When Orange Is the New Black premiered in 2013, it was revolutionary television. Not only was the series from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan benchmark TV in terms of the diversity of its primarily female cast and characters that included LGBTQ people and people of color, but it was also one of Netflix's earliest successes with scripted TV. As shooting on the show's seventh and final season wrapped Tuesday, the cast began posting emotional farewells.
While many cast members posted in their Instagram stories, Laura Prepon, who played the lesbian intellectual convicted drug runner and half of the show's central couple, Alex Vause, posted an emotional video of the moment she left the set when the cast and crew applauded wildly.
"You guys are amazing. Thank you. This has been a true gift and an honor to work with you. Thank you," an overcome Prepon said before exiting the set.
Upon the show's final season, Kohan posted a photo of the cast and crew with the caption "This is a family."
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She also posted a picture of cast member Danielle Brooks (Taystee) holding a sign that reads "That's a wrap."
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Based on Piper Kerman's memoir of the same name, Orange Is the New Black began as a fish-out-of-water story with uptight socialite Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) finally landing in Litchfield penitentiary nearly a decade after she helped her then-girlfriend Alex run drugs.
While Kerman's own story was the catalyst for the narrative, the show soon began focusing on secondary characters like Taystee, Suzanne (Uzo Adubua), Poussey (Samira Wiley), Sophia (Laverne Cox), Daya (Dascha Polanco), and Gloria (Selenis Leyva), whose stories eventually became more central to the series.
Over the years, OITNB racked up several Emmys, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Critics' Choice Awards, to name just a few.
Natasha Lyonne, who plays Nicky Nichols, shared on her Instagram story that upon wrapping, "a guttural sound came out of me, like some wounded animal."
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WHOA. My heart is full and achey, and so overflowing with gratitude, I'm a little dizzy," Schilling wrote at the end of filming, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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Regarding the end of the series, Schilling told THR, "I feel like we've told the stories, and I don't feel like any stone is left unturned. I think [the show] did what it came to do. And now, in the Trump era, there are new stories to tell."
A release date for season 7 has not been set, but the show typically drops in June or July.