RIEVIEW: Orange is the New Black

Think of all the roads
Think of all their crossings
Taking steps is easy
Standing still is hard
Remember all their faces
Remember all their voices
Everything is different
The second time around

–“You’ve Got Time” by Regina Spector

I asked my husband today if he was ready to watch the final season of Orange is the New Black, because it was yet another of the series we have started and not finished. He suggested I could start it over instead…

And, since I have no problem rewatching things I’ve already seen, I thought that was a great idea because it would give me a change to reconnect with the characters before we got to the new episodes (well, relatively new…new to us.)

The theme song takes on an entirely different meaning when you go back through the series. Everything IS different.

You don’t have all the big surprises–because even I can remember the major revelations, but there are a lot of “Oh, yeah…I remember that” moments. The acting is still incredible, the characters are all still memorable, and the way the writers dole out backstory is still really phenomenal, as you find out bits and pieces of all the roads that brought the inmates to Litchfield.

And now, you can greet the characters as…well, maybe not friends, for the most part, but acquaintances you are happy to see again. Their tragedies bring sorrow, their triumphs a sense of hope.

I don’t want to spoil a first viewing for anyone, so I don’t want to give details of action, but there really are some amazing performances involved. It is worth watching the series just to see the way Uzo Aduba lights up the screen as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren. Taryn Manning’s Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett is the girl you love to hate, but learn to sympathize with as you find out more about her. Yael Stone’s Lorna Morillo and her wedding plans… And, of course, Kate Mulgrew is brilliant as “Red.” (These are just my favorites, but all of the women–and the men, to a lesser extent…they don’t have as much screen time–are excellent.)

I watched the first four or five episodes today as I was working on a project, and I am very glad to know that I have enough to keep me busy for a week or two. If you haven’t gotten to know these women, I highly recommend it. As a writer, I am really getting inspired by the way the characters develop.

(I don’t have a measure for this one…handcuffs, maybe? Whatever it is, I give it 4 1/2.)

About RieSheridanRose

Rie Sheridan Rose multitasks. A lot. Her short stories appear in numerous anthologies, including Nightmare Stalkers and Dream Walkers Vols. 1 and 2,  and Killing It Softly. She has authored twelve novels, six poetry chapbooks, and lyrics for dozens of songs. She tweets as @RieSheridanRose.
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