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Piper Chapman: WASP on the Edge

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At first I wasn't totally enamored with Piper, but as the show progressed and more fully embraced that idea that, yeah, maybe Piper is an asshole and maybe she deserves some of the trouble that she's going through, then I really felt like I could get behind the character. She also has crazy chemistry with Laura Prepon (Alex)

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Amen to the chemistry.  I actually like Piper, and she gets so much hate online it feels like I have to admit that apologetically or something, but whatever.  I went to liberal arts college, listen to NPR and shop at Whole Foods too.  I rather enjoy the skewering of her yuppie affectations, but I can't pretend I don't recognize a lot of her crap in myself.  The character is so much more than that, too.  I had thought from the initial trailers for the show and the comedic straight-man role she seemed to be playing that I knew exactly what this character would be.  I never expected the later revelations about her past or the way she gets more and more feral as the season progresses.  I thought it was pretty fascinating, too.  And what can I say, I think Taylor Schilling's really cute, so I'm inclined to like her for that reason as well.  At least I own my shallowness? 

So much of the conversation around the show seemed to touch on whether or not people liked Piper, and treated that as a potential deal-breaker, which has always struck me as a bit of a gendered double-standard.  I never thought Walter White was particularly likable, but it also never occurred to me that that was the point of the show.  I think viewers are not yet full accustomed to the idea of a female anti-hero who might be problematic at best as a rooting interest.

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I get your point (also, hello BLT, I think I remember you from the TWoP boards!) - there could be a gender double standard. On the other hand, I think BB was fairly upfront about Walter White being a bastard from day one. Whereas with Orange, I feel like early on, you are asked to see things from Piper's point of view, and it felt like we were supposed to sympathize with her more.

Having said that, as you say, Taylor Schlling is hella cute, so I forgive her any minor annoyances early on :)

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I like her character and I think a lot of her reactions are pretty hilarious, but as the season kept getting more and more into the lives of the other characters I found myself not really caring about her story as much as I cared about Taystee's or Daya's. So, because of that, I'm super excited for the new season as it's supposed to be focused more on the other inmates' lives.

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I like almost all the other characters, but I kind of liked the exact dosage I was getting, so I'm afraid they're going to lose me if they tinker with the recipe too much.  But we'll see.  As obsessed as I was with season 1, it's probably safe to say they have some leeway where I'm concerned.

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Agree with everything everyone has said. I hate that Schilling's presence in S2 will be diminished(as stated by Kohan) in favor of spotlighting other characters. I LOVE Piper. She is the center for which all other things revolve. I know she is some what of a narrcasistic yuppy (which I can totally relate to) but all that considered and how she responds to her current situation is what I find so hilarous and really endearing as a character and Schilling's performance is truly remarkable. She is such a fine young actor.

If they mess with the formula that worked so effortlessly in S1, I too believe they will lose some of their core audience. That might not happen in S2 but the impact will most definately be felt by S3.

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I have mixed feelings about piper. As the season went on I was less sympathetic to her. Alex pretty well laid it out for her and seems to be the one person who knows who she really is deep down. At the same time I became more sympathetic to the other characters.

She grew up in a yuppie household, got bored after or during college and wanted more excitement. Alex gave her that chance. She wanted the excitement of the life with Alex with none of the risk. Alex is right, she knew what she was doing and really does deserve her sentence, despite how it was presented at the beginning.

And now she is doing the same thing with her fiancée. She seems to want him to wait around with his life on hold while she is in jail. Of course he has up his own issues and isn't perfect though

I don't have to like the main character to find the show enjoyable though. That's been the trend in all the great tv shows of this era.

She reminds me a bit of Nancy on weeds. And not just because of the drug/female wasp connection.

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Alex is right, she knew what she was doing and really does deserve her sentence, despite how it was presented at the beginning.

Piper knows that too, though?  I don't think it's that late in the season that she lays that all out for her mother in the visitation room.

ETA: love your name.

Edited by bravelittletoaster
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While I like that the show acknowledges that Piper isn't perfect, I feel as though the characters make her out to be way worse than she is.  Especially characters like Alex and Larry who are far worse than she is.  It's like they (especially Alex) are saying that it's all right to be completely narcissistic and amoral, but God forbid you have conflicted feelings about something or imagine that you could be better than you are.  I really wish someone would call Alex and Larry out on their shit the way they have (repeatedly) called out Piper.

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Agree with everything everyone has said. I hate that Schilling's presence in S2 will be diminished(as stated by Kohan) in favor of spotlighting other characters. I LOVE Piper. She is the center for which all other things revolve. I know she is some what of a narrcasistic yuppy (which I can totally relate to) but all that considered and how she responds to her current situation is what I find so hilarous and really endearing as a character and Schilling's performance is truly remarkable. She is such a fine young actor.

If they mess with the formula that worked so effortlessly in S1, I too believe they will lose some of their core audience. That might not happen in S2 but the impact will most definately be felt by S3.

I'm glad to find like-minded people on the internet. It keeps amazing me how everybody seems to hate Piper. In a show full of complex and flawed people, it's really strange that a lot of the audience seems to only focus on Piper's flaws. There are far worse characters on the show (*cough Daya and Bennett cough*) and they never seem to be called out. At least, from what I've seen/heard.

She's my favourite character and like you, I'm worried that by diminishing Piper's role and increasing everyobdy else's it will damage the show dynamic. I'm interested in all the storylines obviously (well, not the star-crossed lovers known as Daya and Bennett, definitey not) but Piper's is the one I can actually relate to the most. And I find her fascinating.

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She's my favourite character and like you, I'm worried that by diminishing Piper's role and increasing everyobdy else's it will damage the show dynamic. I'm interested in all the storylines obviously (well, not the star-crossed lovers known as Daya and Bennett, definitey not) but Piper's is the one I can actually relate to the most. And I find her fascinating.

 

Her time might be smaller but I think her impact will be bigger. In the new trailer they just released today, Piper really looks to be taking a turn in season 2. She looks like she isn't going to take crap from anyone. A darker, meaner tougher Piper. Taylor S. is such a wonder actor, I find it hard to imagine any one else in the part of Piper Chapman. Taylor owns the role. I think that is one of the big reasons I love Piper so much. Taylor does such a convincing job with the character. Can't wait until June 6.

I just hope her diminished screen time doesn't effect the whole dynamic of the show as you say.

Glad there is someone else here that feels the same way I do about Piper. We should have plenty to discuss in season 2.

Edited by 2QT2BSTR8
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I was vaguely irritated by an Atlantic piece on the trailer praising the fact that Piper's role seems to be diminished, and it's like, yeah, but she bookends that trailer for a reason.  I'm interested in the other characters, too, but I still need the whole thing through Piper's lens.  For better or worse, she's the one I relate to.  And yes, it's weird to me how everyone zeroes in on her faults and no one else's [except at times Alex].  Meanwhile Daya's dumb as a box of hair.  I don't know how anyone roots for that, but to each her own.

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I love Piper!  I mean, as a character on TV she's thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining.  In real life, I'd have a hard time stomaching her.  I went to the same college as Piper Kerman so I had a familiarity with that type of person and an almost irrational knee-jerk reaction against them.  When I saw that Kerman was so actively involved with the show, I worried a bit that we'd have to deal with the annoying Piper in the memoir.  Well, we do in a way, but it's well-balanced with the rest of the cast.  The memoir really didn't offer me much opportunity to really develop true empathy for Piper, mostly because it's all through her voice.  There's something uncomfortable, to me at least, about a privileged white woman ascribing feelings and motivations for underprivileged and/or minority women.  Her 'self-awareness' in the memoir came off as fake, like the sort of thing an educated, upper middle class white person is supposed to say.  It was difficult to see any true growth.

 

Which is why Tv!Pipes is so enjoyable.  This is a dramedy so obviously dialogue and plot will be exaggerated for entertainment value.  But Piper becomes more interesting and sympathetic when we hear from 'real' (well, fictional but you know what I mean) people teaching Piper that she's not a special little snowflake like she was raised to believe she was.  A lot of times, the cast serves as the voice of the audience, the things we'd want to say to a person like Piper but can't or won't because the governing most social interactions outside of a microcosm like prison are completely different.  Whether or not Piper's life is familiar to any of us, I think most of the audience is very familiar with having to face truths about ourselves that we didn't realize.  When people start telling Piper that she's not a nice person, we can see her entire identity begin to crack. Our identity is one of the few things we truly own in the world which is why when anything shakes that foundation, it can be traumatic.  In that way, it's easier to identify with Piper and it makes her a very likeable character.  

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I was vaguely irritated by an Atlantic piece on the trailer praising the fact that Piper's role seems to be diminished, and it's like, yeah, but she bookends that trailer for a reason.  I'm interested in the other characters, too, but I still need the whole thing through Piper's lens.  For better or worse, she's the one I relate to.  And yes, it's weird to me how everyone zeroes in on her faults and no one else's [except at times Alex].  Meanwhile Daya's dumb as a box of hair.  I don't know how anyone roots for that, but to each her own.

I may relate more to Piper in real life (to a degree) but that doesn't make me like her more or even find her interesting. Her faults remind me of people I've known and NOT liked.

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It interests me that the most common critique I see of Piper Chapman is that she's "self-centered," and yet as a fan of other prestige dramas with problematic protagonists or outright anti-heroes who also are male, I feel like that's not part of the conversation.  Or as much a part of it anyhow.  You can't take a step without tripping over someone complaining about how self-centered Piper is, but I just don't feel like I run into that as much in re: the equally self-centered [and in some cases homicidal] protagonists of Mad Men, Breaking Bad, the Sopranos, The Walking Dead et al. 

 

Somehow I think men wear self-serving better.  I mean, not in my estimation, but in the general population .  Has anyone else noticed that?  Is it only women who aren't allowed to look out for #1?

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I'd like to join all the good people here, who love Piper Chapman.

 

Piper is by far my favorite character. She's smart, educated, honest, funny, resourceful ..., and yes, she can be self-centered at times but that doesn't make her a horrible human being. She's got flows, so what? We all do, so I don't hold it against her. I think she's a good person who happens to be little bit messed up. I can't wait to see her continue to grow, to finally find herself and feel good in her own skin. I want to see her evolve and take charge of her life. Hope we get to see it happen. Also, Taylor Schilling, who I knew nothing about prior to this role, is doing wonders with the character. She's talented, charismatic enough to play the lead, and is fantastic (and HILARIOUS) in a comedy department! I'm glad she's got the first episode of the season (2) to showcase all of her talents.

 


While I like that the show acknowledges that Piper isn't perfect, I feel as though the characters make her out to be way worse than she is.  Especially characters like Alex and Larry who are far worse than she is.

 

I couldn't agree more. The show really needs to stop making other characters feel somewhat superior to Piper and to continuously let them get away with it. That's not ok. These characters are all flawed in their own way and they all made some bad choices and done some bad things in their life. I see Piper as one of the better ones in there. You've mentioned Larry and Alex, I would also like to add Nichols, who I usually like btw, but is getting on my last nerve with some of her words of wisdom and judgment towards Piper. Their last scene together is testament to that. I get that she was upset over Red being in hospital and all, but it doesn't really excuse her for giving Piper crap for the choices she makes and for making her feel bad about herself. Who is she to talk, anyway? Piper is allowed to live her life the way she wants to and the way it makes her happy (not that her choices are not questionable at times but they are her own and she owns up to them). Writers need to rethink this strategy, and quick.

 


Somehow I think men wear self-serving better.  I mean, not in my estimation, but in the general population .  Has anyone else noticed that?  Is it only women who aren't allowed to look out for #1?

I would first like to say that I agree with your whole post bravelittletoaster. And that I'm actually surprised that some people don't like Piper and they make her out to be this totally horrible, no good person who should be punished for the sins, that I haven't really seen she's ever committed. I guess I've been living in a bubble together with all the people I know, with our Piper love. *shrugs*

Anyway, you made some good points regarding the leading male/female characters on tv. There's definitely double standard going on there in how they are perceived and embraced by the fans. I mean, you can't get more self-centered than Tony Soprano, House or even Don Draper, yet people adore them (me being a huge fan as well!). Now we have a somewhat controversial female lead which makes for a good tv yet some people always choose to find faults with her instead of just enjoying the ride. I don't get it. Unless it's more of a social thing, given not only her gender, but her race, privileged upbringing etc. Which I think, if that's the case anyway, is highly prejudicial and unfair. But I'd like to believe that the society has long evolved from that.

Edited by Gusto
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I adore Piper. 

 

Yeah she's flawed. She's selfish, abrasive, hypocritical, needy and self-righteous. At times, yes, she's even been a monster. But Jenji (and Taylor) have tempered that with a certain sweetness and empathy to create what is arguably the most complex and real female character on television right now. 

 

I find her very relatable. That tension between wanting to be perceived as a nice person, of holding back because we want to do the "right" thing and please others, and the baser instincts and emotions that lie underneath that - the hunger to survive, to fight, to take risks and win, to take an enormous bite out of the world - I find that very authentic. 

 

Having said all of that I'd still watch this show without Piper, but I think I would need Jenji to develop another character (maybe someone like Poussey) to the same degree of emotional complexity to keep watching. The ensemble is great, but I think it needs to be complemented by a deeper character study that runs through the season as well. 

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I think I love Piper because of her flaws, not despite them [the same reason I've loved Tony Soprano, through closed fingers, and House [god, yes, love House] and Walter White [though I hated him at times too]. It just bothers me as a feminist to perceive a subtle difference in how much allowance the culture affords a female protagonist on the likability scale.

 

But I also felt like that scene with Red this season where Red counsels Piper not to feel guilty about selfishness [fuck them....you can't survive in here without being selfish] was kind of a direct address to viewers.  One that you could practically hear sailing over thousands of heads at once.

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I don't mind Piper as much as I find her annoying. There is such a dearth of strong, interesting female characters on this show, and Piper just falls into the background to me. Red has become my absolute favorite of them all. If I were in Litchfield, I think I'd be able to put my geopolitical differences aside and stick with Red's team.

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Yes, yes I do. I've been up for three days straight finishing papers for bullshit classes and doing finals. Not in the best frame of mind for commenting on TV shows!

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Somehow I think men wear self-serving better.  I mean, not in my estimation, but in the general population .  Has anyone else noticed that?  Is it only women who aren't allowed to look out for #1?

I completely agree. I think part of the backlash is because she's a woman. I think part of it is that in Piper, we see the most common traits that we might loathe in ourselves: selfishness and lack of self-awareness. And the irritation is heightened because so many of these characters -- Nichols, Alex, even Pennsatucky* -- do exhibit a high level of awareness of their own flaws and motivations. 

 

And yes, this show is set in prison, the #1 place where you can and should be a little selfish, because no one else is going to look out for you. Piper's transition over two seasons has been fascinating to watch. I don't quite know how to describe it, but she's so much sharper around the edges now. Alex was right when she told Larry that Piper was fucked up -- it's true, but then most of us are messed up in the sense of putting on different faces for different people. Through Piper, this show has done an amazing job exploring ideas of the 'authentic' self vs the selves that we create to please other people. 

 

*'Tucky is quite nuts, obviously. But I'm thinking of that great scene at the end of season 1 where she asks Piper whether she believes in "Hussein Obama, Shakespeare books and eating at restaurants", and says that she has none of that -- all she has is god, hence her intense religiosity. 

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Just wound up my rewatch of season 2 and was given pause by the moment where Piper is watching the inmate with the baby [Maria?] break down over her impending transfer with clear empathy.  I kind of think the writers' put that grace note in deliberately to show Piper thinking and caring about someone other than herself--in answer to criticism of her on that point--but I don't think viewers see it if they don't want to see it.  The sun seems to shine out of Taystee's ass as far as critics go, even after the woman handed Nicky a baggie of heroin.  I think people just see what they want to see when it comes to certain characters, and I'm sure that's true of all shows to an extent, but for some reason I just notice it more in criticism of OITNB.  I was a huge Breaking Bad fan and fairly avid reader of critiques of it, and I don't remember a lot of hand-wringing about what a terrible person Walter White was.  And clearly he was.  But that's alright for male protagonists.  They're allowed to be anti-heroes and reside in gray places more comfortably.  

 

As for me I hope OITNB signals a new trend of problematic, anti-heroic female protagonists until we get over some of our hangups for female characters.  Not that I actually think Piper's that terrible a person.  No one in that prison is selfless, except maybe Poussey [who's super bland to me].

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I was disappointed when Piper negotiated her own way out of the prison transfer, but didn't include Maria (?) in the deal after watching her distress with her baby.

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Piper's general selfishness, cluelessness, and neediness are some of her better qualities. When I decided to watch a show about a woman who goes to prison because she transferred drug money for her drug mule girlfriend, I had expectations of this character, and so far, Piper is living up to them. Had Piper been imprisoned for protecting herself from an abusive spouse, or stopping a child from being victimized, or for taking the fall for a corporation, I might expect to see a selfless, honest, guileless woman whose time in prison would result in growth. I might actually feel sorry for her predicament. I might actually expect more from her.

 

But Piper Chapman lived with a drug peddler, traveled alongside her and reaped the benefits of that lifestyle. And she loved it...until she didn't anymore. During that time she made an exciting trip while carrying $50k in drug money. She never thought about how carrying that money might affect her future. Just like she probably never thought about how the drugs Alex smuggled in affected the lives of others.

 

Most of Litchfield's inmates have dirty hands. Some will be self aware enough to become better people, but as in real life, I suspect most will revert to type. I'll still enjoy them even when they're acting like assholes. Taystee and Suzanne surprised and angered me this season, but I'll still root for them to get it right. I'll continue rooting for Piper too.

 

Am I cynical? I never rooted for Dr. House to get off vicodin, get some magical leg surgery, fall in love with Cuddy and develop an awesome bedside manner after discovering his heart's desire. I wanted him to be a motherfucker to the end.

Edited by eXiled
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I don't think it's actually clear that Piper didn't secure the cancellation of all transfers. We only saw the beginning of her negotiation/discussion with Caputo, not them hashing it all out. Regardless it still wouldn't have happened without her. Much like the re opening of the track, sometimes there are ripple effect benefits for other prisoners when she's pushed back against the administration.

She's not some selfless crusader for the downtrodden [nor do I think she's obligated to be] but occasionally her rising tide has lifted other boats besides her own.

Edited by bravelittletoaster

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I'd like to join all the good people here, who love Piper Chapman.

 

Piper is by far my favorite character. She's smart, educated, honest, funny, resourceful ..., and yes, she can be self-centered at times but that doesn't make her a horrible human being. She's got flows, so what? We all do, so I don't hold it against her. I think she's a good person who happens to be little bit messed up. I can't wait to see her continue to grow, to finally find herself and feel good in her own skin. I want to see her evolve and take charge of her life. Hope we get to see it happen. Also, Taylor Schilling, who I knew nothing about prior to this role, is doing wonders with the character. She's talented, charismatic enough to play the lead, and is fantastic (and HILARIOUS) in a comedy department! I'm glad she's got the first episode of the season (2) to showcase all of her talents.

 

I couldn't agree more. The show really needs to stop making other characters feel somewhat superior to Piper and to continuously let them get away with it. That's not ok. These characters are all flawed in their own way and they all made some bad choices and done some bad things in their life. I see Piper as one of the better ones in there. You've mentioned Larry and Alex, I would also like to add Nichols, who I usually like btw, but is getting on my last nerve with some of her words of wisdom and judgment towards Piper. Their last scene together is testament to that. I get that she was upset over Red being in hospital and all, but it doesn't really excuse her for giving Piper crap for the choices she makes and for making her feel bad about herself. Who is she to talk, anyway? Piper is allowed to live her life the way she wants to and the way it makes her happy (not that her choices are not questionable at times but they are her own and she owns up to them). Writers need to rethink this strategy, and quick.

 

I would first like to say that I agree with your whole post bravelittletoaster. And that I'm actually surprised that some people don't like Piper and they make her out to be this totally horrible, no good person who should be punished for the sins, that I haven't really seen she's ever committed. I guess I've been living in a bubble together with all the people I know, with our Piper love. *shrugs*

Anyway, you made some good points regarding the leading male/female characters on tv. There's definitely double standard going on there in how they are perceived and embraced by the fans. I mean, you can't get more self-centered than Tony Soprano, House or even Don Draper, yet people adore them (me being a huge fan as well!). Now we have a somewhat controversial female lead which makes for a good tv yet some people always choose to find faults with her instead of just enjoying the ride. I don't get it. Unless it's more of a social thing, given not only her gender, but her race, privileged upbringing etc. Which I think, if that's the case anyway, is highly prejudicial and unfair. But I'd like to believe that the society has long evolved from that.

Completely agree with everything..(still very surprised about Taylor's acting <3)...

Honestly I don't think she's a bad person (i'm not saying that she's perfect, but to me she's not as bad as everyone thinks)...and I don't understand why online she's so hated by pretty much everyone...

For example I loved when she got concerned for the old lady and the compassionate release

Plus, I think she is hilarious lol

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One thing I've never understood is why the show changed Piper and Larry's career track from what the real-life versions have to the show versions. In real life, both Piper Kerman and Larry Smith had successful careers at the time Piper went to jail. I think most of what started off the dislike for the show versions is that it seems like they were sponging off their relatives while dithering around being yuppies. There's some implication that Piper did something successful in marketing given that she seemed so confident she could turn Polly's soap making hobby into a thriving business (and did get the soaps into Barneys), but it's not well spelled out. Piper and Larry come off as ungrateful privileged parasites instead of privileged people who are also hardworking and talented. The contrast between Piper/Larry and people like Taystee and Tucky is a stronger the show's way, but also more cartoon like. 

 

I also don't buy into the idea that Piper-with-Alex or the Piper that smashed up Tucky's face is the real Piper and Piper-with-Larry is a pretend, aspirational Piper. I don't think people have a core authentic self that deprivation and hardship reveals but comfort cloaks. I think Piper is basically a caring, compassionate person who can be self-centered and occasionally thoughtless... which who among us can say that we are never self-centered and occasionally thoughtless? I find Piper likable, and I don't think she should be talked about in the same category as leads like Don Draper or Walter White or frankly even in the same category as Alex Vause (who I like, but Alex ran a drug import business whereas Piper was essentially a moll).

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Having immersed myself several times in both season 1 and 2, I am at times still left with mouth agape at the performance of Taylor Schilling. She is such a unbelievable talent! WOW! She moves from dark, deep heart gripping drama to fall out of your chair comedy in a flash. Kohan was correct when she describe Schilling as a unicorn.

But I am with all of you, I simply do not understand all the Piper hate!!! Piper is flawed but her journey from the opening of season1 to the close of season 2 has been a dramatic transformation of a hipster Brooklynite surface dweller to someone who is finally coming to terms with who she is. I for one have absolutely enjoyed watching the journey of  growth and change. I also do not believe there is an actress out there today that could have delivered  the character Piper Chapman better or more convincingly that Taylor Schilling. I just am eager to see where she and Kohan take this character in the seasons to come.

I remember years ago having a conversation with Jennifer Beals about how the character of Bette Porter impacted her as a human being. Jennifer said she keeps Bette close because Bette really had become part of her (Jennifer) and they would always share a common heart.  I can't help but think the growth that Piper Chapman experiences over the course of the many seasons that Orange will air will end up have a significant effect on the person of Taylor Schilling as Bette had on Beals. Taylor will always have Piper to look back to and reflect on how Piper overcame herself to become the strong and more authentic women we see her growing towards and hope she becomes by the end of production.

Edited by OrangeCrush
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No one in that prison is selfless, except maybe Poussey [who's super bland to me].

You know I've never given it much thought (cause frankly I didn't care much) but now that you've mentioned it I just can't unsee it. Poussey was an ok, likeable character to me in season 1, but then in season 2 she's been acting very Mary Sue-ish like, becoming quite uninteresting and one-dimensional. Since this is not a daytime soap opera we're watching, it kind of put me off this character. The whole reason I find Piper so engaging and root for Red, Suzanne and others, is because they're all such real, complex and relatable characters. I like seeing flawed human beings in tv shows and I like watching them struggle, learn and eventually evolve. That's what makes the experience so much more gratifying, i think.

 

To conclude: I can definitely live without Mary Sue characters hogging the spotlight on tv shows. Either make them real or lose them. Imo

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omg, yes, I agree about Poussey being a Mary Sue this season.  I don't know why that didn't occur to me before, because I couldn't put my finger on what I didn't like about how they wrote her, but that's exactly it.  Give me the imperfect one any day over that.

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I love Piper!  I mean, as a character on TV she's thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining.  In real life, I'd have a hard time stomaching her.  I went to the same college as Piper Kerman so I had a familiarity with that type of person and an almost irrational knee-jerk reaction against them.  When I saw that Kerman was so actively involved with the show, I worried a bit that we'd have to deal with the annoying Piper in the memoir.  Well, we do in a way, but it's well-balanced with the rest of the cast.  The memoir really didn't offer me much opportunity to really develop true empathy for Piper, mostly because it's all through her voice.  There's something uncomfortable, to me at least, about a privileged white woman ascribing feelings and motivations for underprivileged and/or minority women.  Her 'self-awareness' in the memoir came off as fake, like the sort of thing an educated, upper middle class white person is supposed to say.  It was difficult to see any true growth.

 

Which is why Tv!Pipes is so enjoyable.  This is a dramedy so obviously dialogue and plot will be exaggerated for entertainment value.  But Piper becomes more interesting and sympathetic when we hear from 'real' (well, fictional but you know what I mean) people teaching Piper that she's not a special little snowflake like she was raised to believe she was.  A lot of times, the cast serves as the voice of the audience, the things we'd want to say to a person like Piper but can't or won't because the governing most social interactions outside of a microcosm like prison are completely different.  Whether or not Piper's life is familiar to any of us, I think most of the audience is very familiar with having to face truths about ourselves that we didn't realize.  When people start telling Piper that she's not a nice person, we can see her entire identity begin to crack. Our identity is one of the few things we truly own in the world which is why when anything shakes that foundation, it can be traumatic.  In that way, it's easier to identify with Piper and it makes her a very likeable character.  

Good point. Amen ;)

Edited by baky

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But Piper Chapman lived with a drug peddler, traveled alongside her and reaped the benefits of that lifestyle. And she loved it...until she didn't anymore. During that time she made an exciting trip while carrying $50k in drug money. She never thought about how carrying that money might affect her future.

I think she clearly did think about how it might affect her future. Since she refused to ever do it again. And got the fuck out of there the minute Alex asked her to do it a second time. She also didn't seem to find it very exciting, at all. She hated it.

 

I also don't think it is accurate to say she liked it until she didn't. Their conversation during the breakup suggested a long-term issue between them. Piper even said that Alex was making excuses because she couldn't deal with the fact that she was a drug dealer and it ruined everything good in her lfie. That didn't seem like a sudden revelation, at all. It was clearly something she had thought about or even said in the past.  (ANd something I wish she would say to her again when Alex bitches about having her heart broken.) And she left when Alex asked her to put herself directly at risk for a second time. (And then hid her passport.) It wasn't unprompted or a sudden "I'm sick of this". It was  a pretty intelligent reaction to the events.

 

Anyway, I also actually like Piper a lot. I am usually the first to hate on characters like Piper. But I think she is suprisngly funny and entertaining. It helps that she is written with the writers and actor clearly aware of her flaws. I particularly like the fact that she is basically always working an angle even if she doesn't realize it. If she could just be more subtle then, In some ways, prison is perfect for her. I like it because they have turned a sort of general upper-middle class white privilege thing into a kind of personal idiosyncrasy of hers. And I like that they gave her a genuine bubbling anger under the surface that keeps erupting.

 

I also have a hard time hating on her for being selfish or narcissitic since pretty much everyone is. And in some ways Piper's flaws are more glaring only because she openly acknowledges them. Which is an admirable characteristic. Plus, I definitely don't think she is more privileged than most of the other white characters many of whom also get away with a lot of shit.

 

I think in Season 1 the relationship with Alex helped me get ahold of Piper, a lot. You come to see that of the two Piper is really the one less fragile and more capable of adapting. And it colored how I saw her in other interactions.

 

I really don't understand the hate she gets. She isn't Carrie Bradshaw or even Nancy Botwin. She is selfish in an environmenet where everyone is selfish but she isn't someone who uses people more than those around her. And she is genuinely funny, which goes a long way for me. Like she genuinely has a sense of humor not just fun to laugh at her antics.

 

Yeah, Piper will take care of Number 1 first and foremost. But if she can help others along the way she will. I think she is similar to Red in a lot of ways, personally.

 

I was disappointed when Piper negotiated her own way out of the prison transfer, but didn't include Maria (?) in the deal after watching her distress with her baby.

 

 

We didn't see most of the negotiation and Caputo did cancel it. Plus, Piper knew she was the only reason those people were being transfered. It was a cover so it wasn't obvious she was being transfered because she talked to a reporter. If hers if cancelled there is no reason for the others to have to go.

 

And the irritation is heightened because so many of these characters -- Nichols, Alex, even Pennsatucky* -- do exhibit a high level of awareness of their own flaws and motivations.

 

 

I think Piper shows a lot more self-awareness than Alex. Alex exhibits self-loathing, which isn't the same. I'd say that is true of Nicky as well. Even after all these years Alex still walks around thinking Piper wronged her somehow in the past. Rather than she broke things off because she didn't want to be a drug mule.  By contrast, it is pretty quickly shown that Piper understands that her own choices landed her in prison. She expreses frequently that she is in the wrong and apologizes. Whereas Alex justifies every shitty thing she does.

 

Piper will acknowledge her flaws and when she is wrong. She'll get mad at herself. But she doesn't hate herself for them like Nicky and Alex can. I find that refreshing. Self-loathing is such a stereotypical part of an antihero. Piper gets upset at herself over flaws but mostly she thinks she is pretty great. I love that about her.

Edited by CherithCutestory
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I think Piper works as a character because the show knows exactly who and what Piper is.    What makes her character likable is the fact that they don't try to make her likable.  When she does selfish shit she gets called on it and she then makes an attempt to make it right sometimes out of simple self preservation but often because she genuinely didn't realize what she was doing was selfish or offensive.   I also like the bubbling seething anger right below the surface in her that is very WASPY that the show occasionally lets out. 

 

I think Piper shows a lot more self-awareness than Alex. Alex exhibits self-loathing, which isn't the same. I'd say that is true of Nicky as well. Even after all these years Alex still walks around thinking Piper wronged her somehow in the past. Rather than she broke things off because she didn't want to be a drug mule.  By contrast, it is pretty quickly shown that Piper understands that her own choices landed her in prison. She expreses frequently that she is in the wrong and apologizes. Whereas Alex justifies every shitty thing she does.

 

 

I know people love Alex and tend to take her side but they broke up nearly a decade before.  If you hold a grudge that long and go so far as to rat on someone no longer in the drug business; (Piper committed a single felony nine years earlier - unless you count dating a drug dealer as a felony) then it is on you.  Alex ratted her out for no other reason then she was  a pissed off ex-girlfriend.  Snitches get stitches.  

Edited by Chaos Theory
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If you hold a grudge that long and go so far as to rat on someone no longer in the drug business; (Piper committed a single felony nine years earlier - unless you count dating a drug dealer as a felony) then it is on you.

 

 

And even after getting the ultimate revenge she is still laying guilt trips on Piper about it. That is what kills me about Alex. Piper apologized to her and she is in prison so she has surely suffered for it and it still is not enough to let it go! Throwing the "you broke my heart" at her almost right off the bat. Basically blaming her for becoming a heroin addict at AA/yoga. Dropping the jab about her mom dying when Piper was sad about Tricia. Admits that her anger over Piper leaving played a part in her naming her. Acts like she was doing her a favor for not "holding grudges" that day in Chicago (when all Piper had done was choose the person who didn't name her and lie about it and would actually like a real life). And she never seems to get that she is being totally unfair and unreasonable.

 

I mean Jesus Christ. I've broken up with people and I've been broken up with. It sucks but by eight years later you usually regain your ability to function.  Bitch needs lots of therapy.

 

I do like Alex when I don't think about her too hard. But I definitely think Piper is a more well-adjusted, self-aware person. I mean almost anyone is. Morello might be a more well-adjusted, self-aware person.

 

Snitches get stitches.

 

 

Although, here snitches get self-righteous indignation.

 

I'd love to hear Piper explain to someone who actually knows a thing about the drug trade how she got berated and cut off for gently breaking up with the person who snitched on her.

Edited by CherithCutestory
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Ahhh Piper. I do like her but it gets to be a little much.  First season was fine but the whole furlough business drove me up a wall. That speech about loving her gramma..sure didn't seem like it when she actually got the furlough.  I don't like any of her relationships up to the middle of season 2 where I am now.  She and Alex are co-dependent so I point the finger at both of them.  Larry I liked until the whole sex with Piper's best friend thing.  But Piper really, your vagina so great that you think Larry is sitting around thinking about you all day.  Geeze, she has her very unlikeable moments. That was one.  Hopefully I get back on the train before the season ends. 

 

Finished season 2 last night and she remains hit or miss with me and not in a fascinating way.  Oh well, let's see what season 3 brings.

Edited by angelita100

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Well, that was a huge fucking blow to the Piper character and all of her growth up untl this point. Even in early Season 3 she didn't try to justify her actions to Alex in the grocery store scene. She admitted she was wrong she apologized (and not apologized) and took responsibilty. That was huge growth. Which is why her becoming some monster in the second half was abruupt and not at all well plotted.

 

That being said I also think some of her sins are exaggerated. Like she did hire Flaca back when she heard about her mom's cancer. And she wasn't opposed to paying the girls she just didn't know a way to go about doing it without help. (And doing so is actually committing the same exact crime she was indicted for; money laundering.)

 

In a twisted way, I have never believed that Piper is deeply in love with Alex more than I do right now. And not just the "Alex she fell in love with". Not just the bad ass. She was so desperate for her approval and validation through out the season. When she first went to her with the panty scheme she was initially crushed when she thought she didn't like it and so happy when she found out she did. When they were planning the thing out while discussing the Gerber baby she looked so fucking happy. Like this was the best day of her whole life. Getting to be an equal with Alex. Finally real partners. Not to mention things like the girlfriend scene. Or her planning out there stereotypical lesbian life after running. Those things did happen and aren't negated by later events. And Piper didn't even notice Stella when she first met her. She didn't stop looking at Alex like she hung the moon and stars until she started becoming obsessed with Lolly and ignored Piper (not that it's okay for Piper to be so fucking insecure she has to make out with randoms for attention).

 

Even when she was kissing Stella on the sly she ran to Alex with such pride like a little kid with every new thing. She wanted Alex to validate her finding the cell phone/money laundering scheme to pay the girls. She thought Alex would be proud of her firing Flaca. And THEN when (in her mind) she thought Alex broke up with her for firing Flaca she kept looking over at Al when she hired Flaca back. Like she thought this would get her approval. That was in the last episode. Even in their last scene when she goes on her dictator rant she looks at her with so much love. There was never a point (not when she was with Stella) that she didn't seem just desperate for Alex's approval. And she never dumped Alex. When Alex dumped her she said it was just a break up period and refused to let Cal call Stella her girlfriend. She clearly believed it was temporary.

 

With Stella it seemed like such an obvious replication of Alex's recruiting techniques for mules.  It was about power. Alex was joking around about her being a mule in the Gerber baby scene. And she exerted the same kind of power she thought Alex had over her back then. It was like she was playing make believe.

 

And in her defense with the being "annoyed" thing Alex's basic fears were justified but she took it so far that she accused PIPER of being a spy. And Piper handled that really well. She could have easily flipped out on her. But she didn't. She remained calm. And tried to distract her with jokes. It is pretty okay to be annoyed at someone who accuses you of being a spy when they are in a relationhsip. I don't think the jokes were dismissive. I think she genuinely didn't know what to do and tried to distract her. She is just emotionally stunted.

 

I don't know. I've never been more disappointed in a character arc. But I've also never been more convinced that in her fucked up WASP way she is in love with Alex. So in love with her that when Alex wasn't herself Piper decided to become her. Like one of them had to be the strong one.

 

At the same time, I also think Piper is incredibly damaged at this point. And she thought Alex could fix it. But the damage is so internal. I think it was really telling that Piper wasn't just getting off on rough sex. She was getting off on being told what a piece of shit she was. She loved Alex saying hateful things to her. I also think the tattoos were as much about inflicting pain on herself as getting a tattoo. There is a pretty deep well of self-loathing there.

 

Also, her oral technique is A+.

Edited by CherithCutestory
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I didn't particularly care for the turn Piper took this season.  I mentioned this in another thread, but I really feel Taylor Schilling's strength as an actor lies in her comedic ability.  She has great comedic timing and uses facial expressions hilariously.  However, the edge she needs to carry off this arc doesn't seem like a good fit for her.  In the past, Piper only seemed to get edgy and aggro when she was overwhelmed and pushed too far.  Taylor can do that kind of this intensity. But this wholesale departure just doesn't fit the Piper they created.  I mean....she told on herself for setting up Pennsatucky and Pennsatucky was trying to fucking KILL her.  She decides to get god knows how many years tacked on to Stella's sentence with all that contraband b/c Stella stole from her?  I don't know.

Edited by gemini22

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Ugh....Piper.

 

I try to like Piper, but all I see is wasted potential. A great central character story ruined by shoddy casting. No offense to Ms. Schilling; I just don't think she was cut for such a faceted role. I'll explain.

 

----(SPOILERS: Please do not read unless you have completed Season 3)-----

 

Take a deep thought about Piper and her character. Her transition is possibly as huge as Sophia's.

 

Unlike most of the prisoners, Piper was born as a spoiled little WASP rich girl. Rasied by a domineering mother, she never had a chance to bloom and find her inner self. Deep down Piper has the skills and drive to be something BIG, and the natural-born business sense to back it. At times this "true Piper" would peek in throughout the series....like when she was convincing Polly to start their candle business together. But therein lies Piper's weakness - she's never been able to do anything for herself; much like she had admitted many times - most noteably in her speech when confronting the handicapped thug-wannabe girl in the bathroom for the scared straight program in Season 1. Piper always relied on others to get her through and make her decisions. Be it her mother, Larry, Polly, Alex, Stella....she's admitted it pleanty of times - Piper can not (and has never been) alone. She's never taken control of her life by herself; she's never fully been an ADULT.

 

Season 3's turning point could have been HUGE. When she learns Stella is stealing, she uses the manipulation skills first ingrained upon her by her mother, and now honed razor-sharp by the prison system, Piper has made her choice. She doesn't need her panty business for financial reasons - she needs it for her own inner growth. And when she turns in Stella - she's made her decision...Piper is about to live for Piper. She doesn't NEED anyone as a crutch. And this time nobody will stand in the way of her ambitions. Not Polly, not Larry, Not her mother, not Flaca, not Stella, not her brother's non-bisexual panty-idea-stealing wife, - NOBODY.

 

Unfortunately, all this is lost. Put in the hands of the right actress - this whole story arc of growth could have been powerful. Instead, Schilling's portrayal and goofy facial gestures/delivery lands the whole thing as awkward. Awkward was good (and believeable!) in a Season 1 Piper just starting her journey, but at this point- it's just wasted. Schilling just can't play it off.

 

Seriously, imagine that horrible Godfather-panty speech she gave while recruiting the panty girls. Think about how cringe-worthy, cheesy, and awkward it was.

 

Now, imagine the exact same speech.....but this time, given by Red.

 

 

 

......and now you know where Piper's development could have gone. Schilling just isn't able to pull it off. A beautiful take on self-discovery, growth, and independance....utterly lost. Nothing more than a comical footnote.

 

 

Thank goodness for the rest of the cast. They saved this show.

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Well, that was a huge fucking blow to the Piper character and all of her growth up untl this point. Even in early Season 3 she didn't try to justify her actions to Alex in the grocery store scene. She admitted she was wrong she apologized (and not apologized) and took responsibilty. That was huge growth. Which is why her becoming some monster in the second half was abruupt and not at all well plotted.

 

That being said I also think some of her sins are exaggerated. Like she did hire Flaca back when she heard about her mom's cancer. And she wasn't opposed to paying the girls she just didn't know a way to go about doing it without help. (And doing so is actually committing the same exact crime she was indicted for; money laundering.)

 

In a twisted way, I have never believed that Piper is deeply in love with Alex more than I do right now. And not just the "Alex she fell in love with". Not just the bad ass. She was so desperate for her approval and validation through out the season. When she first went to her with the panty scheme she was initially crushed when she thought she didn't like it and so happy when she found out she did. When they were planning the thing out while discussing the Gerber baby she looked so fucking happy. Like this was the best day of her whole life. Getting to be an equal with Alex. Finally real partners. Not to mention things like the girlfriend scene. Or her planning out there stereotypical lesbian life after running. Those things did happen and aren't negated by later events. And Piper didn't even notice Stella when she first met her. She didn't stop looking at Alex like she hung the moon and stars until she started becoming obsessed with Lolly and ignored Piper (not that it's okay for Piper to be so fucking insecure she has to make out with randoms for attention).

 

Even when she was kissing Stella on the sly she ran to Alex with such pride like a little kid with every new thing. She wanted Alex to validate her finding the cell phone/money laundering scheme to pay the girls. She thought Alex would be proud of her firing Flaca. And THEN when (in her mind) she thought Alex broke up with her for firing Flaca she kept looking over at Al when she hired Flaca back. Like she thought this would get her approval. That was in the last episode. Even in their last scene when she goes on her dictator rant she looks at her with so much love. There was never a point (not when she was with Stella) that she didn't seem just desperate for Alex's approval. And she never dumped Alex. When Alex dumped her she said it was just a break up period and refused to let Cal call Stella her girlfriend. She clearly believed it was temporary.

 

With Stella it seemed like such an obvious replication of Alex's recruiting techniques for mules.  It was about power. Alex was joking around about her being a mule in the Gerber baby scene. And she exerted the same kind of power she thought Alex had over her back then. It was like she was playing make believe.

 

And in her defense with the being "annoyed" thing Alex's basic fears were justified but she took it so far that she accused PIPER of being a spy. And Piper handled that really well. She could have easily flipped out on her. But she didn't. She remained calm. And tried to distract her with jokes. It is pretty okay to be annoyed at someone who accuses you of being a spy when they are in a relationhsip. I don't think the jokes were dismissive. I think she genuinely didn't know what to do and tried to distract her. She is just emotionally stunted.

 

I don't know. I've never been more disappointed in a character arc. But I've also never been more convinced that in her fucked up WASP way she is in love with Alex. So in love with her that when Alex wasn't herself Piper decided to become her. Like one of them had to be the strong one.

 

At the same time, I also think Piper is incredibly damaged at this point. And she thought Alex could fix it. But the damage is so internal. I think it was really telling that Piper wasn't just getting off on rough sex. She was getting off on being told what a piece of shit she was. She loved Alex saying hateful things to her. I also think the tattoos were as much about inflicting pain on herself as getting a tattoo. There is a pretty deep well of self-loathing there.

 

Also, her oral technique is A+.

Always thought she loves Alex, never doubted about that, for this reason I was kinda disappointed when she first kissed Stella.

She was just a distraction, because Alex wasn't paying enough attention to her. It was a dumb move but we know how Pipes works. She craves someone so badly.

Her arc this season was twisted but it kinda makes sense if you think about it (at first I was disappointed too).

She's been a "badass" since season 2. The first half of the season was lighter because it was all about her and Alex. But as soon as they take distance and after the whole panties business idea something changes. She wants power, Alex is not giving attention to her, and she wants to feel relevant. So she starts taking too seriously the whole panties thing. She is sick of being considered the pretty waspy girl that leads a perfect life. We learned she's not confortable with her body for example, or at least she does not consider herself "hot". She needed to underline that she has 2 degrees to Stella. In that scene with Morello and Daya in the cafeteria when they talk about bathrooms and houses she says that she had 4 bathrooms but she was also very lonely as a child. She's trying to state something.  Sending Stella to shu was an horrible thing to do, even if she steals her money first. But still, she needs to affirm her position, you can see it when she tells Boo "I don't fuck around, let the people know". I also see the tattoos as an expression of self loathing (btw I loved her last scene, the endless tattoo one) or as a metaphor of her wanting to leave a mark.

She is a fucked up and complex character, despite what she may seem. And people don't get it.

She needs to understand alone who she really is, what she really wants, and that she can't always rely on someone else. I'm very interested in her storyline in S4. Can't wait.

Ps: Taylor Schilling is great for the role. 

Edited by baky

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@CherithCutestory: you and I have sparred on this board (in the Alex Vause thread) and on imdb.com about Piper, Alex and Vauseman in general, but I have to agree with your reply above 100%. Yes, Hell has frozen over and we are in agreement!

The only thing I would add is that yes, Piper didn't flip over Alex accusing her of spying for Kubra, but Alex also didn't invoke Piper's responsibility for putting her life in danger in that scene, either.... and she easily could have.

As for Piper's oral technique being A+ ..... well, I must say I agree with that; I had suspected she was a Pillow Queen, but the 3x02 library scene disproved that notion, lol.

Edited by TheInvisibleWoman

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@ baky:

I agree with you re: Taylor's performance---she is stellar as Piper, and if there was a single wrong note in her performance in season 3, I place the blame squarely on the writers. I think her character development could have been infinitely more interesting (and plausible) if they hadn't rushed it. As you said, Piper is a very complex character and that part of her story arc needed more time to develop properly, esp. since she seemed to be becoming more self-aware (ie. seeing her *true* self) as the seasons progressed.

I think the Piper we saw in S3 is not the "real" Piper, but rather Piper doing what Piper has done throughout her life-----make herself into the image of what she thinks others expect of her. She did this to get her parents' approval & love, she acted the part of Nice Blonde Lady for Larry, but when she wound up in prison, things changed and she couldn't hide from her true self any longer (remember the speech she gave to Dina, the girl in the wheelchair, in 1x11?) 

There is an excellent explanation here: http://alxvse.tumblr.com/post/121890708186/okay 

Oh, and this post below is sort of what got the ball rolling with regards to the reasons for Piper's descent: 

http://captainscarletts.tumblr.com/post/121480897210/okay-my-tentative-thoughts-on-why-i-could 

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Two things about season 3 Piper (whom some people have been referring to as Dark! Piper) that are still baffling to me are : (a) her sudden body image issues, and (b) her cheating on Alex with Stella.

They both came out of nowhere (I mean, Alex really *wanted* to have sex with Piper---- remember the bathroom scene about "June 7th") and I am beginning to suspect that they introduced (a) to create some lame-ass pretext for (b) happening. I am beginning to suspect that (b) was a ratings-grab to incorporate what turned out to be a bland, unnecessariy-introduced character (Stella). If that is the case, I would be very disappointed in the show runner (I'm looking at you, Jenji) for doing that at the expense of a previously-brilliantly written character in the form of Piper Chapman. Yes, Piper cheated on Larry with Alex, but she felt guilty about it, and let's face it, it was the love of her life she cheated with. ..... not some pretty nobody who she just noticed when Alex started becoming "annoying" to her. I know one theory of why Piper fell down the metaphorical rabbit hole had to do with self-loathing but I just can't see her cheating on Alex...esp. since Alex gave her absolutely NO REASON to do so. Her love for Alex was the last part of Old Piper that she clung to, and I think she would have stayed true to Alex (the girlfriend that she loved, as she told her family in S3) until Alex dumped her.

Edited by TheInvisibleWoman
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I have the opposite feeling about Piper/Schilling. I feel as if I've seen characters like her and always hated them, usually down to casting. I think Schilling goes a long way as an actress, very aware of Piper's shortcomings, so that I can want to slap Piper but still be on board with Schilling. Piper's storyline wasn't so great in S3. I understood the choices Schilling was making. IMO she was trying to trouble shoot some of the writing. She was sort of playing Piper as testing the waters - what if I push this button - what happens? How about if I take this stand - does it work? It works! You can see her trying stuff out and processing it. Also, Schilling is really funny. Not, OMG I'm dying funny the way Black Cindy and Nicky and O'Neill, for three, can be, but smart, and aware, and unassuming. She's not self-enchanted, which is a relief.  However, I think she's sort of a hard sell as a bad ass, and the Stella stuff just laid an egg, and for those reasons her story didn't really work. I don't think it's Schilling's fault.

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@ baky:

I agree with you re: Taylor's performance---she is stellar as Piper, and if there was a single wrong note in her performance in season 3, I place the blame squarely on the writers. I think her character development could have been infinitely more interesting (and plausible) if they hadn't rushed it. As you said, Piper is a very complex character and that part of her story arc needed more time to develop properly, esp. since she seemed to be becoming more self-aware (ie. seeing her *true* self) as the seasons progressed.

I think the Piper we saw in S3 is not the "real" Piper, but rather Piper doing what Piper has done throughout her life-----make herself into the image of what she thinks others expect of her. She did this to get her parents' approval & love, she acted the part of Nice Blonde Lady for Larry, but when she wound up in prison, things changed and she couldn't hide from her true self any longer (remember the speech she gave to Dina, the girl in the wheelchair, in 1x11?) 

There is an excellent explanation here: http://alxvse.tumblr.com/post/121890708186/okay 

Oh, and this post below is sort of what got the ball rolling with regards to the reasons for Piper's descent: 

http://captainscarletts.tumblr.com/post/121480897210/okay-my-tentative-thoughts-on-why-i-could 

I 100% agree with you. I can't really blame the writers because Piper's not really the main character anymore so they had to manage all the storylines. But yes her arc could have been developed a little "better". 

The last tumblr post is a truly great analysis.I really think Pipes is complex as hell. What makes me "angry" is that people keep hating her character without even think for a minute about her story since ep.1. 

I still think she's a well written character, the only thing I can hope is more screen time for her in S4.

I kinda agree with your other comment too

ps: I want Piper to become full aware of herself with all her flaws and everything. Because she is not a mean person as everybody try to claim. I really hope we'll see a fully self aware Piper at the end of this show. 

ps2: that speech in 1x11 is the truest and most genuine thing Piper has ever said

 

Edited by baky

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I have the opposite feeling about Piper/Schilling. I feel as if I've seen characters like her and always hated them, usually down to casting. I think Schilling goes a long way as an actress, very aware of Piper's shortcomings, so that I can want to slap Piper but still be on board with Schilling. Piper's storyline wasn't so great in S3. I understood the choices Schilling was making. IMO she was trying to trouble shoot some of the writing. She was sort of playing Piper as testing the waters - what if I push this button - what happens? How about if I take this stand - does it work? It works! You can see her trying stuff out and processing it. Also, Schilling is really funny. Not, OMG I'm dying funny the way Black Cindy and Nicky and O'Neill, for three, can be, but smart, and aware, and unassuming. She's not self-enchanted, which is a relief.  However, I think she's sort of a hard sell as a bad ass, and the Stella stuff just laid an egg, and for those reasons her story didn't really work. I don't think it's Schilling's fault.

This. Some of my fav lines come from Piper's mouth. She can be very funny 

Also here there's another great analysis about Piper's evolution -> http://cavanaugh-and-wine.tumblr.com/post/122824615201/discussing-piper-chapman

Edited by baky

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Also here there's another great analysis about Piper's evolution -> http://cavanaugh-and-wine.tumblr.com/post/122824615201/discussing-piper-chapman

 

 

Interesting analysis, but I don't agree with it in the sense that I don't think Season 3 Piper (after she goes all out of character) is the real Piper. I think her inability to live up to people's expectations (Her words to Red in 3x02:" I lie I get in trouble. I tell the truth I get in trouble. I can't do anything right."), her guilt over Alex's life being in danger because of *her* (a guilt she's been tamping down and compartmentalizing for all of S3) and the awful name Alex called her in the cafeteria scene flipped a switch and she decided to become the bad person that everyone says she is. There are numerous times in previous seasons, where people say she's a "horrible person" (Big Boo), "mean person" (Crazy Eyes), etc. so I think she subconsciously gave up on trying to be good. As I said before, though, I don't for the life of me know why she felt that cheating on Alex (the girlfriend she loved) was ok, esp. since they reconciled completely in 3x03. Bah! Still scratching my head over that one....She's a darned complex character so we could be debating this 'til the cows come home, but her complexity (to me) is part of her appeal as a protagonist :)

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Interesting analysis, but I don't agree with it in the sense that I don't think Season 3 Piper (after she goes all out of character) is the real Piper. I think her inability to live up to people's expectations (Her words to Red in 3x02:" I lie I get in trouble. I tell the truth I get in trouble. I can't do anything right."), her guilt over Alex's life being in danger because of *her* (a guilt she's been tamping down and compartmentalizing for all of S3) and the awful name Alex called her in the cafeteria scene flipped a switch and she decided to become the bad person that everyone says she is. There are numerous times in previous seasons, where people say she's a "horrible person" (Big Boo), "mean person" (Crazy Eyes), etc. so I think she subconsciously gave up on trying to be good. As I said before, though, I don't for the life of me know why she felt that cheating on Alex (the girlfriend she loved) was ok, esp. since they reconciled completely in 3x03. Bah! Still scratching my head over that one....She's a darned complex character so we could be debating this 'til the cows come home, but her complexity (to me) is part of her appeal as a protagonist :)

Once again, I completely agree ;) 

Her complexity is what makes me like her even more. But most of the fandom is not aware of how complex she is. And the thing that makes me angry the most is how everyone blames her for being "rich". I can't stand it. Seriously. (that scene with Daya and Lorna in s3). I feel so bad for Pipes when she gets blamed for this. Another time I felt really bad for her is when their parents came visiting on her bday, that sad look on her face when her dad couldn't even say a word to her.

The only thing he pointed out was how much of a failure she is at 32. 

But still everyone acts as her life is simple just because it's less "tragic" compared to some inmates backstories.

 

Edited by baky

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