Skip to main content

BuzzFeed: "The Whole Of Orange Is the New Black Season 2 Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts"

After a sterling first season, expectations were high for the sophomore season of Jenji Kohan’s female prison drama. Fortunately, Season 2 proved to be just as juicy, sweet, and tart as you’d want it to be. (MAJOR SPOILERS ahead.)

At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, "The Whole Of Orange Is the New Black Season 2 Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts," in which I review the entirety of the incredible second season of Netflix's Orange Is the New Black.

Orange Is the New Black’s stunning second season manages to be ambitiously large and somehow intimate. It’s the equivalent of a pointillist painting: from up close each dash and dot has its own individual identity and meaning, but when viewed at a distance, they coalesce into something altogether different and dependent on its parts.

In its deeply complex and magnificent sophomore year, Jenji Kohan’s Orange Is the New Black offers a scathing indictment of a broken system, using Litchfield Penitentiary as a stand-in for the failings of society as a whole. As the season progresses and conditions at Litchfield become worse and worse — because of venal officials, embezzlement schemes, force majeure, and general lack of empathy or interest — it becomes clear that these inmates have permanently slipped through the cracks as the most basic requirements of the prison system (keeping these women “safe and clean”) are not even being met. (The bubbling up of sewage from the toilets becomes an emblem of the corruption and rot at work here.)

The freedom of choice within the non-Litchfield lives of the corrections officers — even Fig (Alysia Reiner), the mercenary assistant warden, gets some deeper shading this season as her life implodes —appears to be wholly at odds with that of the women they’re sworn to protect. Healey (Michael J. Harney), who’s in a miserable marriage to a Russian mail-order bride, enters therapy to deal with his anger issues and creates a “Safe Place” for the inmates to open up as a way of compensating, perhaps, for his ineffectualness. Joe Caputo (Nick Sandow), the masturbatory administrator, becomes a hero of sorts over the course of the season until he too is seduced by power, opting not to do the right thing or even listen to it, such as when Matt McGorry’s Bennett confesses that he got inmate Daya (Dascha Polanco) pregnant. The truth becomes an inconvenience, something to be shrugged off and compartmentalized. It’s far easier, then, just to put a Band-Aid on matters, to drag out a nun (Beth Fowler’s Sister Jane Ingalls) to make a pre-scripted statement. Caputo sees himself as a savior of these women, but he chooses ultimately to perpetuate the broken system that surrounds them. The prison officials are, in actuality, also just as trapped — by red tape, by bureaucracy, by personal desire, by anger issues — as the inmates.

Continue reading at BuzzFeed...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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 .

BBC Culture: Matthew Weiner: Mad Men’s creator on its final episodes

The creative force behind the period drama talks about where his characters are as his show begins its final episodes. “We left off with everyone’s material needs being met in an extreme way,” says Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner of where we last saw the characters on his critically acclaimed period drama when the show went on hiatus 10 months ago. “Then the issue is, what else is there?” That is the central question with the return to US TV of the AMC hit, one demanding to be answered by both the show’s characters, and its creator whose success is the envy of the television industry. Mad Men has been a defining part of Weiner’s life for the last 15 years. He wrote the pilot script on spec while he was a staff writer on CBS’ Ted Danson sitcom Becker in 1999, using it to land a writing gig on HBO’s The Sopranos in 2002. It would take another five years, filled with multiple rejections, before the first episode of Mad Men would make it on the air. Someone with less determination or vision

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.