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Top 8 Female-Centric Tv Shows Like Orange Is the New Black

Updated on June 26, 2019
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Rahul is a TV addict who can never get enough of good shows. His all-time favorites are 'The Wire', 'Breaking Bad', and 'The Sopranos.'

It’s because of gritty series like Orange Is The New Black that people subscribe to Netflix. Over the last couple of years, the streaming giant has managed to build a good line up of original TV shows, giving the traditional network a run for their money.

The critically acclaimed prison drama chronicles the daily lives of women inside the prison cell. It’s gritty, mature and fun all the way through.

While you prepare to binge-watch the next season as soon as it’s up, let’s take a look at some of other TV shows like Orange Is The New Black to make the withdrawal easier. Think of this list like IMDB recommendations, only more accurate.

The L Word

No, “The L world” is not a prison drama. It’s a female-centric show chronicling the lives of lesbians. It shows the real-world problems lesbians come across, not losing the mature humor along the way.

It shows you a different side of the world – something we’re not exposed to usually. Most importantly, it breaks down all the stereotypes. Yes, there is a lot of profanity, rough sex and nudity. This is to be expected from a show that is trying to tell a mature story. By the end of first few episodes, nearly every boundary is crossed. However, it stays believable and authentic all the way through. Let me state the obvious here —keep children away.

Jessica Jones - One of the best superhero shows like Orange is The New Black

Holy smokes. If you haven’t been watching this new superhero offering from Netflix, go do it. Leave whatever you’re doing and take some time out to watch one of the best female-centric TV shows like Orange is The New Black.

To put it simply, Jessica Jones rules. The story is about an ex-superhero, who has given up on fighting the evil. She is trying to live a normal life working as a private investigator. Things take a drastic turn when she’s assigned to a case that links back to her past.

We’ve had some great comic book adaptions this year. Marvel’s Daredevil, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow are just a few names that come to my mind. “Jessica Jones”, however, manages to stand up on its own with a totally different vibe. It’s gritty, moody, and capable to taking you to dismally dark places. It stays compelling from the beginning right to the very end. I can’t say the same for most of the superhero shows.

Overall, Jessica Jones is one of the greatest TV shows like Orange is the New Black. Don’t miss out on it.

Marvel and Netflix have struck gold, again. And it seems that we’re going to see a lot of other great dramas coming from these two.

Prison Break - A gritty drama like Orange is the New Black

Conspiracies, violence, twisting plots and really great acting – Prison Break has everything you need to fill the “OITNB” shaped hole in your heart. The plot revolves around Michael, whose brother is the victim of some very high level conspiracy. He is near is death sentence for a crime he didn’t even commit. With no help on sight, Michael takes matters in his hand and decides to break his brother out of prison before it’s too late. He deliberately commits a crime and gets sent to the same prison where his brother is held at. Will they successfully make it out alive?

The first 3 seasons are great with top-notch production quality and some really intriguing drama. The 4th and final season, however, feels at little bland at places. Still, it maintains the intrigue throughout the season as Micheal along with his team goes on war against the “Company’’ – the same evil organization that ruined their lives.

The prison setting is all there is as far as the similarity goes with shows like Orange is The New Black. It’s more about the action and conspiracy than the drama inside the prison. The last season is pretty much shot outside the prison. If you love the grittiness of “OITNB”, though, you’d love what “Prison Break” has to offer.

Oz - An adult TV show like Orange is The New Black

A prison drama on HBO. You know what to expect. You know that HBO doesn’t like to hold anything back. The result is nudity, profanity and a lot of scenes that can make anyone cringe. The prison is not safe for anyone to live, and “Oz” screams it at the top of its lungs. People get raped, tortured, and mutilated, and it changes them forever. Oz is the story about once such character, who gets sent to prison after running over a kid. He changes over the course of few years, becoming brutal, conniving and a murderer – a man to be feared.

Oz brings the daily tortured life of inmates on screen, and baby, it’s not pretty at all. It can get uncomfortable, and often, suffocating at times. If you have a strong stomach, go for it. It’s one of the best TV shows like Orange is The New Black. It’s one of those rare shows that actually make you think and care about the minor characters. You want to know what happened to them, and how they are going to turn out.

United States of Tara – One of the most underrated show like Orange is the New Black

It’s the story of Tara, who struggles with her identity disorder while trying to keep his dysfunctional family together. Billed as a comedy show, there is much more than just a few chuckles. I started watching it out of curiously, and found out that it’s deep. The characters are believable and likeable for the most part.

In my opinion, “United States of Tara” deserved more attention than it ever got. It starts out like a comedy show. Over the course of a few episodes, however, this show gets into the groove, telling a serious, intriguing story. The storyline will draw you in in no time. If you’re looking for some great TV shows like Orange is the new Black, give it a shot.


Weeds had me totally hooked. No puns intended. I think I haven’t been this much in love with a show since the days of “Rome”.

The plot revolves around a widowed housewife, who decides to sell weed after her husband dies. She has to maintain a privileged lifestyle for the whole family. Things take a different turn when she finds out how addicted everyone around her is. As it turns out, maintaing two different lifestyle isn’t that easy.

Mary-Lousie Parker has aced the lead role. She looks believable and authentic in the role of a drug dealer, who is just doing it for the family. You won’t sympathize with her; you’ll relate top her, and cheer her all the way through. Elzabeth Perkins, who plays as Ceila, a friend of Nancy, is perfect in her role too. She lightens up the whole show with her sarcastic comments and a good sense of humor.

This show is as good as they come. As in, “Orange is The New Black” good. Don’t miss out on it.

Women in Prison – A classical show like Orange is the New Black

The plot revolves around a woman, who gets framed for shoplifting and gets sent to women’s prison – a place where she doesn’t belong. She ends up with people who have committed real crimes. Some of them are a husband murderer and a prostitute.

It’s a shame that this sitcom ran for only one season. Still, you have 13 amazing episodes to churn out.

Bad Girls

The whole show chronicles the lives of inmates in Larkhall women’s prison. It’s shocking, depressing, and sometimes, suffocating to watch. The drama touches every issue women face in prisons – drugs, rape, abuse and some other subtle issues.

Women’s prison can be just as nightmarish as the men’s prison. And Bad Girls definitely get it. The casting and acting is what sets it apart from other prison shows. They’ve done an amazing job with it. The characters are believable and relatable. You definitely feel for them after a while. Whatever happens to them, it feels as if it happens to you. It gets better with every episode. Just when you think it can’t topple the episode you just watched, it does.

If you’re looking for some authenticating TV shows like Orange is The New Black, give Bad Girls a shot.

Honorable mentions

“The Good Wife”, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”, “Wentworth”, “Jane The Virgin”, “Scandal”, and “Sex And The City” are a couple more shows you should give a shot. With a list like this, I’m bound to miss a few good shows. Do you think I missed out on any good TV shows like Orange is The New Black? Let me know in the comments section.


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