Fans of Netflix’s excellent Orange Is the New Black need not fear. Despite reports a few months back that Laura Prepon (above left) would only be reprising her role as former drug smuggler Alex Vause for four episodes in the thirteen-episode second season, due to bow at some point this year, showrunner Jenji Kohan recently set the record straight.
“Yes, yes, she is coming back,” said Kohan while speaking with US Weekly during the Writers Guild Awards last weekend. “Not the whole season, but. . . you’ll see her for most of it.”
Assuming Kohan knows her math, it sounds like Vause will be popping up in more than just four episodes, which is a very good thing. As the romantic interest for protagonist Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), the character left quite a large impression. Prepon even earned a Satellite Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress (awards will be presented this month).
When Netflix made its first bid to prioritize original programming with House of Cards last February, I was a little skeptical. Though that show did a fine job of maintaining a dark, grim tone even after Se7en director David Fincher stepped out from behind the camera, the characterization was thin, exchanges between the characters didn’t pack the punch I was expecting and there just didn’t appear to be that much going on under the surface. Then, last July, Orange Is the New Black came along and blew me away. Netflix’s most ambitious series, and certainly its best, left its mark on me as one of the best new programs of 2013.
And so, when showrunner Jenji Kohan announced that the second season of the show would broaden the scope a little and focus more on all the inmates in Litchfield Penitentiary, I was totally on board with that. As much as I enjoyed Schilling’s terrific performance, her story (especially when it came to fiancé Larry, played by Jason Biggs) sometimes seemed to drag the show down.
Back in October, Kohan told TV Guide that, “It’s becoming much more of an ensemble. As much as I love Piper and Taylor and her journey, I think people are interested in everybody’s journey.”
In the second season, she plans to explore the backstories of more characters in the ensemble, including fan favorite Crazy Eyes/Suzanne Warren (Uzo Aduba, who also received a Satellite nom). Lori Petty will also be joining the cast in a currently undetermined capacity. With just thirteen episodes, Kohan has to be selective with where she takes the show, so it makes sense that she has also revealed early plans for a third season. If Orange Is the New Black gets a third series order (which it most certainly will, given Netflix’s demonstrated preference for keeping its prize ponies around), she plans to focus on fleshing out some of the prison guards.
Are you glad that Alex Vause will be around for a while longer? Will you be watching Orange Is the New Black when it returns? Let us know in the comments.