Lorraine Toussaint
Lorraine Toussaint

I have yet to watch a single episode of Netflix's new original series Orange Is the New Black, which debuted on July 11. However, just about every single person I know who's binge-watched the series, loves it! 

Needless to say, I'll have to check it out eventually. 

In the meantime, you should know that, not only has the series been renewed for a 2nd season, it's beefing up its cast, adding veteran actress Lorraine Toussaint, who will play a character named Vee, described as a street-tough inmate who used to run a drug business, using kids are runners.

Also announced today, Danielle Brooks, who plays a recurring role in season 1, has been promoted to a series regular. 

Created by Jenji Kohan (Weeds), the dramedy stars Taylor Schilling and is set in a women's prison. As Netflix did with its previous original series, all thirteen one-hour episodes in the series were made available at launch.

Its key cast includes a number of actresses of African descent, including Danielle Brooks, Samira Wiley, Vicky JeudyLolita Foster, Michelle HurstUzo AdubaAdrienne C. MooreLaverne Cox, Dascha Polanco, and now Lorraine Toussaint.

Here's a synop:

Orange Is the New Black follows engaged Brooklynite Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), whose decade-old relationship with drug-runner Alex (Laura Prepon) results in her arrest and year-long detention in a federal penitentiary. To pay her debt to society, Piper must trade her comfortable New York life with fiance Larry (Jason Biggs) for an orange prison jumpsuit and a baffling prison culture where she is forced to question everything she believes and form unexpected new alliances with a group of eccentric and outspoken inmates. 

Clips from the new series, introducing its key characters, featuring Danielle Brooks, Laverne Cox, Uzo Aduba, Dascha Polanco and Vicky Jeudy, are embedded below.