Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

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Orange Is the New Black (Netflix, 2013–present)
Premise
Upper-middle-class girl Piper (Taylor Schilling), sold out by former crime/love partner, winds up in prison...with former crime/love partner. Series toggles between Piper's travails and beefs, vendettas, romances among fellow inmates.

Secret Sauce
Glorious cast of diverse former unknowns. (See: Laverne Cox.) Each gets full backstory treatment, thoughtful arc.

Cultural Touchstone
No plot point stung like a good-hearted character's sudden death in season 4's "The Animals."

Two to Watch
Well, "The Animals," of course, but also next one, "Toast Can't Never Be Bread Again," a dazzling flashback to the deceased in happier times.