It's funny. Advertising for House of Cards was plastered on every billboard and bus and subway station. Kevin Spacey would stare you down from Abraham Lincoln's seat anywhere you turned. Arrested Development was hyped as only resurrecting the most loved TV show in the past 10 years could be. How many clips and trailers and teasers did we watch? Even Lillyhammer got buzz for being the first Netflix TV show. Orange Is the New Black? As quiet a release as Netflix has ever had. Which was unfortunate, because it's the best TV show on Netflix. And very probably the best new TV show this year.
No worries though. The story about a WASP getting locked up with an amazing cast of characters in prison didn't need the marketing dollars of House of Cards or the pre-media buzz of Arrested Development to be watched, it was just good television. And Orange's success might capture the essence of the Internet: if you make good stuff, people will find it.
And Orange is absolutely good stuff. It's a fantastic show that's about all kinds of people. Minorities are represented, gay story lines are explored, weakness is admirably shown and relationships—oh the relationships—are tested in ways that resonate to even non-prisoners. It's refreshing because not everyone is white and not everyone is a former model and not everything is politically correct. These characters might be in prison but they could also be your next door neighbor. Shit happens to decent people. This show knows that best of all. [Netflix]