25 Best TV Shows of 2015

From female superheroines to cyberpunk hackers, the year's small-screen highpoints

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13. 'Orange Is the New Black' (Netflix)

The women's-prison ensemble story has expanded to the point where Piper, originally the main jailbird, has become dead weight; nobody would argue that an early parole for her would hurt the show. But that's a tribute to the abundance of unforgettable characters in Litchfield Penitentiary — with so many unforgettable actresses seizing the chance to tell their stories. Orange had star turns from Uzo Aduba's Crazy Eyes (who wrote her erotic sci-fi saga, The Time Hump Chronicles) as well as Samira Wiley's Poussey, Kimiko Glenn's Soso, Lea Dalaria's Boo and Kate Mulgrew's Red, who ponders marriage and divorce: "I owe my younger self 23 years of wild sex with multiple partners, but I'll settle for my name back." And Danielle Brooks' Taystee really zoomed to the top of my favorite-inmate list this season, especially when prisoners are trying to revive a comatose Soso. Taystee just says, "I done seen enough dead to know alive."

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