Small Screen Spaces: Orange is the New Black

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Netflix's original series about female prison life isn't just set within cement walls. Thanks to a narrative structure that relies heavily on flashbacks—plus a few characters that have lives outside the bars—we get to see plenty of creative set design from Orange is the New Black for homes, lofts and apartments.

The show centers on the story of Piper Chapman, a pretty girl from Connecticut who grew up in a well-to-do New England family (it's based on the real-life memoir of Piper Kerman). Sentenced to fifteen months for a crime committed ten years earlier, Chapman leaves her journalist fiancé Larry for her new home at a women's prison.

The show's set team, Production Designer Michael Shaw and set decorators Chryss Hionis (Season 1), Lisa Scoppa and Amanda Carroll (Season 2), have done a great job showing the disparity between Piper's affluent background and the cold, beige life she's locked into. The stories of some other characters offer the same opportunity for contrast. As the polished wife of an aspiring Senator, Assistant Warden Natalie Figueroa doesn't seem at home between concrete walls, but we get to see glimpses of her more glamorous home life as the show explores her story.

I found a few screencaps of my favorite interior sets, courtesy of Movie Database Springfield! Springfield!. And, if you're interested to hear more about life in (fake) jail, Kevin Fallon talks about his walkthrough of the uncomfortably realistic prison set on The Daily Beast.

(Image credits: Netflix / Springfield! Springfield!)

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