10 TV Shows That Improved Upon The Source Material

6. Orange Is The New Black

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Netflix's acclaimed prison dramedy Orange is The New Black is based on the real Piper Kerman's 2010 memoir of the same name, but perhaps more than any other TV show on this list, it proves how a firecracker ensemble cast can bring an adaptation to life in ways the source material just can't.

Kerman's memoir is a more down-the-line look at life in an American women's prison, and as a result considerably less dramatic and, honestly, entertaining than the series.

The show's creator, Jenji Kohan, evidently understood that Kerman's book needed some sexing-up for the adaptation, and that she most certainly did, both by beefing up the roster of characters and the various scandals they're inevitably ensnared within.

A big difference in the show is that Piper and her girlfriend/partner-in-crime Alex (Laura Prepon) are incarcerated in the same prison - a neat twist which actually wasn't true in reality.

The Netflix series also had the benefit of being able to react to audience reception, as subsequent seasons began to drift progressively from Piper to the considerably more interesting ensemble, while also incorporating timely concerns such as blue-on-Black violence.

The book is generally less full of conflict, and while surely more "realistic" in that sense, doesn't have quite the same compulsive quality of the show.

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