TV's 22 Smartest People on Their Favorite ShowsFrom 'The Daily Show' to 'House of Cards,' TV’s creators, writers and stars on their favorite shows
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'Orange Is the New Black,' by 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner
Orange Is the New Black feels like the most contemporary thing on TV. It's a great fish-out-of-water story. Like Tony Soprano, the main character, Piper, is a very different person than me, but I identify with her. The prison is filled with people that you recognize, and each episode ingeniously lets the main character recede and tells us about the other people in prison – why they're there, which gives a lot of humanity to the show. You really do think, "What would I do in that situation?" It's fascinating to see a contemporary in this nightmare. Piper's learning something behind bars, which breaks one of the big TV rules the networks tell you: Nobody grows, nobody changes. They say, "Keep remaking the pilot." But Jenji Kohan can't help herself; she has a singular voice and an ability to not embrace a formula. The truth is, I'm completely sucked in. I have a 16-year-old son, and Orange Is the New Black is his favorite show. That's something, especially in a house where it should be Mad Men.