The entire first season of Jenji Kohen’s Orange Is the New Black, which follows Piper Chapman’s (Taylor Schilling) life as she spends a year in prison, became available on Netflix Instant last Thursday. THANK GOODNESS! Without it we’d be left only to sigh and watch Whodunnit?, and to attempt to keep our hopes up for the group of townies, +Barbie, +the ladies and their daughter who were just driving through on their way to– DON’T TALK ABOUT IT!, trapped Under the Dome. (Or I guess we could read a book or travel to a lake or someplace, just kidding. GIVE US TV!) Orange Is the New Black offers a bit of relief from the summer TV drought in a way that was, I WILL ADMIT, surprising to me. I started watching OITNB yesterday only after seeking other options and coming up empty, and only after being encouraged by everyone on Twitter taking time out of tweeting their outrage in order to tweet about how great the series is. I wasn’t a big Weeds fan, and the idea of another Jenji Kohen series about a pretty young lady paying for her mistakes in legality didn’t immediately grab me, but what kept me returning to Orange Is the New Black (I watched three episodes before forcing myself to RELAX) was the life that surrounds Chapman in prison. Her fellow inmates are compelling, funny, full characters whose stories are told in flashback (like Chapman’s is) as the episodes unfold. Their lives outside and relationships inside would be enough to hold a series, even without the binding element of Chapman’s story! (Though, that isn’t to say I don’t appreciate the lead, as well – Taylor Schilling is very good in this!) (Jason Biggs is also good in it!) It is a good show, the end. Basically. Are you watching it? Are you pacing yourself? Have you finished already, and now you’re back in the same no-good-TV spot you were before you began? Why did you do that to yourself?!