There are few shows as distinctive or funny as Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, which has received heavy critical acclaim and is praised for its positive social impact. Based on Piper Kerman’s real-life memoirs, Jenji Kohan’s show follows a woman in her 30s who goes to prison for an offense that happened 10 years prior. A fish out of water, it sees her coming to terms with her situation and dealing with her fellow inmates. With an exceptional ensemble cast, unique setup, fantastic writingm and intriguing stories, OITNB has become one of Netflix’s most-watched original series and picked up dozens of awards.
10. Kohan saw Piper as a “Trojan Horse”
What is so fantastic about OITNB is the terrific ensemble cast, with each character being unique and having their own plotlines and very distinctive personalities. When creating the show, Kohan knew that she wanted to flesh out all of these characters and not solely focus on Piper. But when she was pitching to network execs, she saw Piper as a Trojan Horse, so to speak – “In a lot of ways, Piper was my Trojan Horse. You’re not going to go into a network and sell a show on really fascinating tales of black women, Latina women, and old women and criminals. But if you take this white girl, this sort of fish out of water, and you follow her in, you can then expand your world and tell all of those other stories.” While Piper is clearly the main character, it is often the others that provide plenty of the humor and heart.