Following the great success of House of Cards, a VITAC- captioned Netflix original series, VITAC is also captioning Netflix original Orange is the New Black, which premieres this July.
The series follows Piper Chapman (the author of the autobiography by the same name is Piper Kerman), played by Taylor Shilling, a woman whose past relationship with a drug dealer lands her in prison years after the fact. She has to deal with the demons of her past decisions and pay for the demons of others, out of which some positive human trait surely emerges. Much more than that has yet to be revealed — what we do know is that Jason Biggs of American Pie and Laura Prepon, who played Donna in That ’70s Show, are also in it. The series is produced by Lionsgate and features a “dramatic yet deeply funny world” according to Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.
Orange is the creation of Jenji Kohan, the mastermind behind Showtime’s hit original series Weeds, who also writes the first and last episodes of the first season. It is her first major undertaking since Weeds, which leaves a high bar for her to rise to. Weeds was well received by both critics and viewers, who tuned in to Showtime each week to see the exploits of a strong, independent widow Nancy Botwin, who enters the illegal drug trade in order to support (note the use of “support,” rather than “feed” or “clothe”) her two sons. Along the way, she gets arrested, shot, impregnated, married and sent to prison, among many other of life’s Hallmark moments.
But we never saw Nancy Botwin in prison — season 6 ended with her confessing to a murder she didn’t commit, and season 7 opened with her in a halfway house. Orange, if we may speculate, also features a strong female lead, played by relative newcomer Shilling, learning from mistakes she never made. If it is extension of Weeds, it is a welcome extension, and one that comes with high expectations from a sequel-loathing audience of hip (or too cheap for cable) Netfix subscribers.
In the true spirit of Netflix, the entire 13-episode season will be released at once, allowing us to most effectively curl up in bed with a Frito-Lay variety pack and call off sick for a week or so. Alas, what is the purpose of watching a TV or web series if you can’t brag how you saw it all without once standing up?