Saturday, July 29, 2017

What I’m Watching: Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black: Season 5, Episode 7 “Full Bush, Half Snickers” (B+)

After the Emmy nominations were announced and this show earned a mere two mentions – nominations for Uzo Aduba as Crazy Eyes and Laverne Cox as Sophia for season four, hardly the most deserving picks for anyone who bothered to actually watch the full season – I was reading about how mental illness wasn’t probably represented since Suzanne’s specific diagnosis has never been precisely defined, therefore leaving the door open to her seeming crazy in whatever way when it’s most convenient. That’s definitely true now, since it’s a simple way for the guards to be moved from their state of captivity to a different type of prison. I think it works out okay since it’s going to turn the tide from disturbing physical and psychological abuse to highlighting the banality of everyday prison life. Prison-wide libraries and coffee shows with skinheads and Hispanic inmates brewing lattes side by side are temporary fixes that can only serve to briefly prolong the inevitable return to violence that came at the end of the episode. The same is true of Floritza’s makeovers, which made Alex and Nicky feel better about themselves but are only surface changes. Lorna thinking she was pregnant may not be all in her head, but boy did it make Vinnie run fast. Red and Flores trying to mess with Piscatella by pretending to be Humphreys should be interesting, though it’s not clear whether opening themselves up to him – even under the guise of deception – is going to end up impacting them negatively instead.

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