The return of Arrested Development has gotten all the ink and attention, but Netflix has another original comedy series on the horizon in the form of Orange is the New Black, a “fish out of water and into prison” story from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan, – and now we have our first look at the trailer.
The series, which is based on the samely named novel by Piper Kerman, stars Taylor Schilling, Jason Biggs, Kate Mulgrew, Natasha Lyonne, Danielle Brooks, Matt McGorry, Laverne Cox, Taryn Manning, and Laura Prepon, as well as Weeds alums Pablo Schreiber and Michael Harney.
Here’s a look at the synopsis from Netflix, which is set to release all 13 episodes of the series on July 11th.
Created and executive produced by Jenji Kohan (“Weeds”) and based on the U.S. best-selling memoir of the same name by Piper Kerman, the comedic drama starring Taylor Schilling follows engaged-Brooklynite Piper Chapman (Schilling) whose decade-old relationship with drug-runner Alex (Laura Prepon) results in her arrest and year-long detention in a federal penitentiary. To pay her debt to society, Piper must trade her comfortable New York life with fiancé Larry (Jason Biggs) for an orange jumpsuit and a baffling prison culture where she is forced to question everything she believes and form unexpected new alliances with a group of eccentric and outspoken inmates.
Of course, it’s hard to weigh eight seasons of a fan-favorite TV show and use a 3 minute trailer for a new series in order to compare and contrast differences. Still, for many, the last few seasons of Weeds suffered from an identity crisis and came loose from its satirical suburban moorings, fluttering away before it turned into a more broad road comedy – only to try and pivot back.
Orange is the New Black could lose its way too, even over the course of these 13 episodes, but at the very least, the trailer seems to portray a series that seems as if it is welded to the (prison) ground. It also appears to portray a story that is going to try and find both the lightness and ridiculousness in a seemingly un-winnable and totally foreign set circumstances, just like Weeds, so here’s hoping that Kohan has learned from some of her past missteps and that Orange is the New Black can have even half the impact that her previous series did.
Orange is the New Black is set to premiere on Netflix on July 11th.
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