Orange is the New Black : Season 1

  • Network: Netflix
  • Series Premiere Date: Jul 11, 2013
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32

Where To Watch

Stream On

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jul 11, 2013
    Orange Is the New Black is a funny, dramatically sound, poignant, and thoroughly addictive adventure through a bleak looking glass.
  2. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jul 11, 2013
    The show appears to be an uneven hour that hesitates at going either for the full-throttle laugh or an authentic dramatic beat.
  3. Reviewed by: Melissa Maerz
    Jul 10, 2013
    It's very funny and occasionally quite moving, with a crackerjack cast and provocative insights into the way that race and power and magical chickens function in the penal system.
  4. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jul 10, 2013
    It evokes "Oz" in a very, very good way: it doesn't feel quite like anything that's been put on television (if we're still calling Netflix "television") before.
  5. Reviewed by: Sara Smith
    Jul 8, 2013
    Orange is scary, smart and relevant, and it will make you wonder why no one thought to give the “Oz” formula a dose of estrogen before now.
  6. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Jul 11, 2013
    "The Wire's" Snoop would definitely not fit in. But this is the most impressive group of female characters ever assembled in a series, and it's not just window-dressing; each woman has a story and that story will be told.
  7. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jul 18, 2013
    Orange has graphic scenes that aren’t for kids. But they aren’t played for cheap gags, either, and that attitude serves the production well. With Schilling in top form, this Orange tastes fresh.
  8. 80
    For all its comedy, this is a serious show, one that’s keenly attuned to the damage that women do to other women, and that men and women do to one another, and that the state does to its people before, during and after they go to prison.
  9. Reviewed by: Michael Starr
    Jul 15, 2013
    The show runs smoothly, but the plotline just isn’t compelling enough for me to go rushing back.
  10. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jul 11, 2013
    Orange" is a slog, where minutes seem to stretch into hours, hours into days ... and the drip, drip, drip of prison time becomes its own reality.
  11. People Weekly
    Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jul 8, 2013
    An irritating comedy-drama. [15 Jul 2013]
  12. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Jul 10, 2013
    Schilling's Piper, engaged to the supportive Larry (Jason Biggs) and dodging the attentions of her former lover (Laura Prepon) as well as more aggressively amorous inmates, displays a nice comic sense as she encounters one prison Catch-22 after another. The supporting cast is a strong one. But it's Kate Mulgrew, as the inmate who rules the prison kitchen with an cast-iron fist, who steals every scene she's in, and should leave Netflix's streaming subscribers begging for more.
  13. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jul 11, 2013
    Orange is the New Black proves to be a smart, solid, entertaining effort for the online streaming service.
  14. Reviewed by: Matthew Wollin
    Jul 11, 2013
    While the characters remain thinly rendered types and the situations predictable, Orange is the New Black veers from melodrama to slapstick.
  15. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Jul 12, 2013
    Orange Is the New Black [is] Netflix’s hilarious, addictive, fantastic new series about the goings-on at a low-security women’s prison.
  16. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jul 10, 2013
    In every case, there is an abiding feeling for character and authenticity that helps elevate Orange Is the New Black to a new definition of television excellence.
  17. Orange is teeming with humor, heart and poignancy--all the elements needed to qualify it as one of the summer's must-see shows.
  18. Reviewed by: Bruce Miller
    Jul 8, 2013
    Kohen, basing her series on Piper Kerman's memoir, immediately gives us characters worth watching.... Orange is the New Black is TV that'll have you talking for days.
  19. Reviewed by: Matthew Wolfson
    Jul 16, 2013
    While it's not apparent that the show's personalities add up to anything more than themselves at first, they ultimately prove to be compelling studies of people trying to work through glaring mistakes and obvious limitations to fashion some sort of livable present.
  20. Reviewed by: Tom Long
    Jul 11, 2013
    Yes, there are a few stereotypes--a guard nicknamed Pornstache is exactly the sleazeball you expect in a women’s prison series. But, for the most part, the show strikes a fresh tone, allowing for real tenderness, social commentary and lots of anxiety in a classic fish-out-of-water scenario.
  21. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jul 2, 2013
    It constantly offers more than you expect, and even when it delivers something either predictable or straight from the “women’s prison drama” handbook, it then counters with something fresh or unexpected.
  22. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jul 10, 2013
    Orange is one of the best new programs of the year, and the six episodes I've seen have left me hungry to see more.
  23. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Jul 10, 2013
    That ensemble may be enough reason to spend 12 hours or so at the fictional Litchfield prison, even if the drama occasionally lags. It’s a surprisingly congenial place.
  24. Reviewed by: Emily Nussbaum
    Jul 1, 2013
    Smart, salty, and outrageous, the series falls squarely in the tradition of graphic adult cable drama.
  25. Reviewed by: Kristi Turnquist
    Jun 24, 2014
    Quibbles aside, watching this superb cast working together remains a pleasure, and it makes Season 2 of Orange Is the New Black an irresistible summer viewing choice.
  26. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jul 10, 2013
    The show becomes more engrossing as is spins out from her story, fleshing out the inmates, their backstories, and their alliances. You may come for the culture-clash cringe-comedy; it’s the real human stories that will have you captivated.
  27. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jul 11, 2013
    Netflix finally achieves its eureka moment with a terrifically entertaining piece of original programming that's truly and bracingly original.
  28. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jul 11, 2013
    Schilling, Prepon and Mulgrew are uniformly terrific throughout, whether in prison garb or flashback civilian clothes. But other characters are equally compelling, giving this series innumerable stories to tell for hopefully many seasons to come. Based on the first six of 13 episodes, Orange is the New Black has passed virtually every test with flying colors.
  29. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jul 11, 2013
    A deft mix of comedy and drama in which the prison feels like a real place and the women are actual people, rather than a thinly veiled excuse to stage catfights, lesbian fantasies and sexual assault.
  30. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jul 8, 2013
    Although messy and at times uneven, the one-hour series feels like a bull’s-eye with the sort of premium-cable space the distributor is eager to carve out with its original efforts.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 826 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 88 out of 114
  2. Negative: 11 out of 114
  1. Jul 11, 2013
    I have to admit, I didn't know quite what to expect from Netflix as a show producer, but if "Orange is the New Black" is representative of theI have to admit, I didn't know quite what to expect from Netflix as a show producer, but if "Orange is the New Black" is representative of the caliber of the shows they're investing in, I'm really impressed! Both the writing and the casting are excellent, and the show manages to be really funny while also telling meaningful stories about a refreshingly diverse range of engaging and three-dimensional characters My friend and I decided to check out just the first episode, but ended up watching five in a row because we were so caught up in the different storylines. It's already one of my favorite new shows, and I'm thrilled that Netflix has already ordered a second season it's nice to know that they recognize a good thing when they see it!

    Side note: I would respectfully disagree with the reviewer who said the show made prison look not as bad as it really is, because the prison in the show is a medium security prison that does not house the most violent inmates. As such, it is actually a more realistic portrayal of life a typical women's prison than what we usually see on TV, though some of the characters may be unusually quirky!
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 17, 2013
    Although this show is relatively entertaining, with the exception of the segments pertaining to her life outside of prison, the show lacks anyAlthough this show is relatively entertaining, with the exception of the segments pertaining to her life outside of prison, the show lacks any hint of authenticity. All of these women have been convicted of crimes that warrant prison time and yet they are all portrayed as having a heart of gold. Anyone that has seen lockup would know that even in a women's jail life is much more intense than what has been portrayed in this program. Totally not buying Laura Prepon as any form of heroin dealer (she would be dead in seconds flat) because heroin is a much more serious game than just selling weed. I also find it incredibly hard to believe that a person would even be indicted let alone sentenced for a ten year old crime based on nothing more than the testimony of a criminal trying to get their sentence reduced. All that being said I think the show is still relatively entertaining which came as a complete surprise considering its from the same creator of that awful excuse for a television program they call Weeds, what a pile of crap that is. They could also do without that annoying Regina Spektor noise. Full Review »
  3. Jul 11, 2013
    Sharp, engrossing & funny, this “Oz" like Netflix original dramedy about life in a women’s prison is filled with characters & storylinesSharp, engrossing & funny, this “Oz" like Netflix original dramedy about life in a women’s prison is filled with characters & storylines worthy of a 12-hour binge. -MN Full Review »