How I Spent My Women’s Prison Vacation: The First Season of Orange is the New Black


Few “pilot” episodes of a TV show have ever made me cry. The problem with pilots is that they are supposed to cram a whole pile of information into 22 minutes or 42 minutes and don’t usually do a very good job of developing characters. I can think of three shows where the pilot made me weep: Freaks and Geeks, Enlightened and now Orange is the New Black. These three shows actually have quite a bit in common, but their biggest common element is that the pilot episode spends a lot of time introducing and then developing their central character: a nice, young, white woman who seems to have her shit together but doesn’t. I have to say after watching the whole season, I feel like I was duped in that first episode, and I’m all the happier for it.

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