I devoured season 2 of OITNB in one day. And you might be saying to yourself, God, that’s pathetic. And, I’d be like, I know right? But also, I have two sick kids with fevers sweat napping all the hell over me, so needless to say, I’ve had some time on my hands, and that time was spent in the Litchfield Federal Penitentiary.
Orange Is The New Black is easily one of the best TV series since Weeds, and season 1 was amazing. I have been dying for season 2, because I still had just so many damn questions.
The verdict: Season 2 was so much better! I really wasn’t sure where things were going to go, and judging by the emotional turmoil from just the first episode, OITNB went there. It fucking went there.
I am going to review this two ways, because there is just so much to say.
General thoughts: Wow, what an exciting season. I loved every episode, had so many changes of heart, loved learning more and more about the workings of a women’s prison, and WTF Larry, really? I didn’t read the book but did see the real Piper and Larry speak and they were adorable, so I wonder how much he enjoys seeing himself as such a gigantic bag of dicks? Now, to fully grasp all of this, I have to do a bit of a breakdown.
1. Piper. Piper may be “the sun,” but it was a relief seeing her narcissism take a back seat this season. And I think adding Brooke Soso to the mix was a huge part of that. Instead of just having this weird love/annoyed relationship with Piper, I was finally able to experience her frustration without the added eyeroll. The trial and transfers and standing up for herself, awesome. And watching her see herself through Soso was an added delight. The only downside to Piper was her continued obsession with Alex (who I happen to hate) and allowing Larry and Polly to leave the visitation room without lighting them on fire.
2. Taystee. My review of Taystee encompasses all the Vee, Crazy Eyes, Poussey drama. I loved Taystee in season 1, and season 2 was her jam. The back stories (which OITNB does so well, damn, they leave me speechless sometimes) were brilliant, and while I dreaded Vee showing up, and wanted to murder her with the fire of 1000 suns, watching Taystee’s transformation made it worth it. I think there are still some unanswered questions, like exactly what each girl was in for, but the personalities and mob mentally broke everything down this season. I loved it. And Poussey? Poussey you are sunbeams and glitter and puppies. I love Poussey and her history and her loyalty, and while it was a gut punch sometimes, the end was pure happiness.
3. Pennsatucky. You know when you spend your whole life hating something, like brussels sprouts, and then one day you try them again and you love them and it freaks you out a bit? That is Pennsatucky for me this season. I really liked seeing her friends dump her, and OMG THE TEETH. The same way Hoarders makes me clean my house, OITNB meth teeth makes me up my dental care. Watching her take in other people and form this weirdo relationship with Healy made me finally not want to vomit every time she took the screen. I think what we learned of her life last season was powerful, and watching her change this season was even more so.
4. Old People Drama & The Kitchen. Alright, I was really curious what they were going to do with Red this season. While she got annoying at times, the kitchen drama always reminded me a bit of a womens’ prison version of The Sopranos. The Latinas in the kitchen this season? Fuck yes. I love them, all of them, except Daya. Daya is a complete pain in the ass. Here’s a pro-tip. If you are a grown ass security guard, don’t have sex with the inmates, but if you have to? Pick the one who doesn’t spend her free time coloring and drawing cartoons. Mendez was a douche, but at least he was interesting. Watching Daya and Bennett is like watching a slightly older version of Angela Chase and Jordan Catalano have a relationship. You think it’s going to be awesome, but it’s not. It’s whiny and annoying and full of sighing against brick walls and supply closets. Moving on, Red and Vee holy shit. The history and the fighting was complicated and amazing. The greenhouse old ladies were so cool and terrifying, and seeing Red finally step up and name Vee made me cheer. I get the whole notion of silence and taking care of problems through weird violent prison channels, but Vee was a horrible character, and I could not live through another season of her shit.
5. Rosa. Oof, Rosa. What a glorious, glorious sub-plot. I have always loved Morello, and her responsibilities and jobs were always a fun distraction from the heavy stuff. Even her story, while very wtf stalker really?, was awesome. Enter Rosa and her fuck-yes back story and cancer struggle, it was both heartbreaking and captivating, and in the end, she was the light. She made the season. I have never been so simultaneously proud and sad as I was in the final moments of season 2.
6. Alex. Gross. I don’t even care that her eyebrows are better this season, I hate her and find her tiresome. She’s a dead story line for me.
7. Piper’s Brother. I have nothing else to add here except that I love him and wish I was related to him because he’s the best kind of weirdo.
Okay, so there’s all that, but there’s so much more. So, I’m going to take a shower quick while you hurry up and finish the season so we can chat. I’m waiting…