Review – Orange is the New Black – Season 3

“Good luck letting the monkeys run the zoo.”

At the end of season 2, Caputo is left in charge of the prison but he quickly realizes it’s not it’s all cracked up to be and finds himself answering to Danny, the Prison’s new corporate representative.  

The season, not unlike the other two, has a lot of ups and downs. Creator Jenji Kohan was also behind Weeds, and both shows play to comedy and drama and have obnoxiously self-centered female main characters that were once wealthy but found themselves in extreme situations. Piper gets even less sympathetic this season as she starts a side business selling panties worn by inmates. She and Alex reunite and break up again, and the audiences’ fascination with seeing That 70’s Show star Laura Prepon diminishes as a new (but temporary) love interest is introduced played by Ruby Rose, everyone’s new “Woman Crush Wednesday”.

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Luckily, Piper becomes less of a main character and other more interesting characters get more screen time. We get more of the silent yet expressive character Norma, who ends up as a healer or even God to several inmates. Fan favorite, “Crazy Eyes” gets more attention but it’s with a stupid plot about her writing fiction that opens the door to a love interest of her own.

Lori Petty returns as Lolly, a hilarious, quirky and literally insane character that introduces the inmates to Kosher food. She and Chang (played by Lori Tan Chinn) are tied for my favorite characters this season.

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The once hilarious Pennsatucky becomes serious and sympathetic and while the storyline is compelling, I just miss her as a crazy zealot. This is a good example of how the show struggles to decide if it’s a comedy or drama. I also long for Natasha Lynonne’s character Nicky, who finds herself sent to maximum security early in season.

The season ends with the disgruntled guards walking out and the inmates running amok. We are left wondering if Alex’s character will be killed off (but also kind of not caring anymore) and with the promise of a new Martha Stewarteque inmate joining the “zoo.”

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OITNB remains entertaining, but with wishy-washy storylines it seems that it’s the actresses that carry the show. At least we get to see more of them now. Let’s hope next season offers less filler stories about underwear businesses, fake religions, and erotica written by a mentally challenged person.

 

 

Megan Hawkey is the co-founder of Riot-Nerd. She is a 34-year-old concert photographer. She lives in Fishtown with her supportive husband and their 2 rescued Pitbull mixes.
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