We’ve appreciated Netflix ever since they started offering streaming services. However, the day they moved into original content was the day that we truly began to fall in love with them. Orange is the New Black is easily one of our favorite new shows. The only downside we could find is that we binge-watched the entire series in less than a week and now we have nothing to do but wait for season two to roll around. Naturally, that gives us some time to spend talking about the series.
One of our favorite things about OITNB is that there are so many dynamic characters. The more we watched, the more excited we were to see various characters. In truth, there are only a few characters we aren’t fond of, and even those characters serve a worthwhile purpose. Well, except for Pornstache, but that’s for another article.
Here is our list of our favorite prisoners. We originally tried to make this a list of six, but we just couldn’t trim two. Let us know who your favorite OITNB prisoner is in the comments!
We’ve been in love with Sophia’s story from the beginning. As interesting as it is, so many parts of it are heartbreaking. Dominick knew that there would be a transgender character and storyline on the series, but I didn’t know much about it. While I love Sophia, seeing her backstory really sealed the deal for me. She’s such a dynamic character and she handles her struggles with such grace. The only thing that would make us happier for her is to see her with someone that loves her completely and accepts her for the beautiful woman that she is.
Favorite moment: When Sophia is denied estrogen to compensate for prison cutbacks she purposefully swallows the head of a bobblehead toy dog in order to report an emergency and go to the clinic in an attempt to get her estrogen reinstated.
Actress that Plays Sophia: Laverne Cox
What We Know Her From: We haven’t seen any of Laverne’s previous work, but Dominick has talked to her on Twitter where she is very accessible! Check her out at @LaverneCox
Sure, Crazy Eyes has some sort of mental problem. We aren’t disputing that. We don’t know much about her at this point other than the fact that we think she is amazing! We know that she likes to give nicknames to her beloveds (Dandelion), that you don’t want to make her angry (she told us), and that she looks out for those that she cares about. When she sang Chocolate and Vanilla swirl (or Vanilla and Vanilla swirl) we were pretty sure that we’d never hear those words without them being sung again. We’re looking forward to hearing more about her backstory and how she was adopted by her parents.
Ashtyn side note: I would not call any character perfect, but Crazy Eyes is one of those characters with the consistently best moments. When she is meant to be funny, she is spot on, but she also has plenty of tender moments that make you see she is more to her than any potential condition that she may have.
Favorite Moment: We had the hardest time with figuring out our favorite moment here. Some of our top choices include Crazy Eyes peeing on Piper’s floor, reciting Shakespeare to teens, and explaining why Piper is a mean girl.
Actress that Plays Crazy Eyes: Uzo Aduba
What We Know Her From: We are not familiar with any of Uzo’s previous work as she is a relatively new (credited) actress. We have seen Blue Bloods though and that was one of her first roles.
Big Boo is one of the least seen characters on this list, but we’re hoping that we see more of her in season 2. Part of the reason we love her is that she’s completely non-traditional for a female television character. She’s an overweight lesbian and she’s perfectly comfortable with who and what she is.
When she takes care of the helper dog and nicknames her Little Boo, we think she is fabulous. We don’t know why she’s in prison and we haven’t heard her backstory, but we love her anyway. In her group, she is loyal, and for where she is, that’s all that matters.
Favorite Moment: Our favorite moment starts when we realize that she’s stolen the screwdriver and ends when she returns it as a Christmas gift. Although, her dancing is a close second.
Actress that Plays Big Boo: Lea DeLaria
What We Know Her From: We don’t recognize the fabulous Lea from anything, but we’ve seen a lot of the things she’s has starred in, such as, The First Wives Club, Edge of Seventeen, and a guest appearance on The Drew Carey Show.
We love Taystee for a few reasons. She has a way of lighting the room up when she is in it. She’s full of life and she isn’t afraid to show her emotions. She’s smarter than she gives herself credit for, which is sad because it’s clear that she’s a victim of circumstance more than anything. It breaks our hearts to see her in prison and to hear why she feels comfortable there. We are also huge fans of her friendship with Poussey and we fully understand why she loves Taystee.
We were thrilled to learn that Taystee has been promoted to a series regular, so we look forward to learning more about her.
Favorite Moment: Seeing her leave prison.
Actress that Plays Taystee: Danielle Brooks
What We Know Her From: Taystee is only Danielle’s second role, though we are looking forward to seeing her in other great things!
We might have initially enjoyed Nicky because of the actress that plays her, but that was something we forgot about rather quickly. Nichols is unlike most characters that Lyonne has ever played. She is completely fragile and dependent on her prison family and yet she rebels, remembering what it was like being raised by a mother that wanted nothing to do with her. She was a junkie and probably still would be if she weren’t in prison. She’s a lesbian, but we aren’t completely sure if that’s a situational thing or if she always was one (her flashbacks haven’t shown her in relationships). We’re glad that she was saved when she came to prison. Her new family is good for her.
Favorite Moment: When she confesses to Red.
Actress that Plays Nicky: The amazing Natasha Lyonne
What We Know Her From: But I’m a Cheerleader, Scary Movie 2, Party Monster, If These Walls Could Talk 2, and Slums of Beverly Hills
Red is the Russian Mommabear of the prison. She runs the kitchen and cares for her girls. She is known for taking in damaged girls (Nicky among them), nursing them to health, and taking them into her prison family. She has numerous daughters and she loves them all. Her backstory is becoming increasingly interesting, too. We have some guesses about what happened, but we’re looking forward to see it play out.
Red takes enormous pride in being in control of such important things. Like another Red (Morgan Freeman) from another prison movie (The Shawshank Redemption) she’s also the person that can get things for the other girls. She was our first favorite character.
Favorite Moment: When she serves Piper a bloody tampon or when we see her nursing Tricia back to health to get her clean.
Actress that Plays Red: Kate Mulgrew
What We Know Her From: The Black Donnellys, Throw Momma From the Train, and tons of various television shows and appearances on both Soap Operas and Primetime shows.
Miss Claudette is interesting for so many reasons. Her backstory is intriguing. Her love story is heartbreaking. Her time in prison is spent quietly, out of the limelight, and yet her quiet demeanor is not so reserved that she can avoid gossip about her or her character. Despite being an owner of a number of indentured servants that made their way illegally to America, she protected the girls and saw right by them in order to ensure they would have a better life. Sure, it was unconventional, but it was what she knew. The grace in how she handled all of the phases in her life really appeal to us, as well.
Favorite Moment: The backstory that ended her in prison.
Actress that Plays Miss Claudette: Michelle Hurst
What We Know Her From: We’ve seen plenty of things that Hurst was in though we don’t outright recognize the roles she played. Some of our favorites that she was in include I Shot Andy Warhol and Born on the Fourth of July.
This is meant to be a show about Piper, not Alex, so I suppose it’s a testament to Laura Prepon (and perhaps the writers) that we love her so much more than the main character. Alex might run an international drug smuggling ring and she might have turned in her long lost love just to spite her, but we love her anyway. She’s sarcastic and tough, but she has her weaknesses, love and Piper among them. While we both enjoy the backstory with Piper and Alex, Dom is more prone to enjoy the current day Alex with Piper and I prefer to see her with the likes of Nicky.
Favorite Moment: When Alex enlists the help of Big Boo to convince Pennsyltucky that she has the ability to faith heal.
Actress that Plays Alex: Laura Prepon
What We Know Her From: That 70′s Show