Netflix’s First Women’s Prison Reality Show: ‘Jailbirds’ Trailer

What is life inside the walls of a prison that locks in more than 2,400 male and female inmates? Its “Love, hate and betrayal,” reads the tagline in the official trailer of Netflix’s upcoming women’s prison reality show ‘Jailbirds.’ The streaming giant has released the trailer on Friday. The show is billed as Netflix’s first foray into prison reality game. With the final season of Netflix’s flagship show, ‘Orange Is the New Black’ approaching, ‘Jailbirds’ is expected to fill the gap after the wrap-up.

‘Jailbirds’ is produced by 44 Blue Productions and it follows the lives of prisoners at the Sacramento County Jail. The trailer hints that the life inside a prison filled with more than 2,400 inmates is not for the lighthearted. The inmates are charged with various acts of crime from assaults to brutal homicides. The trailer gives a glimpse into the hard prison life of brawls and bullying. But trailer aroused curiosity when it reveals intimate moments of friendships and love between inmates even in their hostile circumstances.

“Being here in jail, it’ll break you,” says one inmate in the trailer. They are communicating through the toilet pipes. “We might be locked up physically, but mentally and emotionally, I’m rolling,” declares another prisoner. There is a lesbian couple getting married and in one shot, a man introducing himself to a woman inmate through the toilet pipe. Apart from love, the trailer also shows inmates warn each other, “if you snitch, you’re gonna meet my fist,” and “something’s gonna pop off,” followed by visuals of a messy brawl.

The trailer of ‘Jailbirds’ draws comparisons with ‘Orange Is the New Black.’ Though critically acclaimed, ‘Orange Is the New Black’ is criticized by former inmates that the show is not a perfect depiction of life inside American prisons. The show is also panned for romanticizing prison life and pushing serious systemic failures into the backseat.

44 Blue Productions is known for the popular series like ‘Lockup,’ Animal Planet’s ‘Pit Bulls and Parolees,’ ‘Nightwatch,’ ‘Nightwatch Nation,’ and ‘Strut’ among others. The success of ‘Lockup’ helped 44 Blue to come up with offshoots like ‘Lockup: Raw,’ ‘Lockup: World Tour,’ ‘Lockup: Extended Stay,’ ‘Lockup: Disturbing the Peace,’ ‘Lockup: Special Investigation,’ and ‘Life After Lockup.’ MSNBC is airing the ‘Lockup’ franchise and its offshoots from 2005.

According to the trailer of ‘Jailbirds,’ the reality show will focus on the women prisoners. They consist of around 10% of the total number of inmates in prison. “At the Sacramento County Jail, incarcerated women fight the power and one another as they try to make the best of life – and love — on the inside,” reads the official synopsis released by Netflix. In one scene in the trailer, a prison officer says, “It’s in human nature for inmates here to break rules. We can’t catch everything.”

Check out the trailer below.

‘Jailbirds’ premieres on Netflix on May 10, 2019.