Orange is the New Black’s 5th season was recently released on Netflix, and I’ve gotta say it was not as good as it has been. This season picked up right after the last one ended and dealt with the aftermath of the death of one of the inmates, Poussey. This leads to a riot, and the whole season is devoted to what seems like realtime events. The show has always walked a fine line between comedy and drama, even being nominated in both categories for the Emmy in consecutive years. However I felt this season got too preachy and political which made it lose a lot of it’s humor. Also, the flashback sequences, which usually peel back an extra layer on some of the characters, felt boring to me. They weren’t as emotionally gratifying and didn’t really reveal a lot of new info about our main characters. I was really let down since season 4 was possibly the high mark of the show. I will continue to watch if a new season is made, as there were still some decent performances this season. Especially Danielle Brooks as “Taystee” and Selenis Leyva as “Mendoza”. However, I hope Jenji Kohan (creator) has an endgame planned.
The show was adapted from a book by Piper Kerman. The main character Piper (played by Taylor Schilling) is based on her, although they have gotten away from her character more and more as the show has gone on. The book only dealt with about a year in a women’s prison. Maybe they’ve milked all they can, as this season felt like a stretch. It would behoove Netflix to end this sooner than later so it doesn’t tarnish the memory of this once great show. Hopefully, the creators notice the slip in popularity and just commit to one more great season. Bring the focus back to the main characters again, inject some humor again, and return the emotion in the backstories to end the show somewhat on top.