Orange is the New Black, Season 2

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Orange is the New BlackOrange is the New Black

Series: Season 2

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

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.

I will be the first to admit I was lured into this series by the sheer amount of buzz surrounding it. And, well, lesbians, duh. I’ll also be the first to admit that I’m the motherfuckin’ master of resisting hyped books, movies, TV shows, etc. (Seriously. It takes a lot for me to overcome the repulsion I feel towards the hype.) In this case, it was a trip back home to Houston and spending hours on end on the living room couch with my mother, sister and puppy Marley watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix.

I was confused at first because I’ve never watched the first season (I now have a mission to locate, download and ingest it), but I caught on quickly (admittedly, with sparse interspersions of explication on my mother and sister’s part). And I’m oddly excited to say I’ll be back for round two – or I guess, three – when the third season comes around.

Even having missed the first four episodes, I can without a doubt state that the arc of the second season can be summed up in this one picture:

Kate Mulgrew as Galina 'Red' Reznikov and Lorraine Toussaint as Yvonne 'Vee' Parker in Orange Is the New Black Season 2

The spitfire crackle of energy between Red and Vee is remarkable. The viewer knows right away that the two have history, and as soon as Vee Parker (Lorraine Toussaint) issues her proclamation to “lay low this time,” it sets the tone for her underhanded, devious ways. I tried not to take sides, being a newcomer to all of this, and then not having even watched the first season on top of that, but I was Team Red (Kate Mulgrew), even if only in the nominal sense, throughout the debacle.

In a feat I wouldn’t expect with the source material being a flimsy little memoir, the secondary plot arcs were also interesting, my favorite being Dayanara (Dascha Polanco) and John Bennett’s (Matt McGorry).

Matt McGorry as John Bennett and Dascha Polanco as Dayanara Diaz in Orange is the New Black Season 2

I would hope it’s no secret by now that I have a huge soft spot for nice guys, and John Bennett is a quintessential nice guy. He’s this sweet, cute, unassuming prison guard who just so happens to have fallen in love with one of the inmates and impregnated her – whoops. Their arc mostly involved a lot of back-and-forth over whether they should come clean about the father of the child or blame it on Pornstache (*cue shudder* Pornstache, y’all? Really? Ughh).

Again, I tried not to take sides; I was pro-John the whole way, though. There was a very simple solution to their dilemma, I felt (as did my mother and sister), but their qualms are not without validation, so there’s that.

Another arc I relished in was none other than that of the beautiful Samira Wiley: Poussey Washington and Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson’s (Danielle Brooks) friendship arc.

Samira Wiley as Poussey Washington and Danielle Brooks as Tasha 'Taystee' Jefferson in Orange Is the New Black Season 2

Can you guess which team I’m on here? Because Poussey and Taystee are really good friends, then in rolls Vee, with whom Taystee has a lot of history and because of which Taystee feels like she owes Vee her loyalty, and her friendship with Poussey crumbles in a matter of days, it seems. I for one hate friends who turn their backs on other friends, and although I understand Taystee’s motivations, I don’t understand her actions towards Poussey. Their rivalry mostly branches from snide comments (usually on Poussey’s part) and idleness (usually on Taystee’s part), but it crests in actual violence that – honestly? – kinda broke my heart a little bit.

Poussey and John are definitely my two favorite characters, that’s for sure.

What sucks is that the main character isn’t my favorite at all – in fact, Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) is far from my favorite. I find her a little annoying. Her and her little obsession with Alex Vause (Laura Prepon).

Laura Prepon as Alex Vause and Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman in Orange Is the New Black Season 2

I’m sorry, maybe I’m the only one who thinks this, but all the people in Piper’s free life fuckin’ suck. And she keeps them around for what reason? || SPOILER Her cheating ex-fiancé (granted she cheated on him first, but whatever) and her cheating best friend (the woman was married. Married! And had just given birth recently! What the – who the fuck does that?). END SPOILER || I’m actually glad that even though her arc was clearly the primary focus, it wasn’t as prominent as the Vee-takeover arc.

One more thing? These ladies cray.

Yael Stone as Lorena Morello and Uzo Aduba as Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren in Orange is the New Black Season 2



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