“Kittens in a Cage” is a must-watch women-in-prison comedy series

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Jillian Armenante has officially created your new favorite show. The out writer/director/actor is behind Kittens in a Cage, a web series available from TV 4 and on Vimeo on Demand. The seven-episode women series is set in the 1950s and is part Cry Baby and part Orange is the New Black, following June Matilda Butler (Rebecca Mozo) as she navigates her time in Marquetta State Prison. June is a ukulele playing pretty-faced bank robber who is immediately appreciated by the Matron and Nancy the prison guard for her, uh, assets.

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With 10-12 years inside, June makes friends and enemies like Barbara the cannibal (played by Jillian) and Jeanine, who offers to let June borrow her shucker if she “ever wants to go clam digging.” And June well she “loves a juicy clam,” a sentiment shared by her cellmate, Vickie (Erin Anderson). June isn’t interested in Jeanine’s constant flirtations, and Vickie tells her “Junie ain’t for sale” when they are bartering with their homemade hooch. The sexual tension between Vickie and Junie will keep you hooked, and Junie makes it clear she thinks Vikie is “more than a peach—she’s a plum.”

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Like OITNB, there are flashbacks to the women’s lives outside of prison, mostly telling the stories of how they ended up there in the first place. Some of them were errors in judgement, but others (like Jeanine’s murder spree) were deserving of life sentences. Jeanine tries to sway Junie away from Vickie, but Junie’s “heart’s all swole up for Vickie.”

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Kittens in a Cage is campy and smart with fun lovable characters, even when they are total “bisshes.” The women fully embody their 1950s criminal archetypes while using terms of the time like “cripes,” “jeepers,” and lot’s of references to fish. There are also a ton of fun cameos, including Michelle Monaghan, Felicia Day, Tyne Daly and Michaela Watkins. (Joel McHale has a particularly funny scene in Episode 3 with castmember Lauren Weedman where he insults women so much, he meets his untimely end.).

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Each episode is between 16-20 minutes long and you will definitely want to marathon them, so clear your schedule this weekend and get to know the wild women of Marquetta. You can rent all seven episodes for one week for $10.99 or buy them for $15.99. It truly is a steal for this superb Sapphic series.

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