Orange Is the New Orange. And Black

Friday marked the return of one of the most talked-about shows on television, Orange Is the New Black.  Well, technically the internet, since it’s a Netflix original series.

orange-is-the-new-black-season-2And it’s certainly one of the best shows on, in any format.  I’ll try not to post many spoilers below.

I have not watched the entirety of season two yet (that’s thirteen hours of television, I have a life!), but what I have seen reminds me why I like the show so much.  As this list of reviews shows, it’s almost universally praised, and well it should be.

I came to season one a bit late, after much of the buzz had risen and faded out.  I didn’t start watching it until last winter, November or December.  I did immediately like it, but my memory of the season is a bit hazy after six months.  The recap at the beginning of episode one is very useful to remember the diverse story lines and characters.  With a fairly large cast to keep track of, this recap was necessary.

Like season one, it helped lay the groundwork for who the characters were and what their motivations were.  But that’s just the starting point, as season two introduces new characters (Vee, Soso), delves into the background of established characters (Lorna, Gloria) and injects even more humour into a unique situation.  Season one had its funny moments, but season two seems to be consistently funny.  From scenes about cigarette-moving cockroaches to comics about the correctional officers (COs), there are a variety of recurrent jokes.  But they’re more than just jokes, they speak of the human condition (or, I suppose, the prisoner condition).

There are, of course, dramatic moments, too.  Piper has to testify about her past, Red has to cope with ‘retirement’, Daya deals with pregnancy, the COs have issues with bureaucracy.  It all leads to the characters having more depth and dimension.  Season one’s tag-line might have been ‘Every sentence has a story’, but those stories are really coming to life in season two.

The show makes me realise I probably wouldn’t survive in prison, either as an inmate or a CO.  Prison apparently changes people, but I’m not sure that’s a change I’d want to go through.  Since I don’t plan on running drugs or really committing any other crime, I shouldn’t worry too much, I suppose.  Unless we can be put in prison for political thoughts, a la Minority Report, in which case, I’d be in real trouble.  As would most progressive people, I suspect.

I’m only part way through season two and already anticipating season three.  Much like I’m already looking forward to Game of Thrones season five (note, next week’s post will be a review of season four).


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