Season 5 of Orange Is The New Black picks up right where season 4 left off. Diaz (Dascha Polanco) has a guard held hostage at gunpoint, the inmates at Litchfield are rioting, and the guards are none the wiser about what is happening. As the prison is put into lockdown, the repercussions and revenge of the murder of beloved inmate Poussey Washington (Samira Wiley) are seen and felt as the inmates riot.

So, Is It Any Good?This was a difficult yes to give. The previous seasons have all started off a little slow and built up to various climaxes (pun intended). However, after watching the first 7 episodes, something feels a little different about the new season. Orange Is The New Black has always been centered around Piper (Taylor Schilling) adapting to life in prison. Each previous season has seen Piper go from one drama to the next. However, it’s very clear that Season 5 is so far suffering what I like to call The Walking Dead syndrome.Orange Is The New BlackThe Walking Dead started off centered around Rick, but the longer the show is on, the more cast is added. That means you have to give each character their own screen time and backstory so you become invested in them. You need to understand their motives for why they do what they do, and you can’t understand that if you don’t know who they are as a character, hence the flashbacks. Orange Is The New Black is becoming very guilty of this. In the first 5 episodes of season 5, Piper has barely any screen time. In fact, she probably only has a handful of lines in each episode. What we are given instead is a lot of flashbacks and backstory to nearly every other character.

Even though Orange Is The New Black is deviating from its previous formula, you have to keep watching. The first half of season 5 is not about Piper, it is about Poussey. The impact she had on many of the inmate’s lives is felt across every episode. Her death in season 4 is the driving force behind what the inmates are doing. Even though half the inmates don’t really care about revenge or retribution, they all have one common goal. The inmates of Litchfield must put aside their differences, unite, and come together to create change.

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ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK is streaming now on Netflix.

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