The overarching message of the series is that of redemption at great cost. We see a realistic character who has committed a crime and is accepting the realistic consequences. Issues of class, race, privilege, sexuality, consent, the meaning of family, and institutional corruption all are handled with depth and humor.
Positive Role Models & Representations
As is customary in dramas set in a prison environment, there is often danger and menace, and the main character is in jeopardy early in the series. The prisoners generally fight with words and deeds rather than fists, though. Some flashbacks offer scenes of abuse or murder. Some sexual blackmail, harassment. Characters die or are killed on-screen suddenly; little to no gore.
Some early episodes feature nudity (breasts and backsides) and simulated sex, such as when a woman reaches her hand under some blankets and makes a man moan, or two women have oral sex in a shower. There is a lot of discussion of lesbians and having sex with women, and viewers see women kissing, cuddling, and being naked together. Implied masturbation. A character falsely accuses another of rape.
Many four-letter words, generally used in a mild context: "How the f--k are you going to prison tomorrow?" Also sexual language, such as when one woman asks another if she "likes p---y." Racial slurs.
Ease of Play
Drugs are mentioned frequently in context with criminal justice. A few flashback scenes depict drug dealing. Characters rarely drink on-screen. A character overdoses on drugs and dies; many characters speak longingly of drugs and alcohol. A subplot revolves around smuggling cigarettes.