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OITNB: Can Season 2 Be As Good?

Posted on the 16 August 2013 by Tvtree @EmmaGThomas
OITNB: Can Season 2 Be As Good?
I may be mildly obsessed with 'Orange is the New Black'.
And by mildly obsessed I mean that Netflix should probably start paying me some serious change considering the amount of promotional work I'm doing for their show.
So far I've managed to persuade colleagues, relatives, friends, and the folks I volunteer with at a local homeless shelter to give in and watch the show. And, get this, no one has blamed me yet!
That leads to what I consider to be the big question: now what?
The first season of OITNB was not without its flaws. There were some strong episodes and some weak episodes. Unsurprisingly, no one seems to agree which ones were which. Did the first couple of episodes drive you crazy because they were "too depressing"? Did the mythical chicken episode make you annoyed because it wasn't "serious enough"? Either way--you kept watching.
So now what happens? OITNB will come back. Not only has Netflix officially declared that a second season is happening, they're actually filming it right now. At least it's not going to be a crazy seven year wait (*Arrested Development *).
But when OITNB comes back it won't be all shiny and new. We'll have adjusted to the concept of watching a largely female cast in depressing (and often simultaneously humorous) scenarios. Sure, the first season ended with a pretty massive cliffhanger but I'm assuming that will be addressed in episode one.
One of the most unfortunate aspects of OITNB attracting so much media coverage is that we're already been exposed to what basically amounts to spoilers for the next season. [if you don't read mainstream media coverage stop now!]
It has been repeatedly reported that Laura Prepon, who plays Piper's ex-girlfriend Alex, is leaving the show. According to the Hollywood Reporter and a slew of other publications she'll be around for a few episodes next season to wrap up her story-line and then she's gone*. For Alex/Piper fans this is a big blow. And believe me, there are way more fans of this ship than you'd expect. (Or maybe not).
I don't think there are very many Larry/Piper fans out there, but if you are you may be disappointed since it seems likely that Jason Biggs is also departing.
The announcement that Taryn Manning has been signed as a full cast member next season is one of the larger spoilers. I really don't want to be guilty of spoiling that for you so on the off-chance you don't know who she plays go ahead and Google her.
Do you think with these major changes people will still watch the show? Can a second season be as good as the first?
*It's important to note that Netflix is not saying anything definitive about this, nor are Prepon or her agents. In the statement Netflix released they said: "our season is still developing and nothing is confirmed".

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