Since its inception, Orange is the New Black has captivated viewers and challenged many stereotypes and generalizations. In fact, it has even received the distinction of being one of the most popular series on Netflix. This can be attributed to the show’s incorporation of certain key elements.
One component that serves the show quite well is its willingness to include secondary characters in major plots. Although this frequently occurs throughout the show, this characteristic does not divert the audience’s attention away from the show’s protagonist, Piper. In the first few episodes of the opening season, Piper engages in a conflict with Red, a character of a lesser role. Throughout this dilemma, several flashbacks of Red are depicted , and she also appears more often in the aforementioned stretch of shows than in latter ones. In like manner, the show gives the audience the opportunity to better comprehend the personalities of such figures. With the amount and variety of secondary characters that are highlighted, the chances of viewers becoming attached to specific characters increases significantly.
In addition to giving supporting figures large platforms, the show also connects the audience to its characters by employing a somewhat diverse cast. Although the show features women heavily, it does make an effort to portray characters belonging to other minority groups. Some of the represented groups include the Hispanic, African American, and the LGBTQIA communities. Through these groups, the show evokes a sense of inclusion for those that identify with them, and thus speaks to a wider range of viewers.
Perhaps, the most instrumental aspect in the show’s success is its use of realistic plots. Often, these plots expound upon occurrences in society that are currently relevant. One particular instance of this is displayed in the storyline where Daya, a female inmate develops an intimate relationship with one of the corrections officers. Although events such as these are rarely discussed, they have become more common in recent years with the rise in prison populations across the country. Additionally, the show addresses the experience that some individuals endure when transitioning into prison for the first time. This is mainly seen through the lens of the featured protagonist Piper, who struggles with this reality in the show’s first season but adjusts to it in subsequent seasons. Lastly, the sentiments and emotions that families go through when a loved one is incarcerated is also displayed, especially with Piper’s family. This is shown effectively during earlier episodes, with some of Piper’s family members, who surround themselves with objects that bring her to their memory.
For the last few years, Orange is the New Black has cemented its stance within the minds of its followers and even popular culture. The vast number of viewers that Orange is the New Black attracts suggests that there are some components within it that keep people captivated. With the trajectory that Orange is the New Black seems to be on, it is almost inevitable that the show will have a large cult following after its conclusion.