Orange Is the New Black (2013) - created by Jenji Kohan
Questions I must ask due to the up-and-down fluctuating nature of the ultimately sub-par Weeds… would Jenji Kohan’s next show be believable? Would the acting be good? Would I even care about the main character?
The answer to all three, in short, is no. Kohan’s faults are still on display as we follow Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) a narcissistic blonde with a blue-eyed innocence about her through the beginnings (how much time actually passes?) of her stint in jail. Chapman is a boring character, and when she does something exciting it makes me hate her even more. The show, on the whole, exists quite far removed from reality, and the acting (for the most part) is borderline bad.
All that aside - there’s still something here worth holding onto. The formula, the opportunity, and the imagination are all terrific. Each episode is a brief insight into one of the character’s lives - and while Chapman may not be the ideal protagonist, we’ve got Alex (Laura Prepon) her lesbian drug-smuggling ex-lover. Taystee (Danielle Brooks) a very real portrayal of African-American stereotypes and some other really nice characters. Even when Jenji Kohan’s doing something wrong - she’s always doing a couple other things right.
And the end is worth getting to.