While the world is singing the praises of the Netflix original series Orange is The New Black, Americans might be missing out on the Australian prison drama Wentworth. Unlike the dramedy style of Orange is The New Black, Wentworth is gritty on the level of OZ. Unlike Oz however, the show does not harp on shocking violence and sex to keep it’s viewers (these things are seen throughout the show though). If you’re wondering about the similarities between the two shows, the biggest one is that the first season has many flashbacks of both the inmates and the guards. Being that both shows premiered in the same year, it does feel a bit strange that they had this in common.
The biggest difference is the feel of the two shows. There are very few moments you can laugh at in Wentworth. The tone is consecutively dark and there’s not much for you to smile about, but make no mistake, the twist and turns are constant! Although a conflict may start and end in an episode, a cliffhanger is presented at the end of almost every episode. This makes the show the ideal binge watching experience. Both seasons 1 and 2 deal with growing conflicts while simultaneously creating new ones. The language is pretty raw and though sex doesn’t grace every episode it’s very explicit when it does. The cast is pretty diverse although maybe not as diverse as Orange is The New Black. It is refreshing however, to see women of all shapes and sizes on the small screen.
The actors in the show are virtually unknown to Americans, but they all turn in a stellar performance. One of the best performances of the show is delivered by actress Pamela Rabe who plays the psychopathic, hard-nosed prison warden Joan Ferguson. Ferguson doesn’t make her appearance until the first episode of the second season and it is an amazing addition to an already jaw dropping show. The show also has a wide array of different personalities. Viewers (even male ones) are bound to see a character they can relate too. The exceptional writing enables all of the women and their stories to also come across as very believable.
The Australian accents can be a bit thick and hard to understand. Season 1 and 2 is currently streaming on Netflix which offers subtitles that you can add to the viewing experience if it’s a little hard for you to understand what they’re saying. The show has a rating of 8.6/10 on IMBD so, to say that people are really enjoying it is an understatement. Season 1 of Wentworth is comprised of 10 episodes while season 2 is made up of 12 episodes. This show might take you 4 to 5 days to watch tops! The endings will leave you on the edge of your seat almost every time that you won’t want to stop Netflix from rolling you right in to the next pulse pounding episode.