• Kevin Tachman/Getty

    FIRST

    Laverne Cox, Emmy Trailblazer

    Laverne Cox has become the first out transgender actress to be nominated for an Emmy. The lesson for the entertainment industry is to employ more transgender actors.

    Earlier today, Laverne Cox became the first out transgender actress to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award, for her role as Sophia on the Netflix hit Orange Is the New Black. This achievement followed her appearance on the cover of Time magazine, championing the nation’s “transgender tipping point.”

    Cox, who got her start in TV with one-off parts on shows like Law & Order and appearing as a contestant on 2008’s I Want to Work for Diddy, has finally found herself with the fame, recognition, and respect she deserved all along.

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  • Jessica Miglio/Netflix

    Interview

    Meet OITNB's Resident Hippie

    Litchfield’s greenest inmate opens up about how she landed on the Netflix series, Lisa Loeb sing-alongs, the lack of roles for Asians, and more. [Warning: SPOILERS]

    The terribly addictive second season of Orange Is the New Black, Jenji Kohan’s binge-worthy series about a diverse group of female inmates at a dingy prison in Litchfield, New York, saw two new gals join Piper Chapman and Co. There’s Vee (Lorraine Toussaint), a female Stringer Bell and surrogate mother to Taystee on the outside, who rises to become the villainous leader of “The Ghetto,” the corner of the facility housing the black inmates, and the most feared lady in orange.

    And on the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s Brook Soso.

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  • Jessica Miglio/Netflix

    Recap

    Inside S2 of ‘Orange Is the New Black’

    Marlow Stern and Kevin Fallon dive into the first six episodes, including a terrifying new villain, the backstories of Crazy Eyes and Poussey, and much more. [Warning: Spoilers!]

    Marlow: Now that it’s been almost a week, let’s unpack the first six episodes of Season 2 of Orange Is the New Black. The premiere, directed by Jodie Foster, really sets the tone for the entire season—a much darker one than the first. A terrified Piper is whisked away in the dead of night extraordinary rendition-style (presumably for killing Pennsatucky), placed on the OITNB version of Con Air, replete with a woman outfitted with a mask for spitting—an amalgam of the gagged-and-bagged Nazi and Steve Buscemi’s Garland Greene in the aforementioned Nic Cage guilty pleasure—as well as Lori Petty (!), and transferred to a max prison in Chicago to testify in the trial of Alex Vause’s drug boss, Kubra Balik.

    While I missed all the other Litchfield ladies, the Piper-centric premiere did a good job of setting the stage for the rest of the season—which basically sees Piper observe the prison turf war from the sidelines (more on that later). Since we knew going into S2 that Laura Prepon would only be in three episodes due to a “scheduling conflict,” the premiere was also, it seems, designed to move Vause out of the way by setting her free—while Piper perjures herself, claiming she’s never met Balik. We’ll see if that move comes back to bite Piper in the ass. Also, someone needs to ask Jenji Kohan how they trained beetles to transport cigarettes on their backs (if those were real beetles).

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  • Taylor Schilling in a scene from Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” Season 2. (JoJo Whilden for Netflix)

    Jailtime

    My Visit to OITNB's Prison

    I went to the set of Litchfield Prison and witnessed the magic behind Orange Is the New Black's incredible pop-culture rise. Spoiler alert: it was the best day ever.

    The girls are having a sleepover.

    Don’t be fooled. There are no pillow fights or makeovers or games of Truth or Dare—though a little girl-on-girl experimentation isn’t entirely off the table. There’s been a weather-induced blackout at Litchfield Prison, and that means the inmates—Piper, Taystee, Red, Crazy Eyes, Black Cindy—have all been forced to evacuate their dorms for security reasons and bunk together in the facility’s cafeteria and common room.

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  • Alysia Reiner plays "Natalie Figueroa" or “Fig” in a scene from Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black.” (Jessica Miglio/Netflix)

    Alysia Reiner has nailed the prison administrator from hell thing on Netflix’s hit show ‘Orange is the New Black,’ and she chats about what it’s like for her character to be the only woman in a boy’s club. and how she prepared to be the ‘bad girl.’

    In case you haven’t heard, Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black has become the must-watch show of the summer, praised for its strong female characters and particularly its female lead, Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling). From a likable lesbian drug dealer to a sassy, fried-chicken-loving inmate named “Taystee,” writer Jenji Kohan—who made it big with Showtime’s Weeds—has created an all-star cast of unforgettable personalities based on the memoir by real inmate Piper Kerman.

    Actress Alysia Reiner, a Gainesville, Florida, native, plays the queen of manipulation on the show—Natalie Figueroa, or “Fig.” As prison administrator and assistant to the warden, she makes the men (and women) around her quiver. In real life, Reiner—who is married to David Alan Basche, an actor who has appeared in War of the Worlds and United 93—is a fan-girl favorite. She spoke with The Daily Beast about how her OITNB character doesn’t fit the usual gender roles, how she adjusted to the “bad girl” part, and the show’s portrayal of men.

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