NB. There’s a few spoilers near the end – avoid it if you don’t want it spoilt.
When I first got my Netflix subscription just over a year and half ago, I asked Twitter and Facebook for recommendations of stuff to watch on there, one thing EVERYONE seemed to suggest was Orange is the New Black.
I put on the first episode without knowing ANYTHING about it and within 10 minutes I was utterly hooked – it was so fresh and different from anything I’d seen before. I recall I did the first season in a few sittings, staying up until stupid o’clock because it had that ‘Just one more episode’ factor. Season One was incredible, so very good, I laughed, I cried, it was completely immersive and beautifully crafted.
Of course, as any binge watcher knows, once you hit the season finale, you’ve got that void – months without your hit, and I really did miss the world of the Litchfield Correctional Facility. Thankfully, as I was late to the OINTB party, there were only a few months to wait until Season Two hit Netflix.
Yet again Season Two delivered again with some fantastic storylines and a mixture of dark humour and heartfelt emotion that I’d come to expect. I churned through Season Two even quicker than I had the first, and then had the void whilst waiting for Season Three.
Season Three came, and Dear Lord, I wish it hadn’t..
I watched the first episode ‘Mother’s Day’ and was left cold, nothing was really pulling me back in, it was a real ‘OITNB’ wallpaper episode, the sort you’d find during something like ’24’. Stuff happens, nothing of note, it’s just there to fill a void – it really wasn’t the way to open such a phenomenal show.
I finished the episode feeling a bit cross, it just didn’t ‘feel’ like it should. Being a bit compulsive about finishing TV Shows that I’ve started, I left it a week or so and picked it up again. A few episodes flew by, and again, it just felt very ‘meh’ – a few characters randomly disappeared, and as summed up beautifully by a Facebook friend it was ‘like a lesbian soap opera’.
It really was, I watched it feeling sad that all these fantastic characters were merely painting by numbers, as I reached the last few episodes I was hoping desperately that things would improve.
It didn’t – not at all, the promise of a 90 minute finale had me excited that all hell would break loose and I’d finally be satisfied.
The last ‘act’ of the finale was mostly the prisoners dicking about in a lake.
I was hoping you’d learn a little more of Alex Vause’s fate – but no, it was left rather vague. The only potential saving grace is the fact that now they have effectively doubled the capacity of the prison and new prisoners have arrived.
I just don’t understand where it stopped being edgy and interesting and turned into a modern ‘Prisoner Cell Block H’. Piper’s character development into a badass, and Alex’s slipping to be a gibbering wreck just doesn’t FEEL right at all. Plus the departure of Bennett and Nicky just seemed rushed and random. It’s just a fucking car crash of a season, I was half expecting Crazy-Eyes to jump over a shark in ‘Freedom Lake’ at some point.
Hopefully Season Four and the injection of a mass of new characters will bring some new life to the show, as it stands, Orange is the New Black needs locking up and the key throwing away.