Laura Prepon making out with another girl in a shower.
The opening scene for Orange Is the New Black is pretty attention-grabbing to say the least, but it's the raw emotion, gut-punching performances and laugh-out-loud humor of this new Netflix series that will keep you superglued to your seat for all 13 episodes.
Netflix has just released the entire first season, from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan (and based on a memoir from Piper Kerman) about a sweet, blond, girl next door (Taylor Schilling) who gets sentenced to prison, thanks to her former lesbian lover/drug smuggler (Prepon) selling her out. And here are seven reasons you should stream all episodes right now:
1. It's Sort of Like Weeds 2.0. but, Dare We Say, Better? Like Kohan's previous Showtime hit starring Mary-Louise Parker, Orange centers on a deeply relatable girl next door who gets catapulted into a world surrounded by criminals. And? "They're both hot," Kohan points out. "What attracts me is how they walked that line and the push-pull between those sides of them," Kohan says of Weeds and Orange's leading ladies. "The side to be the good girl and the part of them that wants to be the rebel and feel that excitement and escape their stereotype."
2. Taylor Schilling Is All Kinds of Awesome: As Piper, a "former lesbian" who once carried a single bag of drugs for her lover (Prepon), Schilling is grippingly real and relatable. So how would the 28-year-old actress fare in real life in a real prison? "I think I would probably be eaten alive," Schilling quips, adding that she was a big fan of Jenji Kohan's past work and "was willing to do anything to be a part of [Orange]."
3. Jason Biggs Gives Good Cry: Who knew the dude has such emotional depth? Biggs stars as the fiancé of the show's main character, Piper (Shilling), and their relationship is so simultaneously charming and tortured, you'll find yourself laugh-crying at least once during the first episode. The beach proposal scene and the goodbye at the prison? All. The. Tears.
4. Did Somebody Say Diversity? It is prison, and Orange's cast is incredibly diverse. "I love that our way in was this kind of yuppie white girl story," Jenji explains. "Because if you go to a network and you say, ‘I want to talk about Latinos and blacks and their prison experience and the cycle of poverty,' it's not going to be a big sale. [But we] can kind of write in on Piper, and then expand the world and tell everyone's story. It's a great Trojan horse to a certain extent."
5. Amazing One-Liners: Like Piper's fiancé's parting words to her: "Please be brave. Don't let anyone into your granny panties." Or his words when he found out her crime: "I feel like I'm in a Borne movie. Have you killed?" These moments of dark humor bring levity to what could otherwise by a wholly depressing show, based on the premise. Ditto the awesome cultural references to things like Toddlers and Tiaras and Taylor Swift .
6. Plot Twists: Let's just say you won't see them coming.
7. You Don't Have to Be Scared to Commit: Orange is staying with you. No really, this show is in it for the long haul! Netflix already put a ring on it, and announced a second season before season one even premiered because, as Kohan points out, "Netflix has balls. They were just like, ‘We like it. We believe in it. We're going to pick it up,' and I'm just grateful." And though Piper's prison sentence is for only 15 months, Kohan isn't concerned. "It's going on forever. As long as they'll have us, I feel confident that we can stretch this s--t out forever. As long as we're interested in these characters and the stories, it's prison. We can make the rules."
There are plenty more reasons...like Jodie Foster directing! But we'll leave more surprises for you to discover.
Orange Is the New Black is on Netflix right now. Happy streaming.