemotherapy; a crack user turned religious zealot; and a mentally ill woman nicknamed "Crazy Eyes."
The fascination with "Orange Is the New Black" goes beyond Piper's fish-out-of-water situation. Her character changes as she pays her dues, becoming tougher, jaded and perhaps a bit kinder. The other inmates are just as intriguing. In addition to dealing with the day-to-day issues of prison life — staying alive, finding allies, maintaining sanity — the show illustrates how many of the women wound up inside. The compelling stories of drugs, assault, murder and larceny are often heartbreaking. You might feel like yelling "don't do that!" as a woman makes a bad choice that's about to send her to the pen.