Why Taystee and Poussey on OITNB represent all of my friendship goals
Well, here we are. Less then a day away from season three of Orange Is The New Black, and the anticipation is kind of killing me. To prepare, I’ve been binge watching the last two seasons, which has not only refreshed my memory plot-wise, but has also reminded me why Poussey and Taystee’s friendship is just about the greatest thing since sliced bread.
I’ve always thought that TV friendships have the potential to be even more heartwarming (and heartbreaking) than TV romantic relationships, and these two don’t disappoint. Taystee and Poussey definitely have one of my favorite relationships on the show, as well as of all time (right alongside Broad City’s Abbi and Ilana and Lost’s Charlie and Hurley). So, as we anxiously await the release of season three (just a few more hours!), here are some of the reasons Poussey and Taystee have been such a rocking duo so far.
They want what’s best for each other
While Taystee has her moments—such as when she helps Poussey move from cleaning crew to the library—Poussey really owns this one. Poussey has been one of my favorite characters since the start, and her loyalty to Taystee plays a huge role in why. She helps T with her WAC campaign and she refits T’s skirt for her mock job interview rather than hold a grudge for withholding information about the potential job-offer-prize. And, even though losing her best friend would be devastating, she helps coach T on what to say during a meeting to get her sentence shortened. Poussey’s ability to stand by her friends and put their needs before her own makes her a prime example of what I want in a friend, as well as the type of friend I aim to be.
They’re honest with one another
While Poussey goes above and beyond for her Taystee, she’s also not afraid to call her out. Whether it’s for stealing a poem from Rocky or choosing prison over freedom, Poussey knows she can speak her mind, and Taystee rarely responds aggressively in these moments.
We also know that the two can be open and honest about their personal lives, as Poussey already knows the not-so-great role Vee played in Taystee’s life when Vee gets to Litchfield.
They kill it at charades
These two are clearly on the same wave length, because seriously, the way they play charades is unreal.
They are better at ending fights than having them
These two can make up like nobody’s business. In one scene, they fight over the TV channel and pronunciation of Poussey’s name, yet just a few hours later they’re joking about “white people politics” and Poussey is giving her all in supporting Taystee during her WAC campaign. And don’t even get me started on Taystee’s tearful apology after Vee got between the two (a dark, dark time in my life). Once Taystee realizes how Vee’s been manipulating her, it doesn’t take long before she returns to being P’s bestie and all is right with the world.
They know how to compromise
T and P understand and acknowledge their differences and try to work with them, making them stellar friendship role models yet again. After Poussey tries to kiss Taystee, for instance, Taystee suggests they cuddle for a bit. (Though the romantic tension is still there…who knows what will happen in season three.) Instead of getting angry or uncomfortable, she finds a middle ground. And, when Poussey wants to discuss the whole Vee incident, but Taystee isn’t too comfortable getting too touchy-feely, rather than either giving in or pushing her, Poussey asks if they can talk about it as Amanda and Mackenzie. Taystee follows through with this request, and is eventually able to admit to being a jerk and apologize on her own, with no help from Amanda.
Which leads us to…
Amanda and Mackenzie
Taystee and Poussey’s fancy, white alter egos are a highlight of the OITNB. The girls know how to be real with each other, but they also know how to goof around. Whether it’s through Amanda and Mackenzie or joking about Poussey’s questionable pedicure skills, the two know how to laugh together even when the rest of their lives aren’t too hot, an important aspect to any friendship.
Their friendship goes beyond the show
Just in case the friendship between these characters wasn’t enough, actresses Danielle Brooks (Taystee) and Samira Wiley (Poussey) are friends in real life. They were in the same program at Julliard and have been friends for about seven years. When asked about playing friends on OITNB during an interview with Essence, Brooks said, “It’s fate. It’s very easy to work with Samira and the chemistry is amazing and we don’t have to work so hard.” They’re effortless friendship certainly shows, and makes Litchfield a happier place for us all.