Netflix’s original series “Orange is the New Black” premiered on June 9 with its fifth season, and in this season, the women of Litchfield Penitentiary take over the facility after a series of traumatic events occur.
The fourth season left on a bitter #BlackLivesMatter note with the unfortunate death of Poussey (Samira Wiley). But, this fifth season dropped the ball big time. Between the mixed, chaotic plot and spotty storyline, the justice of Poussey is not complete. The prison riot overshadowed the biggest cliffhanger, and with another season having passed, it’s kind of hard to believe that viewers have to wait another year for answers.
A White correctional officer killing a Black inmate is a huge statement, so big that it has to be addressed. Like in real life, the “Orange is the New Black” storyline about the Black Lives Matter movement was buried with Hot Cheetos and a secret bunker.
The riot saturated all of the things we love about “Orange is the New Black,” such as the comedic commentary and background stories.
If you love breakout star Uzo Uduba, better known as “Crazy Eyes,” then do not get your hopes up. Although she’s won two Emmys and a Screen Actors Guild award for her “Orange is the New Black” role, she is not that visible this season. It’s a shame, too, because she provides a massive amount of humor that the series so desperately needs.
Typically, every season we get the history of the inmates. This time around we only get the stories of Frieda and Allison. While entertaining, I miss the felony flashbacks. Those moments provided me with insight on how the women ended up in prison. I was not afforded the opportunity as much this season.
There was no flow. It was hard to keep up with the different narratives. The confusion and unnecessary drama reminded me of a cheesy soap opera.
This season was doomed, though. The first inclination of defeat was in April when a hacker leaked the first 10 episodes. Netflix should have released the series the moment the hacker threatened to release. Most of the excitement about the show comes from the anticipation of the release, and because the show was leaked, the interest was non-existent.
Season five of “Orange is the New Black” was not all bad. Taystee (Danielle Brooks) had two compelling soliloquies, one including a tear-jerking speech about Poussey. The spotlight that Uduba once held now belongs to Brooks. She led the charge in beautiful, persuasive acting.
But, overall this season was disappointing. Until next year…
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