Transgender Actress Laverne Cox: ‘Orange is the New Black’ is a Big Deal

Cox is one bright spot in a show that's trying really hard to be funny.

By Jamilah King Jul 22, 2013

I tried, and mostly failed, to watch Netflix’s much talked about new comedy-drama "Orange is the New Black" over the weekend. The show, based on a real life story, follows a WASP’y Connecticut white woman who’s sentenced to spend 15 months in prison on drug charges stemming from her rebellious post-college days.

I’m still very early into the show, but so far I just don’t think it’s all that funny. I felt the same way about "Weeds", another show that was created by Jengi Kohan.* I get that I’m supposed to be laughing at the irony of white folks in black situations, but to what end? Both shows seem to traffic in tired racial tropes. Sometimes, that’s fine (see: the first two seasons of "Arrested Development"). But so far, I’m just not moved.

One bright spot in "Orange is the New Black" is Laverne Cox, who brings viewers one of the first developed transgender characters on mainstream(ing) television. Here’s an interview she did earlier this month.

*Post has been updated since publication.