Wentworth Prison is an Australian prison drama centered around female characters the same way Orange is the New Black is. It’s probably the closest show there is to Orange is the New Black, so if you like Piper Chapman’s story, you’ll probably find yourself interested in Bea Smith’s just as much.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is another Netflix original that comes supplying a hefty dose of laughter. It’s female-led like Orange is the New Black, and most of the supporting cast is female as well. It’s not quite as serious as a prison drama, but it does touch on similar themes of race, LGBT stories, and the treatment of women, albeit in a much lighter tone. This show would act as a great pick-me-up after that OITNB season four finale cliffhanger. It’s smart and witty, no tissues required.
The two shows have more in common than just similar titles. Orphan Black is another series that has almost as large of a female cast as OITNB – only, most of the characters are played by the same actress, Tatiana Maslany. The show revolves around clones, government secrets, and more futuristic science than most people can wrap their heads around. It’s a bit far from a prison drama, but it’s full of action and characters who are easy to love, and if you were able to binge watch all four seasons of Orange is the New Black, you’ll have a similar experience binging all four available seasons of Orphan Black.
This series is only available through Netflix’s DVD service, but if you have that as part of your package, you’ll probably want to use it to check out this old HBO show. Oz is a male prison drama with actors such as Christopher Meloni, best known for playing Detective Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: SVU. This series isn’t as current as OITNB, having wrapped up in 2003, but the best part about it being a bit dated is that the entire series is already out, and you won’t have to wait for new episodes.
This British show ended a few years before Orange is the New Black began, but it similarly details a group of women adjusting to life behind bars and the lives of the employees managing the prison. It boasts a high IMDb user rating and was even adapted into a musical at one point.
This show might not have much in common with OITNB, but it does share Laura Prepon, who plays Alex Vause. The show has many other great qualities as well. It’s a classic that spurred the careers of more than just Prepon, and has comedy that still holds up today, almost twenty years after it first aired. It also has two hundred episodes, which means plenty of material to binge watch as you wait for the next season of Orange is the New Black to be released.