TV Binge: Orange is the New Black [Season 4, 2016]

***Sorry for the inconsistent posts. I’ve needed a little break to just relax and take it easy.***

Out of everything, I chose Orange is the New Black to be the series that I’m totally on track with. Season 4 was recently released on Netflix a few weeks ago on June 17th. I can’t say that I remember a lot of Season 3 but here is the review of it HERE.

I can’t say that I’m incredibly excited to see this since I remember Season 3 being slightly lackluster. It was better than Season 2 but not as good as the epic Season 1.  I’m keeping an open mind for Season 4. With the craziness that Orange Is the New Black always ends with, we’re bound for at least a slight adventure.

Before we start, for those who haven’t seen previous seasons, there will be spoilers so I urge you to drop by again when you’re all updated. Unless you don’t mind spoilers, then keep reading! 🙂

Orange is the New Black
[Season 4, 2016]

orange is the new black

Cast: Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Michael Harney, Kate Mulgrew, Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Dascha Polanco, Samira Wiley, Nick Sandow, Yael Stone, Taryn Manning, Natasha Lyonne, Diane Guerrero, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Constance Shulman, Laura Gomez, Kimiko Glenn, Dale Soules, Alan Aisenberg, Brad William Henke

Season Four of Orange is the New Black starts with where we ended the previous one. The inmates of Litchfield has gone through the wiring and is splashing around in the water outside. Caputo sends for help, Chapman wants people to bath in her scheme and realize how badass she is, and Crazy Eyes gets convinced to stay outside even after the guards come out to get them. Regardless of how out of control this all turns out, nothing beats Alex’s suspicions coming true and the consequences that follow especially pulling into more and more people into that mess and exposing us to a deeper look into Lolly and Frieda in particular.  I’m not going to lie when the first episode of season 4 started, I was so confused but they made a good effort to help jog memories and wrap up what happened in the previous finale (kind of) and start up some new issues.

orange is the new black

It is hard to say how I feel about Season 4. There a lot of great individual bits in every episode but the first half of the season had some pacing issues that just didn’t keep me sitting around for very long. Usually I’d walk away after one episode and come back later to continue the season. If you use the norm of the previous seasons, that never happened before. However, the second half of the season or maybe a little earlier just built in awesomeness. It felt like the main thing this season did and was wildly apparent is that being in prison changes you no matter how you were outside and there are things you just can’t avoid doing to survive.

The main downfall of the series at this point is that they have put in so many characters and so many directions that there isn’t really anyone we can connect with anymore. Its no longer about Piper as it was in Season 1 with Alex and getting to know everyone. The backstories are not going into some other characters and remain some of the highlights of the show, making us understand further the characters that have been in the background since the beginning. While they still have bigger issues that they work hard to highlight throughout the show, certain characters do pop up and then I always question, “Oh right, she’s there. What’s her name again?”

orange is the new black

Now that the complaints are out. I think we need to look at what stood out.

Alex’s situation and the body which implicates Lolly, brings in Freida and eventually more and more people into the know

This situation actually lead us to know more about the crazy Lolly who we realize is delusional. Using that delusion, the situation gets a little better and worse depending on where we were. It also brought out a super brutal Freida who is really quiet but also pretty intense in such a calm way. She is kind of like the voice of extreme reason but everyone chooses to ignore but they don’t want to touch that area. It also pretty much brings Alex and Piper’s relationship back to the front.

Pennsatucky and Coates (continuation from the previous season)

One of my favorite parts of Season 3 was Pennsatucky and her story and leading onto what happened with Coates where he basically raped her so she is taking measures to protect herself. This is how her friendship with Boo has grown. Coates however seems like he doesn’t really understand what went on but at times, there are vibes that he might be just manipulative or changed from all this prison job and authority is getting to his head. He has a deeper story and its one I’d like to see more of in Season 5.

orange is the new black

 Caputo and Finding a Balance

 Caputo is a really frustrating character. On one hand, we have gone to know that he isn’t a bad guy. In fact, we do learn that he has the best intentions in mind except he is so easily manipulated into doing stuff. And he has this huge fear of losing whatever it is that he has. When he decides to take matters into his own hands, he realizes that the authority he wanted is gone because he ended doing so much behind the scenes that he no longer was even in the scene. The question now is how he’ll pick up those pieces in Season 5. And because of that, he also leads to the next problem that is quite key to Season 4.

The Guards

The new system coming in meant needing more guards especially since the old ones decided to leave (or most of them at least). We still have Coates and Bayley sticking around because they pretty much are useless guards with zero experience. Bayley is actually a really great character to learn more about. He doesn’t deserve to be where he was at the end of this one. While he did something bad, its hard to hate him for it either. It seemed like the circumstances was too harsh for him in general to be in. I truly hope that he doesn’t have to come back because this is one thing that he won’t get over because he truly just a kid. On the other hand, the new guards are a lot to talk about. They think they are high and mighty because they are veterans. All my respect to them but these new guards have got issues. Huge ones. As we learn more and more about them, they definitely lean into some very messed up territory (especially Humphrey) that Season 4 strangely doesn’t seem to have a lot of…other than non-guard related Lorna and her new husband. Some of these new guards made me want to punch them in the face and got me angry. I guess it means they did their roles well.

Aside from that, there was a whole focus on Piper and her illegal panty business that gets taken from her in a way. Its a war that brings everything down and goes all wrong when the prison turns into making the gangs even more apparent. Healy has a situation where we start learning more about him. There are back stories now for Maritza that I thought was good but lacked some depth linking into the messed up guards. Lolly’s back story was by far the most entertaining to watch. The funny bits mostly had to do with the new celebrity Judy King entering into the scene. And the most tragic one goes to Poussey dying leaving a heartbroken Taystee and Soso but that also made the final episode learning about Poussey so much more heartbreaking especially since she was a really great character and one with a wonderful personality and heart.

I hyper-analyzed the whole Season 4 at this point so I’m going to stop. Orange is the New Black lacked something at the beginning but it definitely picked up to add some depth to a good few characters and highlighted a lot of debatable issues. The finale is one of the biggest cliffhangers and for that, I look forward to Season 5 next year. Finally, we zero back into Dayanara who now is all alone with a lot of amped up feelings buried inside from trying to get the custody of her child back to her mom being released and still healing from the man who she thought she loved Bennett that never did return. The wait is going to be hard. Its been a while I’ve felt that way about Orange is the New Black and I missed this feeling!

Have you seen Orange is the New Black? 

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3 thoughts on “TV Binge: Orange is the New Black [Season 4, 2016]

  1. The season finale ending had me thinking about it for days. So sad to see Poussey go like that. I did like how they handled it, except for maybe Daya with the one with the gun at the end. A better season overall for me and I liked Season 3. Good review!

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