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Saturday, June 20, 2015

'Orange is the New Black' Is Back and NOT Better Than Ever

The start of my summer started on a rather exciting note with the release of Season 3 of "Orange is the New Black" (can we say FINALLY). Being the professional binge-watcher I am, I successfully finished the season within a week. Although each episode was interesting and humorous as ever, I felt the season culminated in a disappointing finale that left me going "That was it?". 

To be fair, I enjoyed each episode individually but I felt the overarching storyline of season 3 just didn't do it for me. I was especially disappointed my character and plot developments. To organize my scattered thoughts, I'm going to break down the season into the parts I liked/didn't like.

Piper and Alex

Though Piper and Alex may have been the protagonists in the first two seasons, they turned out to be the two most boring characters in the latest season. Not only has their relationship fizzled out, their storylines have as well. Piper's innocent persona transformed into an obnoxious ring leader, and Alex's paranoia over Kubra became overplayed and annoying. I missed the old Piper and I just didn't buy her turning into a twisted, cruel badass. Even actual badass Alex couldn't stand her anymore. Piper also seemed to have lost her moral compass and sanity, leading her to backstabbing, vengeance, and gangster-related leadership. However, I will concede that I thought the whole black market of prison-worn panties to be a pretty funny side plot. Yet, it still couldn't save from the yawns that occurred every time Piper was focused on the show (noticeably less this season than the past...thank goodness). 


This photo just does NOT do her justice
I already saw social media going "lesbian" for Ruby Rose before the season was even released. Therefore, I've been looking forward to her arrival for quite some time and was surprised by her delayed appearance (around ep. 4? can't remember) and even more surprised by her lack of character development. Sure, she was absolutely stunning and even Piper couldn't resist her, but I felt like Stella had so much potential to grow on the viewers until she was backstabbed by Piper and whisked away to Max (CURSE PIPER!). Other than a few snarky remarks, Stella's characterization wasn't developed whatsoever. She was just some mysterious, snarky, hot chick who Piper cheated with. I really hope she comes back for season 4 so we can learn more about her past.

The Latinas

Perhaps the most annoying ethnic group this season was The Latinas. Although their sassy retorts are always amusing fodder, I couldn't stand the attitudes of some of the women, especially Aleida (Daya's mom) and Gloria. I've never been a fan of Aleida because she is such a horrible mother and despicable human being but season 3 really took the cake for me. I scoffed at her self-profiting scheme masked by phony concern for her pregnant daughter's well-being and was particularly mad when she told Mendez's mom the baby died. I get it was her trying to right a wrong with her daughter but the finale clearly showed it was the wrong move when Cesar got busted by the DEA. Who knows where Daya's baby will end up? In addition, Gloria's self-entitled attitude was beyond aggravating the entire season. Whether it was her assertion in the kitchen to her selfish response to Sophia, she was (excuse my french) a crazy bitch this season. I'm glad Red eventually took over the kitchen. The fact that Sophia had to suffer so brutally due to Aleida and Gloria's juvenile personalities made me dislike them even more. On the other hand, I absolutely loved Daya this season and my heart broke for her when Bennet (damn you Bennet!) left her. I also felt bad for the air-headed Flaca, who has shown some aspiration (poorly thought out ones but still admirable) in the prison. 

Litchfield Takeover
The worst part of this entire season was the Litchfield takeover. I'm glad the prison was saved, but I couldn't stand the new correctional officers (other than the new counselor) and corporate overhauling. All of the new employees were so idiotic that I couldn't stand watching them at some points. Pennsatucky's rape angered me so much and I felt so bad for the character I used to hate so much. I hope that correctional officer meets a sufficient punishment in the next season. And when Sophia was being beaten by those women, the female CO who did nothing but run to Caputo was so idiotic...I wanted to slap her through my computer screen. I genuinely felt bad for the former employees and Caputo, who is morally conflicted. Though I understand where they were coming from, I'm sad they all left and hope they will come back for their old jobs. 

The finale itself was filled with little plot twists that didn't surprise me as much as I assume the directors were hoping for. For instance, the only unpredictable event was when Piper turned on Stella (and of course, Stella turning on Piper before...which made me believe their relationship was a lie). It made me mad because it meant we might never see Stella again and Piper has turned into the cruel bitch I never thought she'd be--and in a bad way. Possibly the only loose end I look forward to is the fate of Alex, who has been tracked down by presumably one of Kubra's spies, who was hired as a CO. The stupidest plot turn in the finale was the gaping hole in the fence, allowing all the prisoners to a seemingly confined lake. That scene was so anti-climatic and disappointing. The ending scene, which showed A LOT of new prisoners, also didn't have the POW I was looking for. I could honestly care less about doubling the cast of this show. If anything, it makes me mad because I don't want to care about any more characters. But season 4 might prove me wrong.

Overall, I was disappointed by the stupidity of some of season 3's plot turns (like Norma's "cult"). I did love the different back stories, but OITNB lost a little bit of its charm and ingenuity that were apparent the past two seasons. I hope season 4 will be much better.

What did you think of the new season?


  1. glad I'm not the only one disappointed. I felt like the show this season was rushed and some parts were too dry.

    1. I totally agree about the rushed part. There wasn't much focus this season, and I think it made it harder to sympathize with any of the characters.