Orange Is The New Game of Thrones

Okay, it's not really the new Game of Thrones, not at all, but Season Two of the Netflix only series "Orange Is The New Blackis a whole different experience than Season One. No spoilers here. There are a couple tiny insignificant information about Season 1, nothing show-stopping. I also have not read the book, so please take my early thoughts with a grain of salt.

I also changed my mind about what I thought the show would be, so if anyone is hesitant here's why it was worth the ride for me.

When I started this months ago, I had finished Season One and I was going to basically say: 
"If you liked Oz, don't bother with this one, unless you really liked the old TV show 'Facts of Life,' because this is what that show's reunion show would look like." 

You know, if it happened in a minimum security prison

Before you read my Season One thoughts, I must admit I have Song of Ice and Fire Disease, in which everything I read and watch that doesn't have swordfights and dragons and beheadings is SUPER BORING in comparison. 

Mayhaps I'm also jaded by my family and my experiences visiting my brother in juvey. There were some very colorful characters in there. I felt like the writers of Season One probably should have visited actual prisons, and maybe read more than just the one book about prison, ala Piper, but the book this show is based on, was based on one person's experience.

Orange Is The New Facts Of Life

You take the good, you take the bad, you take em all and there you have: Orange is the New Black.

The character dynamics are very similar, and some of the OITNB actresses even visually resemble FoL. You have the spoiled rich girl, Blair, as Piper Chapman. She's the girl we love to hate. When I say "we" I mean ME. She has, IMHO, an inflated sense of justice, she's whiny, entitled, everything is about her, and any little inconvenience that happens upon her is the END OF THE WORLD as we know it. She takes, she uses people, she's still miserable.
Yep, they almost all wear prison makeup in OITNB, 
but it's quite a step above real life marker and Kool-Aid lipstick.

Alex is the tough, trouble-making butch but TV-pretty character, Joe. She comes from the wrong side of the tracks, her decisions are based more on survival than self service. The richgirl character pretends to hate her, but is jealous of her strength and independence. 

And just like Facts of Life, the less than subtle lesbianic vibe reads: The Blair character really wants the Joe character, even if she doesn't want to want to.
A dude or a curious girl. from s1.zetaboards.com
In FoL, Mrs. Garrett was the leader of the girls, advising them on their journey through womanhood. In OITNB, Red helps the women of Lichfield fictional prison along their journey, solves their problems. I would give examples but I promised no spoilers, dang. Both provided food and sustenance to their girls, symbolic of a mother figure.
Like any effective mother figure, if you don't follow the rules, there are consequences, anything from a smack upside the head to...again, no spoilers. 

Red is played by the amazing Kate Mulgrew, an actress that immediately exudes leadership to me ever since seeing her as Captain Janeway on Star Trek's Voyager series. Look at this slaymama in uniform: Full-on Nerd Boner Girl Crush.
Star Fleet captains were all Red HOT
from fanpop.com
What's that Edna, you didn't realize Red was a starship captain in a former life?
I know, girl, me too
from adamintrovert.com
The Natalie character. I know where your mind is immediately going...
from zetaboards.com
...and Boo is hilarious and comfortable in her skin like Natalie was, but we're better than that aren't we? Well it's not the 80's and now we have to pretend to be. Natalie was the first character that people of our generation saw really owning having a real-life (not an actress) type of body. She owned that shit and never took anyone's crap. She was always positive, and totally hilarious. 
from adamintrovert.com
She was the first of the all girls from Facts of Life to get her big V card punched. Lose her virginity. With her boyfriend Snake. I did not make that up. Somewhere there's an article on the very obvious names in Facts of Life, i.e. Blair sounds like hair, Geri for her cousin with CP, Nat....let's stop here. 

Fun Facts of Life: Mindy Cohen who played Natalie was the voice of Velma on Scooby Doo. Her character wasn't part of the original Facts of Life script, she reminded Charlotte Rae (Misses Garrett) of her real-life friend Natalie, so they wrote in her character.

Taystee like Natalie, is very comfortable in herself, and puts on a tough front, though she longs to be 'in' anywhere and be a part of something. She's also a constant knee-slapper. 
from giphy.com
She's into reading, eerrr defending good books anyway...
from dorkgeek.tumblr.com
...and correcting grammar, even in a life threatening note. Instead of cowering, she's laughing at the writing. That is something Nat would do, Nat was a writer.
See they meant "you're" apostrophe-R-E
from birdwings.tumblr.com
Geri was Blair's cousin on the show, she was a "very special" character. In fact on the show, every episode Geri was on was advertised as a "very special episode." Hey it was the 80's, we were trying, most of our TV shows taught a lesson, we just weren't as obsessed with Politically Correct verbiage. 
from therealcaptaindan.blogspot.com

Geri had cerebral palsy, and was the first actress/character we had seen on television to have a disability, and openly joke about it. When she first came on the scene, the FoL girls didn't know how to react to her, so she said "Don't worry, I'm not drunk, I have cerebral palsy. When I'm drunk I walk perfectly straight." Her character (like the real-life actress) was a comedian, Blair was jealous of her success.
from rebloggy.com

There is no OITNB character that is as strong, though there are several very special characters in OITNB, not the least of which is Crazy Eyes

She doesn't have Geri's positive world message or inner strength, and her back story explains why. 

That's her to the right. I dunno who gave her this name, but I've seen crazier eyes on my 2 year old. 

There is also the lovely whitetrash meth head, Pennsatucky. She has a real name, but who cares? Pennsatucky is perfect for her personality. She seems to be a victim of religious zeal, but there are many sad layers to her. Once you know just why she's in prison, you know...well you just know. She is a very strong special character, but she doesn't have Geri's intelligence. 

I'm an angel of God, I mean look at my dress. from tv.com
Tootie was a trouble maker on the show. This was a network show in the 80's so her brand of trouble was mostly rollerskating inside. 
ADORABLE, right? from jennytonic.com
Cute, funny, trouble maker, remind you of anyone?
from smallscreenscoop.com
Is Nicky everyone's favorite? Or just mine? She's the character that you immediately root for. Can't say much more, but she is hilarious.
SO MANY .gifs, so little time. from hopeforfaith.tumblr.com
This post, like both of these shows is largely vagina-based but they have some Y chromos thrown in. In the way of a handyman for FoL. I'm not good with names, but really who cares what his name was, look at that HAIR! We called that 'do a 7, for it's visual shape. To be clear, that's him on the LEFT, Jo is on the right.
Did they have a hockey team? I dunno, lemme MULLET over. from today.com
OITNB has that guy in charge of the electrical stuff. Hey, he fixes stuff and he tells corny jokes.
And I LOVE that he said "the blonde one and the HOT one"
from theinevitablepipex.tumblr.com
There are more characters, I'll do a Part Two after more people have seen Season 2. I could post these .gifs all day quite frankly.

I had mixed feelings going into OITNB. It took me awhile to get through Season One, I'm glad I stuck with it. I like shows with action (read: violence) especially about prison, war, etc., and even though HBO's Oz had it's typical gratuitous violence and nudity, usually not germane to the plot (as in "Game of Thrones") I couldn't help but compare it to this show, making it fall short in my opinion initially.


Season Two is so much better than the fluffy-ish feel of Season One. Let's face it, the shows craziest character calls the main character "Dandelion" and that tells you most of what you need to know. 
actual item for sale on Etsy

This character's name is literally Crazy Eyes, and the craziest thing she does? Is spew poetry to someone she's in love with, have a quick temper and a wayward bodily function.

Whoa, s0o0o crazy *eye roll* 

That happens in my house almost every week.

For the first at least half of Season One, I was ready to give up on it. It took me a long time to get through all of my hating Piper and then really hating Piper. Then they finally got to the part where they start telling the stories of the other characters: Why are they there, what makes them tick. This is what saved the show for me. Any book that has a story I'm not clicking with, I'll stick it out if there is good character development.

Piper's S1 character was hard for me to relate to, and her super annoying characteristics are hard to take. I mean, I've seen no less than 10,000,000 shows with a toilet out in the open in public cell. I get it, it's not ideal, but I can't believe anyone who didn't just drop from a spaceship would be surprised by this.

Her blaming everyone in the world except herself for being there, and adjusting to prison part goes on way too long, and is beyond irritating. It's like the show is geared toward scaring young children straight, except this show doesn't exactly have a G rating for young children. Even though Season One probably should.

This is a Crazy Eyes clip and it sums it all up, the craziest we see in Season 1. If you haven't watched all of Season 1, you may want to skip, but this isn't a plot spoiler.
This is a perfect example of Piper (left) using people to her advantage. She claims she doesn't want to lead Crazy Eyes on, yet she will use her to give Alex a hard time. This is how she got through her life, totally surprised when it comes back to bite her.

That was my summation of Season 1.

Now then. That said.

Season Two, though.

Whole 'Nuther Level. 

Either someone broke into my draft post about Season 1 and they let someone else write the scripts for Season 2, 
the writers went off all their meds. 

And they should stay off.

They seemed to have come to life, like that Robin Williams movie where they give the frozen patients that medicine that allows them to move and dance again.

All the missing action from Season One? Is right here and it barely eases into it. It's just
what the? 

The script writers must have watched Game of Thrones, because it reeks of George RR Martin's quill. Err keyboard. He writes the books in DOS, yes, but he uses a keyboard.

As much as I want to post pic, gifs and clips of the Season 2, I don't want to throw down any spoilers. I'll stop here and do a Part Two at a later date, but know that Season Two of OITNB is everything you want a prison show to be and a bag of pork rinds. It is a chick show, so don't force your BF to watch it, unless he's into girl-on-girl action, but S2 is better, so much more fun.

The shock of it's juxtaposition from Season 1's Book Club feel makes for quite the wild ride. If you started watching and stopped, keep pushing through. 

On a superficial non-story level, we get new characters, the conditions of the prison are a little more challenging. The food, the horrible facilities, the struggle of the people who are supposed to be in charge of the prison, etc. 

OITNB Fact: There is an article explaining the difference between the show and reality, and what is being done to raise awareness of some of the cruel and unusual conditions in the actual prison:

If you have watched all of Season 2, let's talk in more detail in the comments. Those Golden Girls!

**If you're not caught up, don't, as in do NOT read the comments, they may contain spoilers.**

So, in summary:

Comedy bonus. This is the audition tape of Uzo Aduba, aka "Crazy Eyes" and it's proves she could play every character on the show. This is HYSTERICAL, you'll love her even more. You can skip to 30 seconds in.

Are you watching? 
Having fun with Season 2?
Who is your favorite character?


  1. Not watching, but I'll show this to Samara, cos she wants to know more about it.

    Janeway's my favourite captain :)

    1. I think she would like most of it, once it gets going. Season 2 is more fun. YOU would love the stories of the women, how they came to be in prison.

    2. I love that Janeway is your favourite (w/an extra "u".) I feel like, for the most part, whoever was YOUR captain when you were growing into full nerdhood is THEE captain, you know? My FIL loves Kirk, and I do, too, but for me it was Picard when I really blossomed into an adult nerd, so he's THE MAN. I imagine for you it was Janeway, so she's your girl. I do love them all, though. They're all so good and captainey.

  2. I don't have a favorite character, but I do have a favorite blog post that compares OITNB to FoL, and it is this one by a landslide. Well done!!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I would like to think "working 80's references into modern blogging" is my thing. I feel like I could do that all day, every day. And then say to my family: "See, all that TV was NOT a waste of time." Thanks for reading.

  3. I love Orange is the New Black, both seasons! My fave character is Big Boo. I've always had a weakness for hard butches although actually dating one cured me of that mistake -- now I just enjoy them vicariously from a distance! P.S. I knew that whole dog thing was going to go sideways sooner or later, LOL!

  4. I like Big Boo, too, she's hilarious. That DOG THOUGH!
    It's funny you mention that, a decade ago I dated a girl I called "Crazy Kim." She wasn't exactly a Boo, not as funny, but she was super possessive, bossy, jealous and stalkery. We dated for only a few weeks, which made it worse. Good call on the "from a distance!"

  5. Natalie was the voice of Velma? How cool. I loved Natalie. I love Velma. So, I admit, I LOVED OITNB Season One. Loved. Like, I watched the entire season in like three days, hitting "NEXT!" at like 2am. I've only watched the first two episodes in season 2 - crazy week for me this week but I'm going to binge-watch next weekend I hope!!!
    This post was hilarious perfection. I can't BELIEVE how alike OITNB is to Facts of Life! Ha!

    1. Oops. Favorite character. I don't know! Alex is hot but sometimes pisses me off... I kinda like pornstache guard because he's so nasty and dumb. Red's pretty cool too but I so wanna know more of her back-story!!!

    2. Alex is super hot! I can't really blame Piper for taking her crap for so long.
      I lucked out that S2 came out when I was on vacation!

    3. Watching S2 right now! Except I have to wake at 5am to take my mom to the airport. And what IS it about Alex? Her badassness? She's like hot beyond the regular hot.

    4. Alex IS beyond hot, but yes, I think because she's the "bad one" who was a drug mule, not raised the way Piper was, we know right away she might not the wisest choice for Piper, but isn't that what always makes those people even MORE desirable? Like when you're a teenager and your parents try to talk you out of liking someone, and you immediately are MORE attracted to them, whether you want to be or not. I think that's part of human nature, and the writer(s) tapped into that.

  6. haven't seen this haven't seen Game of Thrones. I think I live in a cave. I'm tempted to watch this one so I may start at some point.for some reason I want to mention now that shaggy is dead Velma is probably going into mourning. ...a real challenge for Natalie's acting chops.

    1. The books are so amazing. I can send you Book One, that's the only one I have. Then you can decide from there, but you'll probably get hooked. Then we can discuss! I saw that Casey Kasem died, interesting it was the same day I posted this about Velma. I wonder what she's going to do now....maybe she'll do a guest appearance on Orange is the New Black ;)

  7. Dude! The handyman on FoL was George Clooney.....before super fame! I love OITNB. I liked season 1 but they really outdid themselves with season 2...I absolutely loved the back stories. I have a love/hate thing with Piper. Her story isn't the best one but since she wrote the book and all...Nicky is one of my favorites too and I think they are setting us up for a good story line for her. I binged and watched it all within a week so now I'm stuck waiting for the next season. Hate that! Great post. A lot of fun and GREAT comparison!

    1. Yes, nice to see him with a mullet and NOT with a different young girl on his arm the minute they "age out."
      I love the back stories, too. I want to get the book. So true about Piper, I guess it is HER story :)
      Yes, I'm waiting for Boo and Nicky's story. I remember they showed Nicky's mother and she was HORRIBLE, but I don't think there was a lot of back story. She's got that defensive sarcasm (reminds me of someone....) so that's usually developed for a reason. IMHO. I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

  8. OMG, that was a genius and HILARIOUS comparison. I never thought of it, and now I feel stupid. BECAUSE I LOVE BOTH SHOWS. You're amazing. Seriously.

    1. It took me awhile to get there. The thing was, SO MANY people suggested I watch the show and the first few episodes I didn't like it. And I legit hated Piper WAY too much, I knew that. I didn't want to insult people who liked it, so I was trying to figure out HOW to write a review saying I thought it was too Namby Pamby without full on insulting the people who recommended it. I didn't really HATE it, I stayed with it, I just you know, have Game of Thrones disease, so I wanted more action (violence.) I know, I'm weird, but I also knew OTHER people I know would love the show, so I started to think of things to compare it to, and *voila* I'm glad you liked it!

  9. I'm so with you on Season Two, though I liked Season One, too. But I loved the extra back stories: Lorna and Poussey and Rosa. Rosa! That last scene! So beautiful! But it was the power plays that really got me. It is so fascinating to watch what the different leaders do to find power in such a powerless place. I just ate it up. Vee was so wonderful to hate, and I'm always rooting for Red. Love Red. Maybe the best. Or Nicky. And I love Lorna (do I have that name right?) too, if for no other reason than the end of the last episode. But I think her desperate beauty routine and fantasy life are so heartbreaking yet make her so compelling.

    1. Yes! Morello, I can't remember if Lorna IS her first name but that sounds right, her story was SO SAD this season! You had no idea she was that crazy, and then when even SHE has to face it, ugh. Heart breaking. The power plays were funny to think about in a place like that, and the GOLDEN GIRLS! Oh my. I want to read the book and see how similar the show is. The show was so much more fun this year. I read they already signed on for Season 3, so that's good.

  10. I've got to find the time to watch this. You've now got me started on it and well, I loved Facts of Life!

    I keep hearing I'm missing out if I'm missing it. You have me believing that now.

    1. As long as you don't take it too seriously, you'll love it. Especially season 2. They seemed to have just decided to make it a fun, crazy ride, and I wound up really liking it when I stopped over-thinking it. When you get to season 2, you'll have fun!

  11. Ok I had to skip through the comments because... wait for it..... I JUST NOW started season 1! Well I have watched TWO episodes to be exact.... Just tell me the first few episodes are worth sticking through! We made a deal to watch the first three, and if we didnt like it after that we could stop. Hubs thinks that "It's not what they made it out to be" without even watching it lol

    Desiree @ completeblissblog.blogspot.com

    1. It gets better, mostly in season TWO but there are a few moments in season 1. My husband would never like it, it's a "chick show" but there are some really fun moments in season 2!

  12. Woah, I am beyond impressed by this. Confession: I've never watched Facts of Life but after reading this I am 100% convinced this is the exact same show just updated and imprisoned.

    I haven't started Season 2 yet. MUST DO.

    1. You didn't miss anything with Facts of Life, every show from the 80's had the same jokes and life lessons, it's just this one had a hilarious comedian with cerebral palsy making guest appearances. But you could just read her book, it's called something like "When I'm drunk I walk perfectly straight."
      Season 2 is more fun. Still some totally ridiculous nonsense, but if you don't overthink it, fun.

  13. I haven't watched, but now I'm curious AS HELL. I'm going to have to re-order Netflix. We canceled our subscription when they upped the prices $5 a long time ago. You don't piss off the two tightwads that run this house, I tell you.

    1. I'm with you! The ONLY reason we even have Netflix is because our only cable option (because of the internet for my husband's work) is Comcast, and those bastards are EVIL. They raise your price just a wee little bit every month and before we knew it we were paying OVER $100/month for internet and cable, with NO extra channels. But every time you call them to bitch about it, they'll automatically right away lower your price. Sounds a legit business model, right? EFF YOU COMCAST. So at least streaming Netflix is less than $10/month and so far in our 2 years our price hasn't gone up. I know they raised it for new subscribers, they're having a hard time with the companies that own the shows, they took them back and stole Netflix's business model. They want to have their own streaming. Which would be a pain to pay a bunch of different companies. But anyway, I hear you on the tightwad front, that is us. We have had EVERY show ever ruined for us by Facebook status updates. So now if we don't watch Game of Thrones, we avoid Facebook all day Monday, and that has been heavenly.

  14. I feel like the only person on the planet who just can't get into this show. I don't love to hate Piper. I just plain hate her. She's irritating and I keep wishing someone would just shank her with a toothbrush and end her incessant whining.

    1. I hate her too, and I KNOW if I were in that prison I would have shanked that whiny bitch, no regrets. It's a total chick show, which usually I can't get into, but there's not much else on in the summer and Season 2 has gotten more violent, which sounds weird to be excited about, but I stand behind Game of Thrones Disease being a real thing.

  15. I haven't seen this show, but I'm going to watch an episode and see. LOL Thank you for linking up with us on the TGIF Hop. :)

    1. It's one of those things, plus not a lot on in the summer. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

  16. I didn't really get into it at first, sounds like you think I should give season 2 a try, right?

    1. Season 2 is 100 times better, but it IS still a chick show, can't even lie about that. However, well it's hard to give you reasons without throwing down spoilers, but if you can watch something for FUN and not take it too seriously (which is usually really hard for me) then you'll have more fun w/season 2. Just don't over-think it.

  17. We have not started Season 2 yet, we are "saving it"! This was quite the analysis! I never really watch Facts of Life, but the matching of the characters is quite funny.

    1. It was a silly young girl show about an all-girl boarding school. It was a LOT like Orange is the New Black, but with less law-breaking. If you liked Season 1 at all, you'll love Season 2! I just saw they're not only doing a Season 3, but based on fan feedback, Alex Vauss is going to be in EVERY SINGLE EPISODE of Episode 3. So I'm IN.

  18. I power watched both seasons in less than 10 days. It's like heroin or meth. I suppose, anyway. What do I know about heroin or meth, other than they make a butt load of meth around here?
    Piper never has root issues, and you KNOW she enhances that blonde hair.
    Alex it totally hot.
    Nikki is one of my favorites. I actually find her kind of hot, too, if I do say so.
    Morello is like a character out of the 1940's. Love her and her batshit crazy back story.
    Like Daya, but still trying to figure out whether she really loves Bennett or is just using him. I was leaning towards really loving him until closer to the end of Season 2.
    Pennsatucky is also one of my favorites. Her teeth after the fight with Piper - gahhhh!
    I think I'd like to be called Dandelion from now on.

    1. YES! With Pipers hair and constant pink eye shadow. That is SO annoying. How hard would it be to have them in realistic-looking makeup at least? I get it, they need powder or their faces would be shining like crazy, but the rest of te stuff? COME ON now.
      Alex is a hottie, everyone must think so because they already leaked that she will be in EVERY SINGLE EPISODE of Season 3. I'll try to remember to call you that, Dandelion!