Get your shivs ready. Orange is the New Black is finally back in commission, with season 2 of the popular Netflix original series premiering on the service today. In the now-familiar Netflix format, those who grew addicted to the woeful/hilarious tale of adorable elitist, Piper Chapman, will be able to binge the entire season immediately.
Fans flocked to the show after its premiere in July last year. The series, based on the true life events of author Piper Kerman, has helped to bolster Netflix’s already rising street cred in the realm of original content, along with its Emmy winning series helmed by Kevin Spacey, House of Cards. But unlike the political thriller, Orange lead off with few familiar faces, apart from Jason Biggs, of American Pie fame.
Still, while House of Cards has gotten the lion’s share of the spotlight in the press, Orange is the New Black has garnered a surprisingly wide, and faithful audience. Of course, since Netflix doesn’t offer any traditional ratings measurements, just how popular the show is in comparison to its counterpart is unknown.
However, as Variety reports, the research firm ListenFirst found that, in the month leading up to its premier, Orange trended well above House of Cards over Facebook and Twitter. The show has over 1.4 million followers across the two services, doubling Spacey’s drama, and it also had over 3 times as many hashtags, coming in at 124,000 as opposed to 33,300 for House of Cards. The latter did come out ahead in Wikipedia traffic, however, gaining 609,000 hits to 408,000 for Orange during the four week period, according to the report.
Another spot where House of Cards takes the prize is its availability in UHD/4K resolution. Netflix’s doubling down on the show’s second season by filming and streaming it in Ultra High Definition may be proof that the company still considers the show its crown jewel when it comes to original content. We held some hope that Netflix might surprise us by offering Orange is the New Black in UHD, but it was not to be. Then again, the Samsung U9000 we currently have in for review is one of the few displays capable of decoding the stream, so for most viewers, it’s a non-factor.
The buzz around both series is more than just a win for Netflix, it’s a win for all online video, and viewers alike. Once Netflix hit a couple out of the park, everyone in the industry began taking notice, including advertisers, helping to boost an explosion of original content coming from every corner of the web, including unexpected sites like AOL and Yahoo. And while service like Amazon Instant and Hulu Plus have been in the original content game for awhile now, the ability of Netflix’s shows to crossover from obscurity into the mainstream has put every service on notice.
As for Orange is the New Black, if you haven’t been keeping up, not to worry. Not only is the full length of season 1 ready for your perusal, Netflix is showing a long and detailed synopsis of the first season to remind everyone exactly what’s happening before dipping into the new episodes. So if you’ve got a hole in your weekend – or you simply can’t help yourself – you can catch your binging fix of the entire series right now.