If you like Orange is the New Black’s dark drama and oddball humour, you’ll enjoy these comparable shows and series.
Millions of Netflix subscribers bid their goodbyes to one of the most popular shows in the company’s history this summer.
On July 25, 2019, Orange is the New Black ended its seven-season run of 91 episodes. Those who enjoyed the series were disappointed to see it end, and a hole was left to fill. What are they going to watch next?
Thankfully, we’re living in what many regard to be television’s “Golden Age.” Now that Orange is the New Black has ended, there are plenty of terrific shows to choose from to fill the void.
Matthew Wilkinson updated this post on May 26th: Despite the fact that this brilliant prison-based series ended almost a year ago, Orange is the New Black has remained popular. However, with so many other shows now available to consumers, there is plenty of stuff for lovers of this series to watch.
While they may not be identical, there are subtle parallels in everything from people to substance that will satisfy the needs of fans of this show. Based on what made Orange is the New Black so successful, we’ve chosen the 15 shows we think might work best.
When Orange is the New Black first aired, it appeared to be a show based mostly on Piper Chapman. As the story developed, the scope widened and the many inmates were given greater character depth, transforming it into an ensemble piece. Shameless, a Showtime smash, is similarly about a large group of damaged characters.
To be fair, Shameless has a far smaller cast than OITNB, focusing mostly on a predominantly Caucasian family. What makes this a Netflix prison show is how the characters get involved in illicit activities and must face with the consequences of their sometimes heinous conduct. It’s the type of engrossing entertainment that OITNB fans adore.
While the tone and characters of Hollywood are vastly different from those of Litchfield, there are numerous parallels between the two series. Despite the fact that it focuses on the glitz and glamour of old-school Hollywood rather than damaged folks with criminal pasts, it touches on many of the same themes.
Hollywood places a strong emphasis on issues such as race, gender equality, and homophobia, all of which are topics that OITNB explores extensively. While the universes are vastly different, they both deal with the same issues in slightly different ways.
13. Jessica Jones
OITNB is far from the only Netflix original series featuring strong female protagonists. Jessica Jones’ lead actress is the most powerful woman on the streaming phenomenon. Jessica is a superhuman with super strength, super speed, and other abilities.
Jessica Jones was a Netflix series that aired for three seasons and was part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This wasn’t your normal superhero program, thanks to Krysten Ritter’s outstanding acting. Jessica had a bleak tone to it, and it dealt with serious issues such as alcoholism, rape, and drug addiction.
12. Arrested Development
Arrested Development, like OITNB, is a comedy that has a diverse cast of characters with distinct personalities. While this production does not place as much emphasis on authentic emotional drama, there are still moral lessons to be learnt and a genuine connection between the viewer and the characters.
The drama centers on a single family, with numerous members ending themselves in jail during the series as a result of their mistakes. While it is less humorous than OITNB, its comedy and charmingly oddball characters will keep fans entertained in the same way.
Piper Chapman was sentenced to Litchfield Prison for her involvement in a thug ring that was uncovered. Something as simple as that was enough to start a long-running series. Imagine if the show had started before she was imprisoned. Another Netflix show, Ozark, is in a similar situation.
Marry Byrde, a financial advisor, becomes entangled in the world of money laundering in Ozark. He’s out out of his league, which adds to the show’s intrigue. Byrde spends the entire season on the run from both the cops and the drug lords. In 2019, Jason Bateman and Julia Garner both won Emmy Awards for their outstanding performances.
10. Better Call Saul
Don’t be frightened off by the show’s Breaking Bad connections; this is a precursor to the hit series, so anyone who hasn’t seen Breaking Bad will be OK. This series, like OITNB, revolves around a character who breaches the law but ultimately tries to do the right thing.
Saul Goodman attempts to be a good lawyer and follow the rules, but he can’t seem to stop himself from breaking them in order to get success and money. The vast majority of inmates in Litchfield aren’t evil people, but they do things for others that land them in prison. This show’s humor is also amazing, something OITNB fans will adore.
9. Orphan Black
On this list, you’ll notice a pattern where we think fans of Orange is the New Black will love series with large casts of diverse women.
Orphan Black is based on the same principle, but with a considerably smaller cast. This is because Orphan Black is a show about clones, all of whom are played by Tatiana Maslany.
With a crazy hook, this show immediately grabs viewers’ attention and keeps them coming back for more story twists. Maslany’s work is the true kicker. She deservedly won an Emmy for playing five different primary characters. That doesn’t count the lesser supporting roles she’s played. Despite the fact that the women are identical, each has a distinct personality, and you can identify who is who simply by watching Maslany’s outstanding performance.
8. Killing Eve
In terms of tone and plot, Killing Eve is far more dramatic than OITNB, but it has a large fan base and is a show about female emancipation. One of the reasons OITNB became so successful was because of the push for strong female lead characters, and this series does it just as effectively.
It depicts the lives of two extraordinarily competent women, one an MI6 operative and the other an assassin, as their paths cross. This play contains a lot of action and some very thrilling and intense moments that keep the audience glued to their seats.
7. The L Word
Though The L Word does not deal with the same level of deep and emotional drama as OITNB, it does have certain essential similarities. For one thing, it’s yet another show with a large female cast. For another, and maybe more importantly, it is heavily concerned with LGBTQ+ concerns.
The L Word follows a group of lesbian women in California who were friends. This revolutionary sitcom was one of the first to prominently portray LGBTQ+ characters. It received enormous recognition and has left an indelible mark on pop culture. There was originally an unaired spin-off set in a female prison, which ties it closer to OITNB. A sequel series dubbed The L Word: Generation Q is planned to launch in December 2019, so now is a fantastic opportunity to check out this show.
6. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, like Orange is the New Black, is mostly a comedy show. This series features a fantastic array of characters and is consistently hilarious. The show is immensely popular and will have audiences in stitches as they laugh along with the running gags.
While it concentrates on the other side of the criminal world, following detectives rather than inmates, OITNB fans will like seeing the other side in a comic light. This program also features several excellently written and strong LGBTQ+ characters, something that OITNB excelled at.
After the success of The L Word in bringing LGBTQ+ people to the forefront, series like Sense8 may thrive. Sense8 was another Netflix original about a group of eight strangers from all over the world who learned they were emotionally and mentally bonded. It dealt with issues such as politics, sexuality, and religion, just like Orange is the New Black.
During its two-season run, the majority of critics and fans praised Sense8.
The show was nominated for the Dorian Awards for LGBTQ TV Show of the Year, and viewers commended it for how it addressed the subject. When Sense8 was canceled, fans were outraged on social media, and one of the reasons for this was the loss of these cherished characters.
Even if you loved Orange is the New Black, you might be yearning for something a little more grounded. Jailbirds is the right show for you if that’s the case. The genuine narrative of the women detained in Sacramento County Jail is told in this Netflix documentary-style series.
Jailbirds has been compared to a live-action adaptation of Orange is the New Black. Viewers learn of the women’s plans, which include robbery, assault, and even murder. It’s not all doom and gloom, though; the show also delves into the ladies’ daily lives and relationships.
Jenji Kohan has worked on two successful shows as both a creator and a writer. Her most well-known show isOITNB, but she originally appeared on Showtime’sWeeds in 2005. That show followed a widowed mother of two who decides to sell marijuana to help maintain her family. She rapidly realizes she’s in over her head, but as the show progresses, she falls deeper into the criminal underworld.
It’s Jenji Kohan’s signature style. You’ll loveWeeds if you like the blend of severe situations, strong drama, and black comedy seen inOITNB. Most fans tend to agree that the show’s quality has dipped in recent seasons, but when it was on its game, Weeds was one of the best shows on television.
Jenji Kohan is an executive producer on Netflix’sGLOW, despite the fact that she only created Weeds and Orange is the New Black. This show is led by a group of strong ladies who have found themselves in an unusual predicament. Does this ring a bell? GLOW is more peppy, set in the fun 1980s, with the women all working on a wrestling television show.
GLOW has a literary style that is very similar to that of OITNB. There’s a lot of witty banter as well as embarrassing times. Each character is given a lot of material to deal with, in what appears to be a delicate balancing act. Sexual harassment, eating disorders, racism, stereotypes, and at least two characters battling to come out as openly gay have all been addressed. GLOW has a little bit of everything, no matter what you’re looking for.
It’s impossible to watch Wentworth without thinking of Orange is the New Black. It’s essentially an Australian adaptation of the Netflix show. In terms of how the show was set up, it followed a similar pattern. Wentworth began with a single female protagonist before expanding into an ensemble work.
The tone would most likely be the most significant change between the two performances.
Although OITNB has had its share of melancholy moments, there is a lightheartedness to it all at times.
Simply put, Wentworth is grittier and darker. It appears to be a more accurate portrayal of the prison experience.
orange is the new black
Born and bred in New York City, I graduated Valedictorian from Full Sail University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment. I’ve written for several websites in the past on celebrities, pop culture, sports, movies, television, and wrestling.