Orange is the New Black is about to return for a third season. If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s time to sit up and take note: the Netflix programme looks set to become a classic of feminist television.

The show is based on the memoirs of Piper Kerman who, after serving 13 months for drug trafficking and money laundering, became an activist. She campaigns for the rights of the 200,000 female prisoners, mostly women of colour, currently incarcerated in the United States. Fusing Kerman’s activist politics with compulsive comedy-drama, the show attracted critical acclaim and a huge feminist following for the challenge it mounts to dominant media representations of women.

The reason the show is able to buck industry trends has to do with the circumstances of its production. Unlike most network series, Orange is the New Black was produced by Lionsgate Television and Netflix as a straight-to-internet release. All 13 episodes of its first series were released simultaneously. This means it is not dependent on the pilot system, whereby shows that take longer to “grow” on audiences risk being cancelled due to low viewing figures.

Source and rest: theconversation.

Orange is the New Black is fast becoming a feminist classic