Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What's On Netflix?: ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK - Season 5

Welcome to another installment of WHAT'S ON NETFLIX?, where we pick out a film or series currently playing on Netflix and review it for the fans. This week's selection is the 5th season of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK.

***Editor's Note: This review may contain spoilers***

The 5th season premiere of this series was explosive to say the least. A guard is shot and a riot breaks out, but that is just the beginning of the chaos that will ensue this season. The inmates take over the jail in retaliation for mistreatment and the death of one of their own, Poussey.  Poussey is killed at the end of Season 4 and I was saddened to see her portrayer, Samira Wiley go because she is quite talented.

I binge watched the entire season in about two days. The first episode was so graphic and violent; I ended up having to turn it off. Once I was able to get through the first episode, I couldn't stop watching.

There is a negative stereotype of women in prison and this show portrays that well. These women have children and families they want to go back too. Of course, they are in prison for a reason. But, not all of them are violent offenders. The women fight for change, but do they actually get it? You'll have to watch and see for yourselves.

One of the great aspects of this show is that it has strong female characters. All the women are strong in their own way. However, I think Taystee (Danielle Brookes) and Suzanne (Uzo Aduba) are among the strongest. Taystee survived a childhood without a mother and grew up in a group home. Suzanne is misunderstood and underestimated.

The sad part about the riot is that instead of uniting the women, it divides them. There are factions fighting for their own demands. Taystee is supposedly in charge of negotiations. She wants justice for Poussey and wants to change a corrupt system. It's all messy and chaotic.

One of the saddest moments of the season for me was Suzanne not getting her medication and this really had a horrible affect on her. One of the girls gave her lithium, which of course backfired. However, Suzanne ends up being okay to everyone's relief.

Piper Chapman is a great character with many flaws. However, I was glad that this season focused more on some of the other women than on her. Taylor Schilling is a talented actress, but so are all of the cast members.

Season 5 received a 76% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, it hasn't even been on Netflix for a month. So, time will tell how the critics really feel about it.

Orange is the New Black does a great job of showing these women as humans and not just "criminals". I think this is a great show with great casting and writing.  Definitely give it a watch.

Lisa's Score: 9.5/10

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