Orange is the New Black, Netflix’s first foray into original programming, was a surprise smash. Showrunner Jenji Kohan (Weeds) based the series on Piper Kerman’s memoirs, Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison. Audiences instantly connected with the way in which the show humanizes prisoners, presenting the whole and empathetic people behind the crimes that put them away. In the first season, Kohan established the formula of character introduction, followed by a series of flashbacks showing defining moments or the circumstances that led to their incarceration. These vignettes are almost always poignant and demoralizing. Of course, there ...

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