There are few shows that are quite as beloved and consistently binge watched as Netflix's Orange is the New Black. One of the first shows available entirely on streaming, creator Jenji Kohan has crafted a nuanced and complex group of inmates, resulting in OITNB truly becoming an ensemble series throughout the years. And with so many Litchfield ladies stealing our hearts, it's hard to decide which ones are your favorite. Until now. Because rather than a typical ranking of Orange's characters, we're going to do things a bit different. These are the characters I'd like to get drunk on prison hooch with. Although with Poussey gone, I'm not sure who the current Litchfield supplier is.
Yoda Jones is one of my favorite tertiary characters from Orange is the New Black. Since the very first episode, her unique speaking voice and penchant for chaturanga have made her a hilarious ensemble member in all of her appearances. But my need to throw one back with Jones happened after watching Season 4. When Judy King was given a private living quarters, she was assigned a roommate in Yoga Jones. And while Jones originally loathed the idea, she began enjoying the perks that come with King's presence. And season 4 episode "People Persons" saw she, Judy King, and Luschek dropping Molly and engaging in a prison 3-way. If that doesn't spell out a good drinking buddy, I'm not sure what does.
Leanne and Angie
Leanne and Angie are two more minor characters who I can't get enough of. While they were both unlikeable as Pennsatucky's cronies in early seasons, they've really come to their own as a dynamic duo as the show goes on. Rather than trying to gain money or power during their time in Litchfield, these two just want to get high and have a good time. And its this fun loving attitude that makes me want to split a bag of hooch with Leanne and Angie. While they'd probably end up hogging the booze and occasionally making quasi-racist remarks about the other inmates, you can't deny that they'd be down to hide in the prison chapel and go to town on some hooch with you.
Nicky Nichols (played by series star Natasha Lyonne) is one of the most universally loved characters on Orange is the New Black. An addict with a heart of gold, Nicky's sense of humor and perspective are what makes her so valuable to her group within Litchfield. And it's this exact sense of humor that makes me want to put a few back with Red's favorite daughter. And while her past as a drug addict would likely exclude Nicky from any hooch drinking times, I can't help but wish we could put down a few and make fun of Piper together. Although, she probably doesn't need booze to make that happen.
Part of what makes Orange is the New Black such a great show to binge watch is how complex and flawed the characters are. All of the inmates ended up in Litchfield for a reason, usually due to their fatal character flaw. But one character who has always been a source of joy and comedy on the series is Danielle Brooks' Taystee. From her very first appearance in Episode 1, we've seen how Taystee can typically forget that she's in prison and enjoy her time with friends and the library. And while she started the riot that will make up Season 5's plot, I'm sure she's still a great drinking buddy. As long as you pour one out for our girl Poussey.
Flaca and Maritza
In just a few seasons, Flaca and Maritza have risen up the ranks to become some of my favorite Orange is the New Black characters. Much like Leanne and Angie, Flaritza (as they've come to be known as) are two inmates who tend to have more fun than other characters. These two are also all about the gossip, so I'm ready to feed them some hooch so they'll spill all the Litchfield tea. Now the only thing we need for a truly perfect evening full of hooch chugging is pizza. Because like Maritza said in OITNB's Valentine's Day episode (as well as her Season 1 campaign for Healy's WAC), everything is better with pizza.
Big Boo is another layered character on Orange is the New Black. Played by comedian and actress Lea Delaria, Boo started off as an intimidating character who seemed wholly focused on getting her sexual kicks. But she's gone on to advocate for her fellow inmates, especially Pennsatucky in the wake of her sexual assault. And Big Boo also has plenty of moments of levity, thanks to her razor sharp wit. Plus, my girl Boo definitely likes her hooch. When Tricia died in Season 1, Boo was one of the inmates who was the most affected. And when Poussey showed up with her hooch as a gift for Red's family, Boo was the one chugging the majority of it, while also pouring one out for her. So I'm ready to go shot for shot with my girl Boo. She can handle it.
This one goes without question. Poussey was Litchfield's queen of hooch, brewing her mixture for she and her fellow inmates to enjoy. For a price, that is. Poussey was one of Orange is the New Black's most sweet and genuine characters, offering smiles and jokes with everyone she interacted with. It's this spirit that makes Poussey the perfect drinking buddy. And since she's the one who crafts the hooch, she should also know which stash would taste the best... if any. While she may have felt isolated for a bit and abused the stuff, Soso's suicide attempt brought the couple together and pulled Poussey out of her depression.
Season 5 will feel very different without Poussey's smile, but her presence will still be felt. This season revolves around the prison wide riot, which was started mostly because Caputo failed to mention Poussey's name during his press conference. Soso, Taystee, and Crazy Eyes will also presumably spend much of the season mourning, which is enough to drive anyone to drink.
Orange is the New Black will return for Season 5 on June 9th.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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