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Why we really need to talk about Orange Is The New Black.

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 A warning, there are Season 4 spoilers in this post.

Last Friday at 5pm, Orange Is The New Black came back into our lives.

For many, the next two days involved bingeing the entire season. (No judgement here peeps, in fact, only respect and, from some, a little bit of jealousy.)

And then, an emotional rollercoaster like no other.

You saw Piper announce that she was Gangsta with an ‘A’. You watched a race war break out. You watched a man being hacked to pieces. You watched a couple fall in love. And you watched one of our favourite characters die in an horrendous evocation of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Sorry, you may only be up to episode 2. If that’s the case, better look away now.

Super OITNB fan Meri talks to Rosie and Laura about OITNB:

The thing that makes OITNB a show unlike any other is that it takes the stereotypes you see everywhere else on television and spits at them. 

Women don’t look one way, or feel one way. Everyone has a back story that explains, but doesn’t excuse, how they ended up in Litchfield. Even the guards.

No-one is 100 per cent ‘good’. No-one is 100 per cent ‘bad’.

Race isn’t something that’s whispered about, or ignored.

Trans people aren’t freakshows, bisexuality isn’t a fetish.

Flashback to that time there were no uniforms at Litchfield. (Post continues after gallery.)

Laura Brodnik has a theory that, for a mainly white-middle-class audience, OITNB‘s supposed lead character of Piper is a trojan horse – the person who’s initial fish-out-of-water storyline transported us into a world where we recognise nothing and are afraid of everyone.

And then it began to unfold, and as Piper found her feet, so she became increasingly irrelevant. The people around her are much more interesting.

People like Tasty. Like Sophia. Like Poussey. Let’s not talk about Poussey, Rosie Waterland will start crying.

HUGE SPOILER ahead,people.

Poussey (played by Samira Wiley) is one of OITNB‘s most beloved characters. Always pushing for peace when there’s war, always looking to be loved, always making you laugh.

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And by the end of this season, she is gone.

And it’s this shocking moment that divides the women on The Binge.

Rosie Waterland thinks that she was an excellent choice as a character to kill off to show the cruel unthinking randomness of America’s police violence issue.

“This season really pushed hard the message of The Black Lives Matter Movement… I think one of the brilliant things of Orange Is The New Black did with it, is that they made it the guard who killed her, the only lovely, caring empathetic guard in the whole prison, basically, because I think that showed that when it comes to the way black people are treated in the US at the moment, it’s not an individual problem…it’s a systemic problem.”

Poussey, aka the fantastic Samira Wiley, is the subject of the saddest spoiler of the season. 

But Mamamia Writer and guest on The Binge, Meredith Erikkson is furious that the show creators chose to kill a gay woman. Again.

"I think this was a cliched trope... once again the creators have taken a lesbian, and killed them off. There were very few positive representations of lesbians in this series. Honestly, it was just her relationship with Soso, and once again we've seen this LQBT character killed off, and I'm just mad...they've taken our one positive representation and they've killed her. I've seen it so many times." she said.

And Laura, well she thinks it had to be a fan favourite, or the impact would be lost.

"The fans are so upset. But it kind of had to be her. For the death to resonate like that with us...it was a really tragic, almost pointless death. But heroes don't always get a heroes death."

What do you think?

Listen to the full episode of The Binge here. We also talk Game of Thrones and all things Bachelor:

“That’s what I love about this show. Everyone has their own struggles. Everyone has a backstory that explains what has pushed them to behave the way they are behaving.” Rosie said.

Which is one of the real strengths of the show.

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