For those of you who’re still looking for the adaptation of a book to completely match the source material, we’re sorry to have to crush you, but…
We’re used to adaptations of fictional works not always adhering to the source material, but fiction isn’t the only offender. Very often those movies and TV shows that are “based on a true story” don’t tell you the real story. The movie adaptation of The Motorcycle Diaries avoids the political controversy in Che Guevara’s memoir. The two women who Aron Ralston flirts with in 127 Hours (based on the memoir Between a Rock and a Hard Place) were actually men.
Netflix’s runaway hit of last summer, Orange Is the New Black, is no exception. While the premise matches Piper Kerman’s memoir about the 13 months she spent in prison for money laundering and drug trafficking, the TV series does a lot to spice up this already shocking story. Like any savvy series worth its salt, they’ve turned up the sexual tension: In real life, Piper’s co-conspirator/ex-girlfriend was not actually put in the same prison and was a non-issue. In the show, Alex (Laura Prepon) and Piper (Taylor Schilling) are reunited in jail, and sparks ignite. Though TV-Piper clearly has problems with inmates, like Red (Kate Mulgrew), real-Piper was actually welcomed quite warmly.
Clearly, OITNB the show was always going to radically deviate from the book, starting with the pilot. At the end of season 1, Piper lands in solitary confinement after fighting with fellow inmate Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett (Taryn Manning)—a fight which didn’t take place in the book, either. Could season 2 be setting the stage for yet another radical deviation from the source material? It wouldn’t be a bad idea, in order to keep a successful series going, for Piper’s sentence to be extended. Or maybe future seasons will see her outside of the prison, readjusting to real life.
With new inmates coming in, including the imposing Vee (Lorraine Toussaint), season 2 promises to bring even more prison drama—real or fictional. Fans of the series, or people who just want to pick apart adaptations, will be reunited with their favorite inmates on June 6: