Netflix's hit Orange is the New Black is gaining momentum through word of mouth. Whether you're on the fence or you've never heard of it, we've got the top 10 reasons why you need to add this fascinating television series to your queue right now.

Wondering why there's so much buzz about Orange is the New Black? You have to experience it for yourself to truly understand. To get you motivated to take on this season's best new series, here are the top 10 reasons you should be watching Orange is the New Black.

1^ The characters are deeply flawed.

Orange is the New Black doesn't shy away from serious character flaws. Instead, character flaws are brought to life in unflinching, honest ways. As the series progresses, you find that most of the women you meet are flawed in ways that don't relate to the crimes they were imprisoned for. It's refreshing to root for someone who doesn't always make great choices. Main character Piper Chapman, who is sentenced to 15 months for a crime she committed a decade before, isn't always a nice person. At all. And that's OK.

2
^
It's based on a true story.

The series is based on Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison, a memoir by Piper Kernan. Kernan, now a nonprofit communications executive, has direct input on the series. Though many aspects of her experience have been fictionalized for the small screen, the show draws heavily on her real experiences in a women's prison.

3
^
Jenji Kohan of Weeds is the creator.

Did you love Weeds? You'll love that Weeds creator Jenji Kohan is at the helm of Orange is the New Black. But unlike Weeds, this series takes a much more realistic look at crime and the criminal justice system. The tone is still warm and funny at times, but the series has more heart and soul than Weeds does.

4
^
A transgender woman plays a transgender woman.

Laverne Cox is a producer, actress and activist. She's also a trans woman of color. In her groundbreaking role as transgender inmate Sophia Burset, Laverne gives TV audiences a rare look at how transgender issues affect individuals and families. Her role is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to media portrayals of trans people.

5
^
You've never seen this many women on screen together.

Ever heard of the Bechdel Test? This informal rule of criticism grades fiction and film on whether or not at least two characters who are women talk to each other about something other than a man. You'd be shocked and hopefully appalled at how many films and television shows fail this test. Orange is the New Black passes with flying colors. Chances are you've never seen this many women on screen together.

6
^
The cast is diverse.

When you turn on the TV at prime time, you're likely to encounter primarily white, thin people. The cast of Orange is the New Black features an amazingly diverse cast of characters. The women on this show represent a variety of ages, ethnicities, races, sexual orientations and body types.

7
^
It's sexy as hell.

Can women's prison be sexy? At times, yes. Orange is the New Black shows women who own their sexuality and desire. Women have sex with women. Women have sex with men. Women have sex with themselves. Not all of the onscreen sex (it's a small part of the show) is meant to be arousing, but when it's hot, it's hot. It doesn't feel exploitative; it feels real. It feels powerful.

8
^
Everyone looks and sounds normal.

While a little bit of makeup manages to work its way into the prison system, prison is by and large a less-than-glamorous place. As a result, the women on Orange is the New Black look shockingly normal. These are women you pass on the street, see at the store, go to school with or meet for drinks after work. The realism of what you're seeing on screen goes a long way toward creating fully-realized characters you grow to love. The dialogue is fresh and authentic and the writing keeps things moving at a pace that leaves you hooked.

9
^
It's about all the types of love between women.

Ultimately, Orange is the New Black is about love between women. While lesbian relationships show up in several plot lines, the theme of love isn't limited to romantic love. We see love between friends, love between parents and children, love between prison family members and love between lovers. It's rare to see a show that roots itself in friendship between women and the way women support each other even in the worst times.

10^You can watch it all at once.

Once you start Orange is the New Black, you won't want to stop. Luckily it's all on Netflix. You can power through the whole season at once. Later, when you're depressed and you miss the characters already, you can start over and see the incredible way each character develops over the span of 13 episodes.

More entertainment

How do you feel about porn?
The best TV shows you missed this year
Meet real moms who write erotica

Photo credit: Netflix

Topics: