4. Orange is the New Black
Release Year: 2013
Creator: Jenji Kohan
Starring: Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Uzo Aduba, Laura Prepon, Natasha Lyonne, Yael Stone
The women inside Litchfield Penitentiary give us the most diverse cast on the small screen today. And because this show was shifted from a comedy to a drama for the Emmy Awards after the first season, this qualifies as a drama, even though it’s more like a dramedy.
OITNB is the story of Piper Chapman (Schilling) who gets sentenced to 15 months in prison for a crime she committed 10 years earlier when she was a drug mule for her girlfriend. In her 30’s with a fiancée and a budding business, Piper leaves her cushy lifestyle at home and enters the minimum security prison and encounters what life in prison is like.
Inside she finds out who to befriend, who to avoid, who to trust and how to adapt to life away from her fiance until a person from her past threatens to shake up Piper’s entire existence.