The 8 Core Problems With "Orange Is The New Black" Season 5

The 8 Core Problems With "Orange Is The New Black" Season 5

While shows should always be expected to make big changes creatively, this one doesn’t quite pan out.
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Everyone is talking about the latest season of "Orange is the New Black," and for good reason. It's presence affected me so much that I was drawn to develop this piece on its aspects for improvement, and how overall it didn't work. While many choices were made in terms of storytelling and character development, this once dedicated fan began to lose hope. Here is my reasoning why:

1. The time constraint doesn't pay off.

While shows should always be expected to make big changes creatively, this one doesn’t quite pan out. The only way it could have worked is if the season delivered with high pace drama and intensity all pent up in a bottle waiting to explode. Sadly, we get static and passive story lines that require a slow burn, and even slower end. Maybe if the riot had ended in episode six or seven we could have had the potential for this radical storytelling.

2. Clean house is needed for the newbies.

If we have to deal with new characters, at least make them worth a damn. They honestly weaken the show instead of providing a service to boost its quality. The only exception being Alison Abudullah who has been a beautiful addition to the cast and as a confidant with Taystee, Cindy, Janae, and Suzanne. But other than her, the newbies prove to be a hindrance to the show as initially suspected when introduced as they continue to take up screen. Get rid of these white supremacists and other unnamed characters and get back to the main characters (and core reason) we love to watch.

3. Flashbacks don’t add any emotional depth or real significance.

Once you change the form of your entire show, you can’t really go back. This made the flashbacks feel more forced than ever. In past, they had context giving background on how our characters got here. And if they weren’t doing that, then they were providing a glimpse into a telling part of a character undergoing a dilemma. These were rare this season feeling so stretched into how they had any presence being there in the first place to the point where they were wasting time, not adding to it.

4. Side characters are given too much screen time.

With such a large cast, there is not enough time for everyone. And rightfully so, when frankly some of the characters are more interesting than others. We wasted so much valuable time not on the big players as smaller characters took up way too much coverage. From Maritza and Flaca’s sickening self-obsessiveness to Leanne and Angie’s poor power trip, the whole business because nauseating real fast.

5. Main characters undeservingly become demoted.


As a result of side characters coming to the forefront, some of the beloved players got played out. Sophia was in this season as much as the last one which was practically nonexistent making her lack of appearance here extremely disappointing and her presence undervalued. And while Gina, Norma, and Yoga Jones are usually minor characters, their constant presence felt even more strained.

6. Stop focusing on the guards.

This is even worse than focusing on the newbies. At least they are prisoners, but seriously what is the point? We only care about the prisoners. The show has always been about focusing on these women with their pitfalls, weaknesses, and dreams for a better life. It doesn’t add anything to show that with these guards or warrant flashbacks with perhaps the only exception being for Piscatella of how he became so monstrous. Cindy Loohoo Sorority Queen was so pointless, and not at all entertaining.

7. Insipid and practically unwatchable plot lines in their purpose are unclear.

This should really just be the Pennsatucky section. To continue to see her abusive relationship with that dick guard and end it on a happy note with them living together is so sickening. And we’re really gonna have Maria turn out to be a heartless person with no loyalty to even her own tribe? The eye rollness factor of this entire season can be summed up in two words: Litchfield Idol.

8. It's ending is predictable, but the show’s future is questionable.

Supposing it's the journey that’s worthwhile and not the destination, the journey is never exciting enough to get there. It ends exactly as expected (not well) and while it’s left on some sort of a cliffhanger of when in fact the remaining stragglers get out, that inevitable ending also seems to be lacking excitement. It also leads to question what the show will be now, will it be us following these women to various different prisons? How on earth could that be possible?

Cover Image Credit: Hidden Remote

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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After 'Extremely Wicked' And 'The Stranger Beside Me,' We Now Understand The Criminal Mind Of Ted Bundy

1 hour and 50 minutes, plus 550 pages later.

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Netflix recently released a movie in May called "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile" (2019), based on the life of Ted Bundy from his girlfriend's viewpoint.

In 1980, an author and former Seattle police officer, Ann Rule, published a book about her experience and personal, close friendship with Ted Bundy, called "The Stranger Beside Me."

These two sources together create an explosion of important information we either skim over or ignore about Ted Bundy. Watching this movie and reading this book can really open your eyes to who Ted Bundy really was. Yeah, there are the confession tapes on Netflix, too, but these other things can really tie it all into one big masterpiece of destruction.

I swear, it will blow your mind in different ways you never thought possible.

In the movie, "Extremely Wicked", Zac Efron stars as the infamous Ted Bundy, America's most notorious serial killer. He portrayed the murderer who kidnapped, killed, and raped 30 women or more. Personally, he made a great Ted Bundy, mannerisms and all. Lily Collins stars as Ted's girlfriend who was easily manipulated by Ted and believed that he was innocent for years.

The movie is told in the order that Liz, Ted's girlfriend, remembers.

In the book, "The Stranger Beside Me", Ann Rule writes about Ted Bundy, who used to be her old friend. They met while working at a crisis center in the state of Washington and were close ever since. Like Liz, Ann believed he was innocent and that he was incapable of these horrific crimes.

Ted Bundy had made both Liz and Ann fools. He easily manipulated and lied to both women about many things for years, his murders being "one" of them.

Okay, so we all know that Ted Bundy was absolutely guilty as hell and totally murdered those women. 30 women or more. He literally confessed to that, but researchers and authorities believe that number to be way higher.

But... you must know that the movie and the book tell two different stories that lead to the same ending. That's why it's so intriguing.

At one point, I couldn't stop watching the movie. Then, I bought Ann Rule's book and was completely attached to it. I couldn't put it down.

For me, Ted Bundy is interesting to me. Unlike most young girls today, I don't have a thing for him nor do I think he's cute or hot. I know that he used his charm and looks to lure women into his murderous trap. That's why it's so hard to understand why this movie and book created a new generation of women "falling in love" with Ted Bundy.

GROSS: He sodomized women with objects. He bludgeoned women with objects or his own hands. He was a necrophile. Look those up if you have not a clue of what they mean. That could change your mind about your own feelings for Ted Bundy.

After "Extremely Wicked" and "The Stranger Beside Me", I now understand the criminal mind of Ted Bundy. He was insane, but he was also smart, put together, educated, charming, and lots more. That's why I'm so interested in why his brain was the way it was.

The criminal mind is an interesting topic for me anyway, but for Ted Bundy, it was amazing to learn about.

I highly recommend both the movie and the book I quickly read in two weeks! If you want answers, they are there.

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