White Girl With Cornrows Orange Is The New Black

Orange Is the New Black may have a tough row to hoe come awards season. It’s more of a pure dramedy than almost any other current “television” series, give or take some Girls : Watch any given episode, and you’ll find cringe humor, serious character study, black comedy, heart-wrenching pathos, and, whenever Jason Biggs is onscreen, broad yuppie skewering. (Perhaps not coincidentally, these last bits are by far the least successful aspect of the show — though Biggs himself turned out to be a pretty good actor, American Pie movies be damned.)

I was as blond and naive as Piper Chapman, the WASPy, Smith-grad heroine of “Orange Is the New Black,” when I surrendered to federal prison in 2006. Like Chapman, I was busted for trafficking drugs (marijuana, in my case). Before that, I’d never been in trouble with the law aside from an occasional parking ticket.