Currently Watching: Orange is the New Black (Part 3)

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Currently on Season 5, Episode 8, the prison riot.
I’m still a big fan of the side characters, their individual conflicts, strifes, and backstories, but the story arcs are getting ridiculous. The prison riot/lockdown is possibly the stupidest arc yet. There is no organisation, no planning, just a bunch of adult women playing The Lord of the Flies. And I thought the Norma-worshipping was ridiculous. Are they really that keen to play the ‘all criminals are stupid and uneducated’ trope to the end?
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And I have to say, I’m still genuinely surprised Poussey died from asphyxiation. For a series that does its medical research so poorly (I will do a post on Hump’s idiotic, impossible stroke later), how can someone asphyxiate from a weight on the chest (itself absolutely possible) AND:
1) not actually undergo CPR during a time when CPR will actually be of benefit (in a room of 40+ people! Where are the stupid gungho CPR specialists in every TV media?)
2) not be confirmed dead by someone actually qualified to certify a death
And just leave her on the floor of the cafeteria?! You can’t explain it with ‘oh, the prison system is corrupt’ blah blah. Even Tricia got a rapid cremation, not left hanging for days.
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The ridiculousness of the circumstances of Poussey’s death made me actually not believe she’s dead for a good few episodes and it’s not because I’m fond of her (although I am). It was only after Soso opened the library then I realised the producers weren’t going to pull the rug beneath me and scream ‘surprise!’ — it was that unbelievable.
Don’t get me wrong — Poussey’s death was, in a way, necessary for the plot to progress. She was the most benign, non-violent, non-confrontational, ‘good’ character out of the entire cast, and with OITNB addressing so many issues with the world today: transphobia, homophobia, gang-related violence, the cycle of poverty, the lack of reform available in incarceration etc., Black Lives Matter/disproportionally violent judicial actions against POC is definitely an issue that needs addressing, and Poussey, being such a good person, is the best character to become a victim of that kind of disproportionate violence. I’m glad this was addressed and felt her death was justified. My ire lies with the unrealistic, medical side of her death.
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One thing I’m glad is Sophia is out of max. at last. I was worried she would be forgotten because of the more ‘pressing’ matters like Alex’s dead assassin or who Piper was going to bang next. And I’m also glad Nicky is back — I enjoyed her sass. Lorna’s lies are grinding on me now. She first came across as quite innocent and benign, but as the histrionic personality disorder with delusions come through and through (and Christopher, the perpetual victim of her mental illness, is never seen again, so justice is never served) it’s obvious she needs psychiatric care rather than constant pandering and more people for her to manipulate.
I’m continuing to watch for the characters, but quite a few of them irritate me beyond redemption now. The meth heads never had redeeming qualities (Pennsatucky doesn’t count); Black Cindy is the stereotypical ‘loud stupid black’, a trope I abhor, but she’s always so ‘in your face’; Piper should have died five seasons ago; Daya makes bad decision after bad decision (although turning herself in now might be her sole redeeming quality); Healy is a perpetual face-heel-revolving door; Caputo has sold out, full-stop.
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The current small silver lining is Frieda’s shelter in the old pool. I’ve always loved the golden oldies — Chang, the oldie who accidentally stabbed Not-Vee, Frieda, Red etc. I have a feeling because they’re not having crazy sex or screaming matches, the show won’t focus much on them, which is a shame, because Frieda had one hell of an upbringing and Chang’s youth was bad ASS.
I think the series is deteriorating. The producers are running out of plot fodder so they’re beginning to revert to stereotypes — methheads being stupid, black people being loud and violent, latinas being bitchy and rowdy.
I shall continue watching (for now).
What are your thoughts on the characters? How did you find Poussey’s death?
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