orange is the new black black girls
photo: Netflix

This Friday (June 13), "Orange is the New Black" will finally return to Netflix after its typical year-long hiatus — exactly a year, to the date, since we all end up binging it in a single day like insatiable monsters. 

Last season (its third, ICYMI) was tumultuous — we lost Nicky, were introduced to the captivating Stella, let Soso and Sophia break our hearts, and felt #blessed by the beautiful, strange relationship between Big Boo and Pennsatucky. 

So with that in mind, let's remind ourselves of where we stand right now at Litchfield  ... by ranking its many inmates, of course. 


Alex Vause

alex vause orange is the new black
photo: Netflix

Alex Vause is the worst. In three seasons, she has made no effort to connect with any other inmates at Litchfield sans Piper, which has made her storylines drag and her presence on this show questionable. She is drop dead gaw-geous, but if she didn't survive last season's stabbing, I wouldn't be mad at it. 


Mei Chang

Chang orange is the new black
photo: Netflix

Her backstory was gorgeous, and tragic, and reflects actual issues China has with women. But in present day, she's mean and scary, and sort of grotesque? If Soso didn't show up in Season 2, I'd argue that Chang being the only Asian woman on here is jusssst a bit racist. But, Soso's great, so we're cool, I guess.


Stella Carlin

orange is the new black stella
photo: Netflix

Stella, you're gorgeous. But you're a thief, and you suck. Have fun in max. #GirlBye


"Daya" Diaz

orange is the new black days
photo: Netflix

At this point, Daya has been pregnant longer than "The Simpsons" has been on television, and all she ever really does is sit around and whine about Internet Feminist Matt McGorry. Girl, bye.


Blanca Flores

orange is the new black blanca
photo: Netflix

I mean ... we BARELY know her. But good for her for making dick pics a priority in prison.


Anita DeMarco

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photo: Netflix

Anita seems like a nice person! She's also never given very much to do.


Angie Rice

orange is the new black angie rice
photo: Netflix

Of all the groups at Litchfield, I care for the meth heads least. But Angie leaving prison by accident and having nowhere to go was very sad, at least.


Maria Ruiz

orange is the new black maria ruiz pregnant
photo: Netflix

Her pregnancy story was tragic, but I don't know. She's barely in it. It's tough to get too invested. 


Gina Murphy

orange is the new black gina murphy
photo: Netflix

Gina is fine. A bit cult-y, but loyal. 


Leanne Taylor

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photo: Netflix

Again, I don't LOVE the meth heads, and Leanne sucks for bullying Soso. But Leanne's backstory was entertaining, at least.


Janae Watson

orange is the new black janae
photo: Netflix

Janae had a decent flashback in Season 1, then like, kind of disappeared altogether? She barely registers for me. I don't know. Maybe she's still in SHU.


Maureen Kukudio

photo: Netflix

She loves Suzanne for who she is. Even if we barely know her — and even if she's a little bit strange — that deserves celebrating. 


Gloria Mendoza

photo: Netflix

Gloria is a powerful woman, and I WANT to love her. If it weren't for Season 3, she'd have been much, much higher on this list. But she is on notice, and she knows why. 


Norma Romano

orange is the new black Norma
photo: Netflix

Norma can't go TOO high on here since she's a C-character who never talks, but she gets SO many brownie points for throwing her abusive ex off that cliff. 


"Black Cindy" Hayes

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photo: Netflix

As far as B-players go, Cindy has been pretty consistently likable (minus working for Vee in Season 2, of course, but we'd have to penalize all the Black girls sans Poussey if we're grading on that). Her conversion to Judaism was good for some laughs, right?


"Yoga" Jones

orange is the new black yoga jones
photo: Netflix

Yoga Jones had that amazing "I killed a kid" moment in Season 1, but she's been shuffled to the background since then — but still, she's voiced by Patty Mayonnaise, so she's cool in my book.


Lolly Whitehill

orange is the new black lolly
photo: Netflix

How could you not love a "wake up sheeple" government conspiracy-obsessed inmate played by "Tank Girl" herself, Lori Petty? You wouldn't be human, man.


Aleida Diaz

photo: Netflix

She's a jerk, but I love Elizabeth Rodriguez, and she's so, so much better than her terribly annoying daughter.


Maritza Ramos

orange is the new black maritza
photo: Netflix

"If you want more pizza, vote for Maritza."

I want more pizza, so vote for Maritza I will. She hasn't gotten a flashback yet like her BFF Flaca (though rumor has it, that changes early on in Season 4), but she's so damn funny it's impossible not to love her.


"Flaca" Gonzales

orange is the new black flaca
photo: Netflix

If I went to Litchfield, no question, I'd want to get in with Goth Kween Flaca. She knows all of the ~ cool ~ pop culture, has great deadpan one-liners, and is a good friend to Maritza, who is also fun and hilarious. She's a B-character, sure, but a true A-lister in my goth-loving heart.


Sister Jane Ingalls

orange is the new black sister jane
photo: Netflix

Woke, wild, ginger nun alert! Sister Jane is a shady narcissist, but she adds some gravitas every now and then, and is great to Sophia.


Brook Soso

brooke soso orange is the new black
photo: Netflix

Soso is so, so good, you guys. I don't even care that she's annoying. She's someone you've met if you've ever lived in Vermont or upstate New York or California, and her bullying plot line just got me. Like, of all places to be rejected by your female peers, freaking prison?! For this, I rank her (relatively) high. She's earned our love.


"Red" Reznikova

photo: Netflix

Red is cool. It's great watching "Orange" highlight badass over-50 actresses like "Star Trek" legend Kate Mulgrew ... even if her plot line last year wasn't the most interesting. 


Lorna Morello

Orange is the New Black Lorna
photo: Netflix

Morello's flashback came out of nowhere in Season 2, to remind us that not all of these women have hearts of gold, and just made careless mistakes/did Bad Things once they fell into hard times. Girl is a straight-up dangerous stalker, and belongs in prison — but she also has so much damn heart, and is consistently fun to watch ... even if I still don't understand what that accent is or where it is coming from.


"Big Boo" Black

orange is the new black big boo
photo: Netflix

Big Boo is not the kind of character who usually carries sexual and/or romantic plot lines on television — the world is just not comfortable with fat, outwardly "dyke-y" characters having sex at this point in time. But that's exactly why we need her! And even though she can be aggressive and a snitch, her relationship with Pennsatucky was easily the highlight of Season 3. Big Boo can hang.


Nicky Nichols

orange is the new black nicky
photo: Netflix

Nicky can't be gone for good — Natasha Lyonne's addict with a heart of gold is just too valuable (and sadly grounded in reality) to ever fully leave us. She commands each and every scene in with her strong, funny, nurturing presence, and reminds us that the horrors of drug addiction can turn even the most lovable humans into monsters.


Piper Chapman

orange is the new black piper
photo: Netlix

In earlier years, I would have put Piper lower down on this list. But once "Orange" decided to make the show NOT revolve around Piper, and allowed Taylor Schilling to use her many comedic talents with that panties storyline, she excelled. Piper is annoying and privileged, sure, but unlike Alex Vause, she's managed to form real, genuine relationships with other inmates at Litchfield, which makes her a very valuable player on this show.


Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren

photo: Netflix

Uzo Aduba has won multiple Emmys for this role for a reason — she manages to add new layers of depth to "Crazy Eyes" every season; allowing us to simultaneously feel for her heartbreaking struggles with mental illness, and laugh at her nutty-as-hell fan fiction. It wouldn't be Litchfield without Suzanne.


Sophia Burset

Orange is the New Black Sophia
photo: Netflix

Sophia Burset is easily one of the most important characters currently on television. Before her debut in 2013, no one could name a trans actor working on television, let alone one playing such a dynamic, nuanced character. Laverne Fucking Cox is still not even a regular on "Orange," but I'm 90% sure that's just because she's now ridiculously busy being Laverne Fucking Cox. Anyway, her transphobia plot line last year was devastating and brilliantly acted, and her shower-shoes rule. 


Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett

orange is the new black pennsatucky
photo: Netflix

I've gotta be real with you guys — when "Orange" picks up on Friday, it's Tucky's story I'm most excited to see. The character has done deplorable things for deplorable reasons, but my god, is Taryn Manning great at giving pathos to one of the least-relatable women on this show. Her rape story last year was treacherous, which only made her burgeoning friendship with Big Boo more powerful (and easy to root for). 


"Taystee" Jefferson

orange is the new black taystee
photo: Netflix

Taystee is joy wrapped in happiness wrapped in sunshine. I mean, her story is awful, and she gets knocked down a peg for being horrible to Poussey during Season 2, but she's the "Mom" of Litchfield's Black women for a reason — I would trust Taystee with my deepest, darkest secrets and to be on my "Harry Potter" trivia team.


Poussey Washington

Samira Wiley Poussey orange is the new black
photo: Netflix

HOW DOES ONE CHOOSE BETWEEN TAYSTEE AND POUSSEY?! It was a difficult decision, but I put Poussey at number one because of A) Taystee's aforementioned beatdown, and B) she was the only one who was genuinely nice to poor, sweet Soso last year during that horrendous bullying thing, and the only one who saw through Vee. The woman is a precious cinnamon roll who needs to be loved and protected. Period. Accent à droite.