Orange is the New Black: Season Two

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(Spoilers)

 
Season two of Orange is the New Black started off strange: Piper was being taken away to a mysterious place, the audience knew as little as she did. The car she was made to get in, and then the plane, gave the episode a very different feel. The audience and Piper were led to believe that she had killed Pennsatucky in the attack that ended the last series. I think the first couple of episodes fell a little flat for me because I missed the other women. Luckily they returned shortly after, minus Alex.

I like Piper’s character arc though because she has really hardened since the first season. The people she loved turned against her because she couldn’t decide what she wanted. Her complex relationship with Alex is examined further in this season. And Larry is now bizarrely in love with Piper’s old best friend, though it developed organically enough. So by the end of this season, Piper doesn’t care who she annoys. She is not the same person anymore.

The first season was focalised entirely through Piper’s eyes. We saw Alex as bad because Piper didn’t like her; her and other characters are made more complex this season. Crazy Eyes is given a more open story: she is no longer just somebody who wants Piper for her prison wife. Vee manipulates her horribly, as she does with everybody, but because she was nice to Crazy Eyes, she doesn’t want to see her as anything other than good. Poor Crazy Eyes starts to almost worship Vee, beating people up on her say so. I’d like to watch the series again, so I can see Vee’s psychopathy knowing where it leads. Vee certainly has an effect on the inmates in Lichfield. By the end I was rooting for her to leave, though. It was interesting to see how happy the rest of the inmates were after she went missing.

I really like this show because it shows a lot of women who are the opposite of perfect. They’ve taken wrong turns and ended up in prison. I like the flashbacks, the backstories, of the incarcerated women. I like how it questions accepted versions of right and wrong; good and evil. You end up cheering for characters who have done some awful things. I like how the writers play with this idea, and I like that they have a sense of humour about it: they are not earnest. I like how they have created complex characters out of people society would often rather forget. And it uses a brilliant ensemble cast to do it.

I really enjoyed binge-watching the new series of Orange is the New Black and now can’t wait for the next one. This is the problem with binge-watching TV shows: they are only just released and you’re back to waiting for the next series a week later. It’s worth it though! Orange is the New Black is a great show and deserves a bigger audience.

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