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I think OITNB passed the point where you could rely on it to be consistently good after season 4. Season 5 was a huge mess (albeit a very ambitious mess with some good stuff in it), and season 6 was a significant improvement but, like I said, it just doesn't feel as reliable as it used to.
Cutting out a lot of the characters was a good idea - there were way too many by season 5 - but most of the new ones they introduced just didn't work for me. Badison was never interesting, and Carol and Barb felt more like plot devices to create conflict than characters (although the way their story ends is perfect - I didn't get the "Freida killed them" idea at all; you can see her still in her cell in Florida during the montage at the end, and them taking each other out is a far more fitting end to them, especially after the reveal that the story that started their whole feud didn't happen to either of them).
Oh, and I wasn't a fan of how Taystee's story often seemed like it was more about Caputo's redemption arc than about Taystee. Honestly it felt like far too little time was devoted to her, which is a weird misstep considering how prominent she was in season 5.
That said, there was a lot to like here, especially in the finale, which somehow tied together almost every plot line from the season (and there were a lot) in a satisfying way, and gave a fitting balance between the good (Piper and Sophia (!) getting out, the kickball game not turning into a bloodbath) and the bad (Taystee being found guilty, Blanca's "release" right into the custody of ICE). I was worried going in that the show was just going to continue on a downward trajectory, but this season ended in a place that had me excited for next year. I do think season 7 should be the end, though - it feels like it's time.
@asmallcat I think a component of it is that too many people, consciously or no, buy into the romanticized mythology of the comedian as this force who stands outside of society and pokes at boundaries in order to expose some kind of hidden truth. A lot of comedians try to convince you that what they do is vastly more important than it actually is, but very very few actually live up to it.
@JaimieT Offensiveness for the sake of offensiveness is not a risk, it's a crutch. It's what you turn to when you have nothing else to say.
@All the Chickens Not sure how you call this thread an echo chamber when literally only one person here is pro-firing. I'd say there's been a pretty wide range of different takes on it, even among the people who are against the firing, or neutral.
Also not sure how you could call out "grandstanding" and then pull the whole "oh, everyone here is so childish, I'm so above it all, and I shan't be commenting on this any further" move. It's the same kind of lazy righteous indignation and intellectual posturing you're supposedly against, so why post it? No one cares about your mic drop.