Orange Is the New Black has a lot to celebrate as it heads into its seventh and final season, including ranking as the most-watched Netflix original ever. According to the streamer’s originals chief Cindy Holland, who spoke to Variety, roughly 105 million users have watched at least one episode of the series, which is often praised for laying the groundwork for other Netflix originals.
Of those millions of viewers, more than half are outside of the United States, with the Taylor Schilling-starring series enjoying strong fan bases in France, Germany, and Brazil.
Based on Piper Kerman’s memoir Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison, the Jenji Kohan-created series also boasts 20 Emmy nominations, four wins, and the title of Netflix subscribers’ favorite show, as was revealed in a recent poll.
Originally debuting to critical acclaim in 2013, the series is now just a week away from debuting its seventh and final season, which will see “the ladies of Litchfield come to terms with the fact that prison has changed them forever.”
“Piper (Schilling) struggles with life on the outside, while life in Max, as corrupt and unjust as ever, goes on without her,” an official synopsis reads. “Taystee’s (Danielle Brooks) friendship with Cindy (Adrienne C. Moore) still hangs in the balance as her life sentence looms, Gloria (Selenis Leyva) and her kitchen staff are confronted by the hard truth of Polycon’s newest profit stream, while others chase drugs or dreams and grapple with the reality of their place in this world.”
Currently, the upcoming season has an 83 percent fresh rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Orange Is the New Black Season 7 will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and while it doesn't seem like it will ever be enough, it will be unforgettable,” TV Fanatic’s Carissa Pavlica wrote.
“As the show gets toward its closing episodes, Kohan and company display a strong grasp on what these characters have gone through in what was a condensed time period, living and suffering lifetimes over less than two years of story-time,” Dan Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter said.0comments
However, TV Guide’s Sadie Gennis wrote in her review that the final season is “a pit of wasted potential,” and Variety’s Caroline Framke stated that although “these last 13 episodes acquit themselves fairly well…repetitive flashbacks and a couple hugely ambitious new plots unbalance the season.”
Orange Is the New Black Season 7 premieres on Netflix on Friday, July 26. Seasons 1-6 are currently available for streaming.