[SPOILERS FOR ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK SEASON 1 AHEAD.]
Netflix's original programming series House of Cards and Orange is the New Black were both success stories last year, attracting a sizable (and stable) viewing audience while also bringing newfound critical respectability to the subscription service. Cards' second season is now available for binge-watching (read our review of S2), while the continuing adventures of middle classer-turned convict Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling, in a Golden Globe-nominated role) will pickup in a couple of months.
Last time we saw her, it was the Winter Holiday Season and Piper was getting in the spirit of things - by beating in Tiffany 'Pennsatucky' Doggett's (Taryn Manning) already mostly-toothless face, after the latter decided that attacking Piper was a good idea. Of course, Litchfield Penitentiary's most religious meth-head was unaware that, at that point, Orange's protagonist had been shunned by virtually everyone she cared about and was feeling just a tad on-edge.
The first batch of images released for Orange is the New Black's second season (via Variety) includes a photo of a shocked-looking Piper - along with her incriminatory blood-covered hands - in the aftermath of her fisticuffs match against Pennsatucky. (SPOILER (?): Manning is listed as a cast member for the majority of the show's new season, so one presumes Pennsatucky still lives - unless her ghost is going to be haunting Piper for the next 13 episodes.)
Other scenarios/characters teased in the latest Orange stills include seasoned TV vet Lorraine Toussaint (Any Day Now, Saving Grace) as new Litchfield addition Yvonne 'Vee' Parker, in what appears to be a face-off with Galina 'Red' Reznikov (Kate Mulgrew) - who, you may recall, had been ousted from her position of power as the prison's head cook by the end of the first season.
The last image shows various fan-favorites - including Tasha 'Taystee' Jefferson (Danielle Brooks) and Nicky Nichols (Natasha Lyonne) - looking spiffy (if a little silly), dressed up for a mock job fair. Hey, it wouldn't be Orange is the New Black if there wasn't some off-beat humor to go along with all the power-struggling and various grim content.
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Orange is the New Black - from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan based on the actual ex-convict Piper's (real name Piper Kerman) memoir - made our 5 'Girl Shows' That Guys Should Be Watching countdown, and with good reason.
The show's in turn a smart, funny, and poignant examination of not just an entertainingly eccentric batch of very-flawed characters (some lovably so, others... not so much), but interesting social issues and concerns that span a wide range of interests - and don't get a lot of coverage in other movies/TV shows. So, really, if you haven't already, you ought to catch up on this unique series before the next season gets properly underway.
Orange is the New Black Season 2 becomes available on Netflix beginning June 6th, 2014.
Source: Netflix (via Variety)