Sunday, August 16, 2015

Orange is the New Black, Season 3

I was blown away by the third season of Orange is the New Black, which I watched in its entirety this weekend. Just as S2 improved upon S1, this season surpassed my expectations, going much deeper into relationships and character. Unlike S2, it wasn't dominated by dramatic power struggles. This felt more sprawling. Funnier, more engaging, and much more tender. The writers and directors and actors do such a good job creating dimension and giving the characters dignity. All have dark sides, many do mean things, and many make poor choices. But there is a warmth to the portrayal that kept me invested in all of them.

In this season the federal prison goes into contract with a private company, and there is more emphasis on the situation of the administrators and COs, which I found interesting. There are surprising and sweet friendships that form -- between Big Boo and Pennsatucky, Healy and Red, Caputo and Fig, to name a few. And there are surprising character transformations as well.

The end brilliant ending scene is described here in The Atlantic. It was incredibly beautiful and uplifting, even as the horizon for many of the characters is painfully grim.

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