Netflix special provides gripping entertainment

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Michelle Wong

The sky is overcast, and you are lying in a puddle of your own feverish sweat. You’re so sick that going class is not an option, and getting something to eat sounds unappealing.

What better way to pass the day than to check out the Netflix Original Series Orange is the New Black?

IMBD gives the show an 8.5 rating out of 10. Rolling Stone has placed the show on their “15 TV Shows We Can’t Wait to Watch in 2014” list and Huffington Post’s TV critic Maureen Ryan calls it “compelling.”

While there may be some initial skeptics, upon watching the first episode, the show becomes an immediate addiction. Before starting this series, which based on the true story of Piper Kerman, make sure you have some time on your hands.

Though most have heard of the show, some may not know the story. The plot of the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black follows Piper Chapman during her year of incarceration and the period of time leading up to it.

By looking at her, you would never guess that this kind, educated, petite, custom-soap-producing lady could ever be convicted of a crime.

As the viewer soon finds out, this unassuming character has a checkered past. Though currently engaged to a struggling writer-type guy, we see that ten years ago, she was in love with a troublesome chick named Alex.

Alex ran a successful operation as a drug importer and had once convinced Piper to transport a suitcase full of money for a job in Belgium— in other words, trouble.

The show brings us back to the present, and we see that this decision has come to haunt Piper. As Alex’s business is unraveled by the authorities, Piper finds out that someone has dropped her name in court.

This means that she will be charged as an accomplice, but she decides rather to surrender herself up for a year in prison.

While mainly following the story of Piper, each episode also tells the story of a different inmate in flashbacks. Though the show can at times be extremely funny, the individual narratives of the inmates are what give it a touching point of interest.

Once you discover that all of the inmates have reasons behind the person they’ve become, you feel as if you’re actually getting to know them. The characters are all relatable in their own way, making it quite easy for the viewer to become attached to the inmates.

You will rejoice at their triumphs, cry as they endure injustices in the prison system, mourn for their pasts and thirst for the next episode.

There’s plenty of time to catch up with the first season before the second season’s premiere in June!