Saturdays in June and July – especially on odd-numbered years when there are no summer tournaments to watch – are always a bit of a dull chore for a football fan.
I mean, what do we do without football? Go out for a walk? Go shopping? Watch some other sport? No thanks.
Instead, I occupied my time today indulging in some binge TV watching, and having spent a few days getting through the first seven episodes, today I sat down and watched the final six of the third season of NetFlix’s Orange is the New Black.
And while I’m tired and probably should go to bed, I thought I’d jot down my thoughts on it while they are fresh.
TV – Orange is the New Black Season Three Review: Thoughts – It Takes A While To Get Going
First off, I’d like to make it clear that I think binge watching TV is the way to go. I’d far rather watch a season of a show in bulk than wait to see one episode per week. I just think it works better that way, and based on the success of NetFlix and the demand for seasons of shows to be released in a oner, I think a lot of people would agree on that.
But for binge watching to work, it’s got to start off with episodes strong enough to make you want to binge.
For me, this season of Orange is the New Black started off too slow. For a good few episodes it seemed as though it didn’t quite know where it was going and what the main plot-lines were going to be. Perhaps that was because they had to give certain characters – who shall remain nameless for those of you who haven’t seen it yet – reasons to depart the show and to wrap up or at least put to the sidelines some of the loose threads from the previous two years.
Once it got into its groove though with the three main stories – the private company owning the prison, Chapman’s underwear empire and everything associated with the Church of Norma – it settled in to providing hours of quality entertainment.
Like I say, I’ve just finished watching six episodes in a row, and they aren’t short, so it definitely had some appeal to it.
There Are No Villains
While not a criticism, one of the main things I noticed about this season of Orange is the New Black is that there weren’t really any villains.
At the beginning of the show and through to the end of Season 2 it seemed as though villains were part of what made Orange is the New Black tick, whether it was the evil V, Doggett, Fig, Pornstache or even the likes of Red.
Yet the final scenes of the season show that those days are gone. It seems as though pretty much all the inmates are good people who we should empathise with (which is bizarre considering it’s set in a prison) and that everyone – even the bosses of the private prison company – have reasons for doing what they are doing. Well…perhaps the exception to that is the guy from the doughnut shop, but he doesn’t count.
Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Well, I don’t think it’s a particularly realistic thing, put it that way, but considering the show has moved to be far more of an ensemble effort than when it first started, you could argue that it probably had to be that way.
It’s Not About Chapman Anymore
And on that note, I think it’s quite clear that this is a show no longer about Chapman.
When it started, this was a show about her. The rest of the cast seemed to exist to offer her – the protagonist – obstacles in getting through prison life.
Whether it’s because she isn’t a very likeable character, or whether it’s because other members of the cast are better actors and more deserving of the spotlight than the rather one-dimensional Taylor Schilling (who I cannot believe I am two years older than), poor old Chapman has been relegated to equal billing or perhaps even a lesser character in this season than most.
That’s not something I have a problem with, but considering the show is about her and will likely finish when she leaves prison, it may have to become more Chapman-centric in the next season.
Oh and by the way, I thought it was great that we got an episode dedicated to Chang’s back story.
I HATE The Theme Tune
I love a good TV Theme Tune and have even written an article on my Top 20 (which you can read here) but I must go on record and say I absolutely hate the theme to this show.
It’s an ear bleeding song played over a terrible opening credits sequence. I mean…why not at least have the actual cast members’ faces in the titles rather than random people with bad skin?
And why do they go on for so long?
The solution is to skip to the 1.20 mark of every episode, but I shouldn’t need to.
TV Themes shouldn’t be that bad!
TV – Orange is the New Black Season Three Review – Final Thoughts
So on the whole, while it took a few episodes to hit its stride, Orange is the New Black Season Three is another success for NetFlix.
There’s more than enough scope for another season and possibly even more.
If you’ve yet to see any of it, get binge watching immediately!
Calls to Action
b) Read about my books – focussing on reviews of Doctor Who from the very beginning – here
c) If you appreciate my sense of humour, go ‘Stuart’s Exciting Anecdote of the Day’