What’s Up 2019 – Week 31: Going Back to Normal Routine

Another week has gone by! The last remaining bits of Fantasia finally ended and well, I’m still recuperating from it hence why some of the reviews are being worked on backwards now. There’s really only one more reviews and two Fantasia shorts compilation pieces to work on. Either way, we’re not here to only talk about movies but that part of my life is done for now so things are slowly getting back to normal, which means we’re back to a lot of TV? Yay! And reading is also back. A few reviews to get out on all fronts in the coming days and weeks, whichever and whenever my brain decides it wants to write daily again. For now, its going to be a tad sporadic.

With that said, lets check it out (before I ramble about everything before we get there)…

READING

Within

Currently reading: Within

Within should be done by next week as I’m back to the reading on the bus. Currently about almost half way through. Its a pretty good one and has a decent shift in scenarios between chapters and such. It’ll be interesting to see how it all wraps up.

PLAYING

Bonza

  • Bonza

Gaming on the go lately and its been very much the same games over and over again between Bonza mostly and Rullo. Word and math puzzle games seem to be the way to go for me when I’m bored or need a change in pace from writing and everything else.

Gaming is going to get back on track as soon as I get back into the gaming bits which I probably will go back to some Linelight that I started in July and return soon with another Mobile Games Roundup.

WATCHING

Aquaslash

  • Aquaslash (review)
  •  The Fable (review)
  • One Smile is Very Alluring
  • Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw (LAMBCAST #491)

Technically speaking, I’d have use Hobbs and Shaw as the highlight and it is because I went to go see it so that I could be on the show for Lambcast as a guest. Its my first time and just coming out of festival season, I was a bit rusty on the whole podcasting thing. Either way, I linked it above because the whole crew is super fun and was incredibly great to record with.

However, as for my highlight, I’d like to once again give it to Aquaslash, for which I think might take a while to get to a big screen seeing as its still in post-production editing however, the experience of watching something in the process of being complete and then seeing the whole majority of cast and crew at this unique world premiere for Fantasia was a pretty awesome experience plus, the concept is there.

Movies might slow down a little since I still have a few reviews to write from Fantasia and then some double features from before the festival started.

BINGING

Go Go Squid

  • Sugar Rush (Season 2)
  • Queer Eye (Season 4)
  • Go Go Squid (2019)
  • Orange is the New Black (Season 7)

Currently binging: We Grew Up (2019), Love Signal 2, The Coming One 3, Dream Space 2, River Flows To You

Film Festival ending means TV watching especially since a ton of the Netflix Originals decided to release in July so I ended up burning through Sugar Rush, Queer Eye and Orange is the New Black’s final season. Its not too crazy to think about considering the first two is only 8 episodes per season which is easy to get through. Aside from that, Go Go Squid also wrapped up and it was such a complete experience that I can’t wait to rewatch and write up the TV binge for that. Lots of TV binges in the works to be honest for a ton of series.

Currently binging is mostly things in progress except for River Flows To You which I got back to since everything else has pretty much ended. Its really good but a bit more on the emotional type of series. I started a new reality show called We Grew Up which is on one hand super cute but perhaps also one that might feel a bit odd to watch about kid siblings.

That’s it for this What’s Up!
What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?

TV Binge: Orange is the New Black (Season 5, 2017)

Next up in the overdue TV Binge recaps is the newest season of Orange is the New Black. I saw this some time before Fantasia Festival so it got backed up but here we are.

As usual, if you plan on watching Season 5 and haven’t yet or haven’t caught up with Orange is the New Black, this is a spoiler warning. The content itself will fall into some spoilers.

Orange is the New Black (Season 5, 2017)

Orange is the New Black

Creator: Jenji Kohan

Cast: Taylor Schilling, Kate Mulgrew, Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Dascha Polanco, Selenis Leyva, Nick Sandow, Yael Stone, Taryn Manning, Lea DeLaria, Adrienne C. Moore, Laura Prepon, Jackie Cruz, Natasha Lyonne

 Orange Is The New Black has come a long way from what it was. Last season took away Poussey and had the Black Lives Matter theme while giving a riot the grounds to start with the new guards coming in place and showing their true colors. Whether it was from inexperience or from their brutality, they all contributed to the rebellion and with all that has been going on, Daya ends Season 4 holding a gun to the despicable Humphrey’s head. The questions that lingered over their heads were plentiful. What direction would this take?

Season 5 has 13 episodes however the show’s time frame is the processes of a riot or prison shutdown that the prisoners enforce over three days. With the different groups in Litchfield, the prison falls apart. The main powers now go with the Latinas as Daya uses her gun to stay in control. Daya however is also controlled by Maria. However, the power shifts eventually turn to Leanne and Angie. While the powers shift, we have groups dealing with the trapped but not able to escape in time celebrity, Judy King who is now being turned around for others to bid. Taystee and her crew are trying to use this riot to make it mean something and get justice for Poussey’s death. While there are peacemakers outside that are happy to sit this one out to not increase their sentence with Alex. Unlikely friendships and alliances, unsolved or repressed issues that has surfaced and many of how to approach this riot and lockdown on Litchfield is what makes this season what it is.

orange is the new black

My main issue with this season was the slow start. I know some of my friends enjoyed the entire season. I’ve been feeling this way about Orange is the New Black for a while now where it stumbles on finding its footing and its starting to get lost in what made it great in the first place. However, somewhere around episode 4 or 5, I remember something happening that truly changes the pace and from there on, its emotional and funny and quirky and odd. The characters find where they stand and what they want. We start seeing characters from outside the facility and the balance of those trapped inside also. This seasons’s heavy hitters had a change of pace, giving more spotlight to Taystee, played by Danielle Brooks. While she was always one of the main characters, this season gave her more emotions to deal with as well as inner conflict and finding her strength. At the same time, the girls who play meth heads or drug addicts or whatnot, Angie and Leanne also get more space as their stupidity takes the spotlight when they end up miraculously having the power and abuse it in the oddest way. Boo also has something of a stronger story arc which links to Linda, Caputo’s girlfriend who gets caught up in the mix from being at the wrong place at the wrong time. At the same time, the highlight definitely goes to Red and Blanca forming an unlikely alliance.

Orange Is The New Black Season 5

That is really all I have to say about the latest season of Orange is the New Black. Overall, it takes a few episodes to find its footing, then its a crazy ride to the finale. We tackle the characters trying to find peace with the death of Poussey as well as focusing on a few other relationships and how this whole situation may have brought out the best and the worst in everyone. There are some fun, funny, stupid and a lot of over the top moments. Its not my favorite season but it definitely won me over as we got to the end. The finale was pretty satisfying and it’ll be interesting to see how the next season will go with how its all turned out.

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? 

TV Binge: Orange is the New Black [Season 3]

I have to admit… It feels pretty good to be on top of things for once. I mean, I’m behind a ton of TV but I finished Season 3 of Orange is the New Black over the weekend.  I guess, there isn’t anything better than lounging in bed or in the office chair when I’m feeling sick.  That’s about the only time I sit still for so long. Anyways, its done and Season 4 is set to happen for next year. Although, I’ll tell you if I am excited for it or not afterwards.

To be honest, I wasn’t exactly excited for Season 3 to happen.  Sure, Piper is starting to feel more and more messed up and there’s a whole lot of unresolved issues going on.  Plus, we left off Season 2 looking like the big bad villain may have been killed off.  There’s a lot of crazy going on and change is about to go down.  That’s for sure! Before I start jumping into spoiler territory and if you haven’t seen Season 1 or 2 and plan to, just don’t read this, ok? I’ll understand 🙂

For the rest of us, let’s check it out!!

Orange is the New Black [Season 3]

Orange is the New Black

Creator: Jenji Kohan

Cast: Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Michael Harney, Kate Mulgrew, Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Dascha Polanco, Samira Wiley, Nick Sandow, Selenis Leyva, Yael Stone, Taryn Manning

The story of Piper Chapman, a woman in her thirties who is sentenced to fifteen months in prison after being convicted of a decade-old crime of transporting money for her drug-dealing girlfriend. – IMDB

Orange is the New Black in its third season is something that I really didn’t know how it’d go.  I was a huge fan of Season 1, then kind of half half with Season 2.  Season 3 had the potential to just crash and burn if it didn’t bring it something new to the show.  There’s only so much of Piper and Alex or Lorna fantasizing over her imaginary dude, or even Red fighting to have dominance over the kitchen or wherever else and let’s not forget the so far pretty in the background, Dayanara’s pregnant situation and then who knew what other shenanigans Taystee and her girls were going to get into, right? Especially now that Vee is out of the picture.  Then we have the bigger issue which kind of happens halfway through where Litchfield has gone private. It was really not a choice, because it was either that or closing down completely and with Caputo in the top management now, he’s not going to go down without a fight.

orange is the new black

 While Orange is the New Black is about Piper and her stay in prison, I feel that this time around they still gave her character a good bit of development to look deeper into her inner psyche.  Maybe she’s not that goody two shoes at all and she’s just hitting the fact that she’s pretty intense herself in her own little way.  Plus, she enjoys this whole criminal mastermind business even if she likes to think she is feeling guilty about it. Or maybe prison is changing her.  There are a ton of possibilities of why she is the way she is.  What I do know is that Piper’s mentality/personality going downhill is kind of a highlight.  Who likes to see the goody two shoes stay that way? We watch this stuff to see the dramatic bits go through.  What is nice is that she’s finally  embracing her sexuality in a way where she’s accepting the whole “getting a girlfriend” bit. But you know, there’s only so much about Piper that I’d like to talk about because her character is getting a little tiring.  What I liked a lot more this time was Piper and Alex.  And just how Alex also has changed because she has more to worry about now that she’s back in Litchfield.

orange is the new black

For me though, the best part of the series has always been the back story of everyone else. In this case, we got to take a look at the side characters that were overshadowed by everyone else.  We saw those that we’ve always wondered, at least I have.  Some bigger players which we’ve never seen their stories that I liked was Boo, Pennsatucky, Chang, Leanne, Norma and even Aleida (I mean, who doesn’t want to know why Dayanara and her mom has this kind of hateful relationship). I mean, on top of the inmates, this time we even saw the backstories of the officers like Joe Caputo and Bennett which was a little insignificant to me but at least it expands our understanding of the characters. In general, the understanding of the people in Litchfield we’re dealing with is a lot more clear and that is definitely a good thing.

Orange is the New Black

While the main people in Orange is the New Black still keeps the show running, and some smaller roles get a more regular appearance, there are still new characters showing up.  While Piper does get tiring, the new character Stella, played by Ruby Rose is a nice addition.  For one, she’s got style and a whole lot of it and there’s something intriguing that she brings to the show. Then the real comedy comes with introducing the private corporate dudes that hire a bunch of nobodies as correctional officers and there’s a ton of eye-rolling laughs right there.

**Side note: did you see Ruby Rose’s short film called Breaking Free? Its pretty cool!

Orange is the New Black’s Season 3 isn’t perfect and there was a few moments where I just left and took a breather.  Not exactly binge-worthy material but to me, it changes the pace a little and steps back to let us reacquaint with some of the main players in the show a little more and gives us a better understanding of the “lesser” roles. My favorite story has to be Chang’s though.  Not because its Chinese and I actually didn’t have to read the subtitles but because Chang is the most random character who does the weirdest things but we get a peek into her life.  The same goes for Norma. For once, its not just about the ladies but also about the guys running the show on the outside.  Its about ending some of the situations that have been around since Season 1 and that’s what I like to see: progress.  Because I can’t keep watching Daya be pregnant for 3 years, for example.

I guess thats what I liked about this one. It wasn’t a lot of dramatic crazy stuff going on but it was progress and that’s what I enjoyed about it. I mean, there’s obviously a ton more but I’m trying to stay as far away from spoiler territory as I can and I’m sure I forgot to mention something that I liked but, overall, its a good season.  That ending kind of makes me wonder where Season 4 will go.  Am I super enthusiastic? Not really. But I’m definitely going to check it out when it comes out next year.

Have you finished Season 3 of Orange is the New Black? What are your thoughts on it?