Thursday, July 20, 2017

What I’m Watching: Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black: Season 5, Episode 5 “Sing It, White Effie” (B+)

I’d hope that Emmy voters wise up to the fact that, not only is this show deserving of more than two total Emmy nominations, but Uzo Aduba and Laverne Cox, while both great, are no longer the standout performers on this show. In fact, I’d argue that Taylor Schilling shouldn’t be considered a lead since she plays such a minor part these days. This season so far belongs to Danielle Brooks as Taystee, though others deserve mention too, and there’s no denying the powerful nature of her speech at the end of this episode, refusing to let a white woman like Judy King who hadn’t actually experienced any true hardship in prison speak for her. It was a powerful moment for Janae too, making her flashback, highlighted by her reaction to watching white women play the pivotal “Dreamgirls” roles in a school play, all the more meaningful. The fact that Angie had the gun on her belt the whole time and that Pennsatucky opted to give it to Donuts so that he could make his escape was probably for the best given that the gun hasn’t done anyone any good so far. While Luschek trying to hum at a certain pitch to get Stratman to be able to go the bathroom was undeniably funny, it’s disturbing to see that he too ended up trapped inside a sealed porter potty outside the prison in the full heat just two units down from a similarly stranded Caputo. Maria’s discovery that she hadn’t actually had time added to her sentence is an important indicator of how different life inside can be since it’s impossible to know what’s actually going on from the outside, and I think that Aleida’s forthcoming TV appearance is sure to be enlightening in a different way than she expects.

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