Monique_Schafter1It used to be “what L Word character are you?” but now it’s all about Orange Is The New Black. If you’re an internet-savvy queer girl chances are you’re all over this awesome new comedy-drama about life in a women’s prison.
If not, let me fill you in. The series is told through the eyes of Piper Chapman, a cute middle-class New Yorker who spends a year behind bars for transporting drug money for her badass international heroin trafficking girlfriend.
In prison she meets an array of hardcore and endearing racially-diverse characters who either become her family or make her life hell.
And there are stacks of lesbians. Believable ones. There’s Alex Vause, Piper’s ex-lover, who’s bad news but totes sexy once you get over the eyebrows; Nicky Nichols, a former addict who charms inmates with her wit and mad vagina skillz; Big Boo, a hard on the outside, soft in the middle butch who gets her MacGyver on by fashioning a dildo out of a screwdriver; and Crazy Eyes, a freaky but nice prisoner who claims Chapman as her prison wife. Plus heaps more.
Some are lesbian-lesbians and some are more like straight girls who fancy a bit of lady love behind bars where beggars can’t be choosers.
Orange Is The New Black isn’t afraid to explore transgender issues either. MTF inmate Sophia, who is the prison hairstylist, struggles to survive when the prison cuts off her hormone medication. As a viewer, you feel for these women who are bullied by the system and treated as less than human.
But they’re not all nice. As with other prison shows like Oz, Orange Is The New Black features aggressive and sexually violent characters who resort to a variety of intimidation techniques in the pursuit of power. Nasty stuff.
For the first time since The L Word I’m having conversations with my lesbian pals about which character is most like them and which girl they’d shag. Move over Shane – you’re a delicate flower compared to these bitches.
Me? I’d probably do the drug trafficker, although the track star is hot. I haven’t mentioned her yet but you’ll know what I mean once you watch. My gf tells me I’m most like Crazy Eyes which was offensive at first but she’s very sweet despite being nuts. So I’ve started calling my girlfriend Dandelion. Sorry for anyone who doesn’t know what I’m crapping on about.
Gayness aside, what I love most about this series is how genuinely good it is. The writing is sharp and topical and the performances are top notch. Definitely my new favourite show.

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