After seven seasons the beloved Netflix prison dramedy Orange is the New Black has wrapped production, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and the cast and crew led by creator Jenji Kohan have been documenting the long farewell on Instagram. Kohan has been posting the tight-knit cast’s last few days at their Litchfield Correctional Institution set as shooting winds down on the show’s seventh and final season. Kohan, who has been counting down the remaining days of the series’ shooting schedule, shared a shot of the cast and crew on set, captioned the still shot “This is a family. #OITNB.” Cast member Vicci Martinez posted a video of the same poignant moment on Instagram.
It was way back in 2013 when OITNB debuted, helping to launch the then-daring foray into scripted original content for Netflix. The show was immediately embraced by fans and critics alike, garnering a steady diet of awards and critical acclaim, even as it strode fearlessly into political minefields like human rights, prison reform, and the brutality of the U.S. prison system. The show also looked unflinchingly at racism, not only toward various ethnic groups by white people but among and between various diverse ethnic populations. Despite the show’s continued popularity, Kohan and Netflix jointly announced in October that the already announced Season 7 would be the final one.
And Netflix owes the women of Litchfield and Kohan a huge debt of gratitude. The company was valued in January at over $150 billion, and its original film Roma won the Best Director statuette for Alfonso Cuaron, as well as Best Foreign Language Film and the Cinematography award. But what has stockholders salivating is the success of another Netflix original, Bird Box, which Netflix says has been watched by 45 million subscribers worldwide so far.
But for the cast, crew, and creators of OITNB, recent weeks and days have been all about the emotions of saying goodbye to the quirky family they’ve lived with for the past seven years. Natasha Lyonne, who played Nicky Nichols, posted that as they shot the final scene of the show, “a guttural sound came out of me, like some wounded animal.” And Danielle Brooks (Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson) posted that when she read the script for the episode before the final one, “it f**ked me up.”
“WHOA. My heart is full and achey and so overflowing with gratitude, I’m a little dizzy,” wrote Taylor Schilling, who played the show’s lead character, Piper Chapman.
While Netflix hasn’t announced the date when the series’ final season will drop, it has generally come out in June or July in years past.