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Ghost Canyon

'Orange Is the New Black: The Final Season'
(Taylor Schilling, Natasha Lyonne, Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / 2020 / Lionsgate Films)

Overview: Netflix’s original flagship series comes to an end when 'Orange Is The New Black: Season Seven' arrives on DVD and Digital July 28th from Lionsgate.

DVD Verdict: Even here in its seventh and final season, 'Orange Is The New Black' continues to make bold moves!

Sure, ok, I think we can all agree that there have been a couple of sleeper seasons amongst the bunch, but here in the end game, well, we are in for some serious prison malarkey, my friends!

This seventh and final season of the American comedy-drama television series consists of thirteen episodes, each between 55 and 89 minutes long.

For those not in the know, the series is based on Piper Kerman's memoir, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison (2010), about her experiences at FCI Danbury, a minimum-security federal prison. [The series was created and adapted for television by Jenji Kohan].

In this final season, Piper struggles with life on the outside, while life in Max, as corrupt and unjust as ever, goes on without her.

Taystee's friendship with Cindy still hangs in the balance as her life sentence looms, Gloria and her kitchen staff are confronted by the hard truth of Polycon's newest profit stream, while others chase drugs or dreams and grapple with the reality of their place in this world.

In truth, Taystee’s story line got even darker. She tried to hang herself from a prison bunk, in a crushingly bleak scene, and when that failed, she asked Daya (Dascha Polanco) for drugs to help her end her own life.

She wrote a letter to Cindy’s (Adrienne C. Moore) daughter revealing her parentage, which indirectly led to Cindy’s homelessness. And yet, as the season continued, Taystee kept finding fragments of things to cling to.

Her friendship with Tamika (Susan Heyward), now Litchfield’s warden, was one. Her realization that she could help other inmates get their GEDs by tutoring them was another.

She came up with an idea for helping recently paroled women succeed on the outside by teaching them financial literacy and giving them microloans, via a fund named after Poussey.

After she learned that her lawyer didn’t think there was sufficient new evidence to open an appeal in her case, and Taystee realized all over again that she would likely be in prison for the rest of her life, she also found out that several inmates had passed their GED test. “You made this happen,” Tamika told her in a note. “Tomorrow will be better.”

Will it? With Taystee, the show found an ending that wasn’t uplifting, necessarily, but that wasn’t outright devastating either. She remained unjustly incarcerated for murder, while the people who covered up Piscatella’s death went free.

Her friend was fired as the prison warden and replaced with an abusive, power-hungry, drug-smuggling guard. Still, Taystee was left with something to wake up for every day—the ability to help other women so that they’d have a better chance at life than she did. It’s not the ending I wanted for her.

It’s not the ending she deserved. But it was a way for the show to reconcile its commitment to capturing the reality of the penal system with its duty to a character who helped carry it for seven seasons.

OK, sure, Taystee didn’t get justice ... yet, but I’m still hopeful for a future version of the show in which she does! But she did, despite everything, manage to survive, and surely that's what matters the most ... yes?

Overall, the final season of Orange mostly works — even if it is surprisingly dull at points — and does give a compelling, emotional farewell to these characters that we’ve grown to love.

It cements the series’ legacy as something truly special — something that felt almost magical at the beginning — and absolutely proves why these stories need to be told. Oh, and in case you are still on the fence about watching this incredible show, 'Orange Is The New Black' addresses several social issues in the most hilarious ways. It shows you how prison can break a person and turn them even worse that they were before getting it.

It also shows you how capitalism has affected what should be government owned properties, and turned prisoners into rather slaves.

It shows you how racism is still very much alive and how it affects the discriminated against and how it favors the rich and white over others.

It also shows how prisoners are being treated and sexually harassed just because they cannot speak of it.

It even addressed homosexuality and how it is stigmatized even by law enforcers. It shows how religion has made tribalism stronger than ever and so, so much more.

personally, I love how it shows prisoners as people by making you relate to them in a funny way. Normally in life, one wouldn't sympathize with prisoners nor want their tax money going to better their lives, but this show shows you that they are people after all and how they were brought up contributed to who they are now.

In short, 'Orange Is The New Black' is very strong in its characterizations and you really get to know all the characters inside and out.

Furthermore, you understand their struggles and why they act the way they act. You really feel empathy and love for so many of these characters.

Indeed, the wonderful thing about this show is that there is no real main character. We jump back and forth between many complex characters and learn so much about their background and so on.

In short, this wondrous series has excellent direction, writing, cinematography, setting, soundtrack and acting and every single actress in this show delivers superlative performances. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

The Evolution of "Orange"
Here We Are ... At The End
A Message to the Fans

Official Trailer

Official Website

Amazon DVD Purchase Link