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5 Shows like Orange Is the New Black: Crimes of Passion

What could be more fun than watching a group of outrageous women share a prison cell and conjure up plans to keep them occupied whilst inside? Not a lot, I think you will agree. Orange Is the New Black is the show that has men and women of all ages gripped to the TV. If you are looking for more TV shows like Orange Is the New Black, try Weeds for more dark humour or Prison Break for a grittier prison show.

Fallen Angels

Piper Chapman finds herself in jail, after a decade old crime catches up with her. Piper is not your usual prison bad girl, as she only ends up in jail due to her drug dealing partner. A great ensemble cast means that there is a character that almost every viewer can identify with, crime aside.

The show is bittersweet at times and laugh out loud funny at others, which you probably already know, if you are here looking for more TV series like Orange Is the New Black.

***
‘Weeds’ (Lionsgate Television, 2005-2012)

When Nancy Botwin loses her husband unexpectedly, she soon finds herself living a life of crime in order to support her family. Determined to do the best for her two sons, Nancy turns to growing and selling weed.

Some of the decisions Nancy makes are a far cry away from her perfect mother role, but she struggles to stop herself getting deeper into the drug world. Mary-Louise Parker shines as Nancy and she deservedly won an Emmy for her role on 2006.

Similarity Match: 95%
The show explores similar themes about gender and, like the women in OITNB, Nancy Botwin may be a criminal, but viewers empathise with the predicament she finds herself in.

***
‘Prison Break’ (Adelstein-Parouse Productions, 2005-2009)

Due to a political conspiracy an innocent man, Lincoln Burrows, finds himself on death row with no means of escaping it. Lincoln was set up by government officials, who carefully plotted against him, in order to free themselves of blame. Lincoln’s only hope lies in the hands of his brother, Michael, who deliberately tries to get put into the same prison, so that they can break free together.

Similarity Match: 90%
If you could sum up Prison Break in two words, they would be INTENSE and ADDICTIVE. You will race through a whole series in no times, much like OITNB addicts. Expect darker storylines and less humour.

***
‘Oz’ (Levinson/Fontana Company, 1997-2003)

Another series like Orange Is the New Black is Oz. Prison unit manager Tim McManus and warden Leo Glynn head up an experimental wing of Oswald Maximum Security Correctional Facility. The men held in the wing each have their own unique story as to why they are in prison and they all face personal struggles during their time in ‘Oz’.

This show is not for the faint hearted, as it explores controversial issues that run through the heart of the prison, including drugs, sexual abuse, heavy gambling and much more.

Similarity Match: 85%
Oz is a no hold barred insight into the lives of inmates in a high security prison, making it a very violent show at times. This is a far cry from OITNB but viewers get to see the differences and similarities that men and women face in prison.

***
‘Bad Girls’ (Shed Productions, 1999-2006)

Bad Girls chronicles the lives of a group of female inmates and their guards in, the fictional, HMP Larkhall prison. As with most prisons, there are women that feel that they shouldn’t be there, others that had no option but to end up in prison and the down-right awful women who deserve all that they get.

The eclectic bunch of women shares some shocking moments and viewers are always encouraged to search their moral compass when judging the inmates.

Similarity Match: 80%
Bad Girls is a grittier version of Orange Is the New Black, with the writers boldly covering heard hitting issues, like suicide and sexual abuse inside prisons.

***
‘The L Word’ (Anonymous Content, 2004-2009)

The L Word invites viewers to be a fly on the wall on the lives of a group of close-knit lesbian friends in LA. Central character, Jenny, moves to LA with her boyfriend, but soon finds herself questioning her future and her sexuality when she meets her lesbian next door neighbours and their friends. All of the women in the show are very different but share a close bond, that sees them come together to work out any problem they experience. The L Word gained cult status among gay communities across the world, as it explored issues that TV had never dared to touch before.

Similarity Match: 75%
The L Word may not be set in a prison, but it tells a story of strong female women fighting for their rights and celebrating their sexuality, in the same way OITNB tries to do.

***

Break Out

These are my suggestions for shows similar to Orange is the New Black, and I think you will like them.

If you can think of another TV show that you’d like to recommend to other Orange is the New Black fans, I’d love to read about what drama shows love to binge on, in the comments below.

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