Two weeks ago Netflix released the third season of the one hour tragicomedy starred by a number of women imprisoned in the weirdest prison of all throwing one cliché after the other. I’m not quite sure how much ‘Orange is the New Black’ (OitNB from now on) is going to last, and I’m sorry for Piper Kerman (in which the show is based) but the plot is way inside the final lap.
CREATOR: Jenji Kohan
There are many things I can’t stand of OitNB anymore. The plot lines are being stretched for absolutely no reason. Dayanara’s (Dascha Polanco) pregnancy took so long that I honestly tought the kid was getting out of that tummy with a college degree. Piper’s (Taylor Schilling) on and off with Alex (Laura Prepon)was boring two seasons ago. Now is plain moronic, and that new love interest has no true identity as the character played by gorgeous model Ruby Ross, Stella Carlin, is a revamped Vause. Everything in the plot seems to miss the general subject of what this show should be: the life of imprisoned women. It’s like the writers ran out of ideas and started to prolong worn-out concepts that are frankly boring. Three seasons of people on the same environment without good ol’ writing destroys the characters that –with a few exceptions- didn’t experience any growth. Piper went on a spiral on season two that looks so much to ‘Breaking Bad’ that it was a joke in the show already (a joke that revealed a time paradox, but whatever). Vause keeps that bitchy persona that is totally despicable and her relationship with Piper is totally incomprehensible. To that combo, paranoia was added as she is afraid that Kubra, the mob boss for whom she deal drugs, sent a killer to Litchfield. Fun. Russian Red Reznikov (Kate Mulgrew) is so over the top that could have a place in ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle’. It’s not funny anymore. I like Nicky (Natasha Lyonne), and her plotline was delivered reasonably ok. Her drug fueled sequences were feeling old already. If writers didn’t crank it up a notch, it would appear that heroin was as innocent as pot.
Also, what kind of jail permits a hair saloon… with scissors?
On the upside, Pennsatucky is stealing the show. She evolved. Probably because writers hated that ultra right wing white trash concept and decided that evolving was getting that behind. So biased and in the most awful wrong way ever. Because I’m ok with the general thinking behind that idea, but why not build your ideology with the fucking general plot? Also, the end of her plot deserved some dignity and not a raping joke.
You have women in a jail. Make them discuss above the “this prison is hell” motto. Firstly, because it isn’t. That jail is a damn playground compared to real prisons. Should I repeat that they permit a hair saloon? Probably, all federal prisons have one of those, amirite? In Litchfield there are two. Two.
The plot is so unrealistic on moments that it hurts my senses as a follower. It makes me laugh, but every day a little less. And I only watch ‘OitNB’ for the laughs. It doesn’t provide me more. I don’t feel bad for that psycho chick (Uzo Aduba’s Suzanne Warren), writers have made her a running gag like the mute woman on the kitchen. Talk woman! TALK!
Curiously, both of them gain plotlines rather ridiculous but full of gags. Crazy Eyes starts to write an erotic novel and Norma becomes the silent leader of a cult.
When the outside world was completely erased of the subject of the show, many plotlines became thin. Piper no longer has a life outside once his husband started to bang his best friend. She put up a criminal enterprise from behind the bars with help from her brother, but other than that, she is no longer the lead character of the show. Or at least she wasn’t this season. Other characters gained weight like Joe Caputo (Nick Sandow), Litchfield’s warden. The prison, close to being shut down, gets the unexpected help of a management company, and Caputo rises as a good troubled guy trying to help his co workers and the general condition of inmates. This part I enjoyed a lot. His counterpoints with Pearson (Mike Birbiglia) are hilarious and well delivered. And Caputo’s backstory is sad and gives you a hint of all his personality.
I didn’t enjoy much else. The Afro-American crew is the best one even when –as usually happen with Afro-Americans- are used as the comic relief. But they work. That funny gang formed by Cindy, Watson, Poussey, Taystee and aforementioned Suzanne, it’s by far the best group inside Litchfield.
I found this season boring and cringing in many aspects. Lori Petty and Mary Steenburgen characters were totally squandered as they promised a lot more.
Orange is the New Black was never a top ten contender of drama shows. It has had its moments and, nevertheless, today it’s still funny. The general direction It’s ok, but doesn’t stand out at any specific section.
Regina Spektor’s opening song ‘You’ve got time’ it’s probably the only thing we will remember of this show.
The dilemma of OitNB is that it has developed into a soap opera with absurd topics and a bunch of over-the-top characters that don’t seem to go anywhere
Exactly like in prison.