When Books Become TV Shows: Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black


I recently read and reviewed the book, Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman and gave it a 4. This was a book I read for book club and during our meeting, instead of just discussing, we decided to watch the first episode of the first season. In hindsight, it may not have been the best option to view a show with R rated content in a public setting, but hey. If you can’t be a rebel in the library, where can you be one? (And it was the library director’s idea, so I wasn’t too concerned.)

Book Accuracy

I gave it a 2 on accuracy, because well, it’s only loosely the same story. Maybe because the book is non-fiction, they felt it needed to be punched up? I get changing the names, though it’s confusing. A lot of what happens in the book is in the show, but happens to someone else or in a different way. For example, there is a scene in the book where Piper observes women fighting and one of them pees in the other’s dorm. In the show, it’s Crazy Eyes and it happens to her. So, definitely heightened drama. Plus, in the book, the Alex character only makes a brief appearance, whereas she’s there from the beginning in the show. Also, the whole storyline with Piper and Larry is totally different. Most of the storylines are completely different, actually, and there is no Polly in the book. So, both enjoyable on their own, but not inherently the same story. More like the same idea.


While the characters in the book were interesting, in the show, they are utterly fascinating. One of the things I like about the show is that we get so much backstory and we get to see the characters out in the world. I feel like Piper went a little nuts at the end of Season 1 and I think she chills a bit in 2, but she still surprises me constantly.


Because the characters are hyped up a bit and we get so much backstory, there are a ton of plotlines circling all around Piper’s. The show is fast paced and you never know what crap will come up next—literally! Just when you think someone’s done for, they pull out a shocker and just when you think someone is all good, they go nuts. The only thing you can count on is that you have no idea what’s coming next!

Overall Entertainment

Highly enjoyable, though, I do end up looking away during some of the raunchy scenes. Some of them go beyond R rated even, and I don’t want to see that. Other than that, I can’t wait to see season 3! I was lucky enough to go right from season 1 to 2, but now I’m feeling the pain of the other fans, knowing I’ll have to wait a year!

Season 1 Trailer

Season 2 Trailer


Did you watch any episodes yet? What did you think?


My Review
  • Book Accuracy
  • Characters
  • Plot
  • Overall Entertainment

2 thoughts on “When Books Become TV Shows: Orange is the New Black

  1. I’d be interested in your comments on how graphic the book is in terms of their language and subject matter. Do they describe in detail the lesbian sex scenes, for example?
    Because, while that might happen, I’m not interested in watching or reading the details. The concept is cool, but I had to quit the show when it got too, um, hardcore for my tastes.


    1. Hi Farin,

      The book is not at all graphic as far as sex goes. I don’t remember how bad the language is, but I don’t think it’s as bad either. There’s really no sex at all in the box, except a few hints at a couple now and then. Nothing like the show, so I’d definitely recommend reading it. The show gets to be a little much for me, too. I tend to look away during those scenes. The book is more about Piper’s experience and it’s fascinating. Let me know if you read it and what you think!

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