Skip to main content

BuzzFeed: "Orange Is the New Black Continues The Dickensian Tradition Of The Wire"

The second season of the Netflix prison drama is a gripping, beautiful, majestic thing. Warning: Spoilers for Season 2 ahead!

At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, "Orange Is the New Black Continues The Dickensian Tradition Of The Wire," in which I review Season 2 of Netflix's Orange Is the New Black, which returns June 6 on the streaming platform.

There are the television shows that you love to watch but that drift from powerful and provocative to comforting background noise, and then there are those that arrive with the momentous force of a revolution, issuing a clarion cry that is impossible to resist.

Women’s prison drama Orange Is the New Black, which returns for its second season on June 6, is most definitely the latter, a groundbreaking and deeply layered series that explores crime and punishment, poor circumstance, and bad luck. (At its heart, it is about both the choices we make and those that are made for us.) It constructs a gripping narrative that owes a great deal to the work of Charles Dickens, a social-minded and sprawling story that captures essential truths about those at both ends of the economic continuum. Just as in the Victorian era, within the world of Litchfield Penitentiary, everything is in its place and in its place is everything: Each of the characters is a cog in a larger machine.

The literary tradition of Dickens — so notably captured in HBO’s 2002–2008 crime drama The Wire — is keenly felt within Orange, as the action shifts between disparate characters in each episode, exploring their inner lives and hidden pasts. There is a strong sense of righteous indignation in the face of a broken and corrupt system, the failures of Litchfield a microcosm for the breakdown within the larger society. In the sixth episode of Season 2, Officer Susan Fischer (Lauren Lapkus) — perhaps one of the more genuinely sympathetic of the corrections officers — goes so far as to make the comparison, as she eavesdrops on the inmates’ telephone conversation recordings. “It’s so interesting, all these lives,” she says, her eyes gleaming with unrestrained excitement. “It’s like Dickens.”

Continue reading at BuzzFeed...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous seas

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Have a Burning Question for Team Darlton, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, or Michael Emerson?

Lost fans: you don't have to make your way to the island via Ajira Airways in order to ask a question of the creative team or the series' stars. Televisionary is taking questions from fans to put to Lost 's executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and stars Matthew Fox ("Jack Shephard"), Evangeline Lilly ("Kate Austen"), and Michael Emerson ("Benjamin Linus") for a series of on-camera interviews taking place this weekend. If you have a specific question for any of the above producers or actors from Lost , please leave it in the comments section below . I'll be accepting questions until midnight PT tonight and, while I can't promise I'll be able to ask any specific inquiry due to the brevity of these on-camera interviews, I am looking for some insightful and thought-provoking questions to add to the mix. So who knows: your burning question might get asked after all.