Fans walked away from season five of Orange Is the New Black with conflicted feelings.
Many thought the concept of stretching out a three-day prison riot into a whole season was an interesting narrative choice, but the season just wasn't filled with the strongest material.
That underwhelming feeling seems to be shared by two of the show's producers, who sat down with The New Yorker and dished on why they think the fifth season fell flat in some ways.
Showrunner, Jenji Kohan and co-producer, Tara Herrmann revealed that a major shake-up in the writer's room caused some odd creative choices. Several of the show's original writers, such as Nick Jones and Sian Heder — both now working on GLOW — had departed and there were a slew of new hired writers seeing the characters from a whole new perspective.
Kohan even described some of season five's plot points as "fan fiction."
“We had lost a bunch of the original writers,” Herrmann said. “It wasn’t anyone’s fault. It was just a new dynamic — people were attached to the characters as viewers, not as creators.”
With their dissatisfaction in the writing process, the producers decided to clear house for the sixth season. The duo revealed that only two of the writers from season five were returning for the next season, which is expected to be released in summer 2018.
All five seasons of Orange Is the New Black are currently streaming on Netflix.
Photo Credit: Netflix / Jojo Whilden