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Based on Piper Kerman’s memoir about her time in prison, Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” is a funny, dramatically sound, poignant, and thoroughly addictive adventure through a bleak looking glass. “This isn’t ‘Oz,’ ” a prison official tells Piper, referring to HBO’s gritty prison series; and it isn’t, in terms of brutality. But for Piper, Litchfield, where moldy tubs of pudding are marked “Desert Storm” and the women clean their cells with maxipads, it’s close enough. Toto, she has a feeling she’s not in Whole Foods anymore.
The series is from Jenji Kohan, who brought us “Weeds.” And “Orange” is also about a sheltered but defiant woman who finds herself in a quicksand of criminals.
But “Orange” promises to be a better show.