Orange is the New Black S5 – 2/4
Looking at OITNB as a whole, at this point, the series is suffering extremely from overlapping themes. They aren’t contradictory, but they are jumbled. Season 5 is the weakest season in regards to that.
The approach was to take the characters who we know a lot about through backstory flashbacks, and thrust them into a bottle situation.
The signature flashbacks continue throughout the season, but are mostly ineffective here.
One has to ask: when all is said and done what exactly is OITNB about?
Is it a knock on the prison industrial complex? Is it about racism? sexism? Or are we just watching the humanity through it all.
The show is at its best when it gets focused on a particular character as opposed to a particular plot. Season 5 is pure plot, while jerking the audience back and forth to character development. It sometimes comes off as forced.
The dialogue also took a dip this season. At moments it was laughable. Characters have too many unrealistic soapbox moments. The actors do their best, but no performance really shines here.
As the quality declines, I’m still intrigued and entertained by the characters. I worry the show is running on fumes trying to figure out how to keep them all together. The lingering decision the writers made to make almost every character that left Litchfield come back to Litchfield is ever present.
OITNB is now a show with no direction and no particular end game. It’s entertaining and still brillant at times. However, when all is said and done the show will be considered too disjointed to have ever got its message, or messages, out in a signficant manner.