“Hey, have you seen The Wire? No? It’s the best show ever.”
If you’ve ever debated the best shows on television, you’ve probably had some iteration of this conversation. And you know what, that person was right: The Wire was the best show on television. While titles like Breaking Bad and The Sopranos may be popping into your head, the fervent devotees are quick to note the series that depicts an unflinching portrait of Baltimore is undeniably the best. I’d argue its construction is the closest anyone has come to putting a novel on television.
Now, unpopular opinion alert: Orange is the New Black just stood atop a cafeteria table and silently declared itself the best show currently on “television.” It did so by following the blueprint laid out by The Wire.
Let me start off with a simple sentiment: if you’re not watching Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black, you’re doing it all wrong. Netflix has been nailing it with their original programming and OITNB may be their best series yet. It’s dramatic, it’s hilarious, it has forbidden love, a guy named “Pornstache,” a theme song by Regina Spektor and a cast that is freakin’ adorable on Instagram… basically, everything it takes to make a show critically acclaimed and popularly successful.
It feels like everyone is talking about OITNB (or maybe I just feel that way because I’m talking about it all the time to anyone who will listen), and for good reason. There’s a ton of interesting discourse to be had regarding the criminal justice system, the prison system, the LGBT community, the dynamics between inmates and correctional officers in a women’s prison, et cetera, et cetera. But the real draw of this show is its characters. I could write odes to the adorable, lovesick CO John Bennett and rants about the psycho, Jesus-obsessed Pennsatucky and essays on the enigma that is Crazy Eyes. But what’s even more entertaining than the characters themselves is their relationships with one another. The show explores so many different facets of female relationships. There are romances, there are fuck buddies, but most of all there are some truly awesome besties in Litchfield Federal Prison. Here are some of OITNB’s most excellent womances (like a bromance, but for girls. Get it?):