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9 Life Lessons from ‘Orange is the New Black’

09 September 2013

"Orange is the New Black" brims with life lessons as well as rock-solid entertainment. The latest from "Weeds" creator Jenji Kohan is set in a women's prison, and the series' main character is a white middle-class woman named Piper Chapman, a lady who's serving a sentence for smuggling drugs for her lesbian lover. The show is rich with diversity as we watch Piper fumble and falter through prison life. Sometimes she skates but mostly she suffers as she fights to learn her lessons. Take the opportunity to learn from ladies learning the hard way. Always Know Who the Cook Is Before You Insult the Meal

Piper really steps in it when she insult the prison's food while Red, the kitchen manager and cook, is sitting across from her at the lunch table. Piper suffers for several days, wishing she could eat Red's slop again.

Play to Your Strengths

After several days of pain-inducing hunger, Piper finally finds a way to repair her relationship with Red with the aid of some peppers. Knowing Red suffers back pain, Piper uses her background in organic creams and lotions to create a salve, both literal and figurative, for Red. Lucky for Piper it worked like a charm.

Treat Your Allies With Respect

Piper, known as Dandelion to her prison wife Suzanne, also known as Crazy Eyes, underestimates the power of her protector's feelings for her. She uses Crazy Eyes and her devotion several times to her advantage. With Piper's prison rape anxiety and understandable mistrust in her situation, she clings to any buoy early on, and Crazy Eyes, in all of her sincerity, is happy to serve as a lifeline. That is until Piper has to come clean that doesn't want a crazy-eyed romance. Here's a montage of the best Crazy Eyes scenes:


The Past Can Come Back to Haunt You

Not only does Piper have to pay for her misdeeds, but she has to do it alongside her former lesbian lover Alex Vause, who facilitated the crimes with her international drug ring. With a fiance at home and her former lover a few cell blocks over, Piper is in for more life lessons of her own.

Make Lemonade out of Lemons and Shower Sandals out of Duct Tape

Resourcefulness is a running theme in this series. Whether characters need something to soothe their aching back or to avoid foot germs in the shower, they dig deep to find solutions. Sophia's duct tape sandals are perfect to protect her feet, and they don't look too bad at all.

Learn About the Kinsey Scale

As TV branches out from networks and cable stations to Internet streaming via Hughesnet.com, you have greater opportunity to watch honest programming that covers normally taboo subjects. Piper discusses the Kinsey Scale, in relation to where people fall on the sexuality spectrum.

People Change

Fiance Larry is originally on Team Piper when he learns of her colorful past, but as the series marches on, the audience watches him discover his true feelings of frustration over Piper's past and some of the changes she makes while in prison.

Appreciate the Little Things

Whether it's a chance to the talk to a loved one on the telephone, run on the yard's running track, get a glimpse of the Internet or get a shot at a Twix bar, the characters learn to enjoy the small victories.

Don't Fall for the Prison Guard

While the romance between Dayanara and Bennet is sweet at first, consummating their attraction becomes messy for everyone involved.