Netflix original series Orange is the New Black had an epic debut year, with an audience comparable to shows on cable and broadcast TV, and the show returns soon on June 6. Netflix has never released the actual number of viewers, not even to the shows creator Jenji Kohan, but has shown they are pleased with its performance. The series was serial watched by people all across the viewing world, and the coming season is projected to have an even larger response.
For those new to Orange is the New Black, the series is set in a female prison and is based on the lives of the inmates, as well as the officers interactions with them. The show is full not just of criminal backgrounds and sex scenes, but plenty of drama and intrigue into the personal aspects of all of the characters. The show is a balance of making prison look like a punishment, while keeping it appealing as well. The teaser for the coming season is only 15 seconds long, but features all the series favorites with the exception of Laura Prepon, who places Alex in the series. The once That Seventies Show star is not in the clip but is said to be continuing into season two.
The teaser for the upcoming debut has already had nearly seven million views on YouTube. Season one ended with a many questions lingering and definetely went out with a ‘bang’. Piper, the shows leading lady Taylor Schilling, was on top of a misguided religious maniac, Pennsatucky. Though sexual scenes are plentiful in the show, this final- girl on top of girl- scenario is far from erotic. Piper is beating Pennsatucky fiercely and it is unclear whether she will be alive in the coming season. The ending is an intense and interesting recap, and possible rebirth of Piper’s character from the 12 episodes that preceded.
Piper had previously slept with her ex-girlfriend and fellow inmate Alex. In doing so, she caused conflict not only with Alex, but also with her fiance on the outside Larry. As she often portrays the innocent and wandering woman, Piper seems to have an internal wild side that is peaking out throughout the show. Piper herself had stated that people are forced to face themselves in prison in season one, and that “that is really who makes you their bitch”. So in not only cheating, but also in her raging outbursts and the culminating fight at the end of the season is it the ‘true’ Piper that is starting to be seen.
Piper had been seen struggling with her sexuality, sleeping with persons from both genders. While being an equal opportunity lover does not make her a confused person, the fact that her personality varies greatly between her two relationships does make her seem to be lost and confused about who she is. Wanting to be wanted all around it would seem, and wanting the perks of life with both of her lovers has left Piper torn and physically alone at the end of the season. With Larry having forgiven her for her indiscretions, he still is outside of the prison walls. Alex having sworn her off, Piper is face to face with not just the fear of being murdered by Pennsatucky, but also with the fears of who she truly is and that she has no one with her for support in cell.
Piper realizes that she is not so innocent, and unable to blame Alex for her incarceration. Alex has forced her to face the fact that she had a good thing not just with Alex, but also with Larry. It would seem that Piper always gets what she wants and is afraid to be accountable for the choices that she makes in life. With even the head officers leaving her to fend for herself it is interesting to see how her instincts take over, and how her rage is finally released. Netflix knew what they were doing it would appear, not just on a superficial but deeper level, in appealing to the audience of Orange is the New Black with its return.
Season two will be an interesting and eventful entourage to watch. Seeing where Piper will end up, and which relationship she will pick, if any will be a main point to watch for. The show has potential to take the character anywhere. With audiences watching, and likely voting equally for equality in love in either direction. Netflix Orange is the New Black is bringing love, sex and prison, all topics of taboo into the limelight and is sure to continue to do so when season two returns. With six weeks to the new release it is time to catch up and await to see what these ladies in the land of lock up are about to do.
By Latasha Alvaro