Orange is the New Black: Season 4 (DVD) – Series Review
Follow Genre: Crime, Drama
Distributor: eOne
Episodes: 13
Duration: 55 min

Orange is the New Black: Season 4 (DVD) – Series Review

Site Score
7.2
Good: Interesting evolution of the prison
Bad: First half of the season is a bit slow and bland
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Orange is the new Black is one of those series that double marked Netflix on the digital landscape and took a (predominantly) female audience by storm. Nonetheless, as is the case with many success stories, the series is slowly getting milked dry and after a somewhat weak and bland third season we were quite skeptical about the fourth season of the female prison series. At the end of season 3, privatizing the prison was starting to take its toll, as the corporation behind the prison only cares about profits and thus they crammed a hefty amount of new inmates with the already rather expansive group. The fourth season is pretty much the aftermath of overpopulation, new power-hungry guards, a company that doesn’t want to spend any money and poor management. Things were looking grim for the female population of the Litchfield prison, but it was clear that the entertainment factor would go up for the viewers once again.

Orange is the new Black S4

Season 4 will revisit the Litchfield facility and will once again follow Piper (Taylor Schilling), and the rest of the inmates in their day-to-day activities. Just like the previous seasons there will not be a real lead, and the series follows around a lot of different characters, always picking one main character per episode, in which they also show snippets of their past, be it one of the inmates, or even one of the guards. Nonetheless, there are a few focal points this season, which involve the merge with the private company that now owns the prison. As the latter only thinks about the cheapest solution to gain the most profit, untrained guards are hired, more inmates are crammed into the facility and the quality of food and other items has gone significantly down. Other problems are the lack of jobs, which means that the new inmates cannot buy items from the commissary and so on.

While Piper’s business with the selling of panties still is a topic during this season, it’s also a lot about the problems with the Latina population, as they are also starting their own business. Because Piper is now wearing her high-hat, things turn south rather quickly as she is trying to get the Latina population targeted by the guards, which eventually explodes in Piper’s face.

Orange is the new Black S4 1

A new side story is also about Judy King (Blair Brown) who is clearly a comical version of Martha Stewart. She is a celebrity that is known by her cooking shows and ends up in jail for fraud. She is however treated as royalty, being served at every whim. The latter is not appreciated by all, but she ends up becoming a key character in this fourth season.

The format of the episodes remains pretty much the same as in the previous seasons, where each episode, one character is more important than others, and while the episode runs in the present, you’ll also gets snippets of their life before they ended up in the prison. Overall this is a pleasant way of slicing the series into pieces, where many characters stand strong, rather than have one or two leads.

Cast wise things remain the same when it comes to the leading characters, and almost each and every one of them will get their time to shine in this season. Nonetheless, there are a lot of new faces, like the many new inmates, mainly on the Latina side of the fence, as well as the new guards, which are veterans and all kind of fucked up in the head. The latter are clearly the antagonists of the season and they play their roles quite well actually. Safe for a guard or two, you’ll immediately dislike their presence, which boosts the emotional factor of this fairly intense fourth season.

Orange is the new Black S4 2

There are no extras to be found on the DVD edition of Orange is the new Black: Season 4, which is a shame, as we’d love to get to know more about the prison, or where the creators get their ideas from. We wonder if things are based on actual cases and/or people, and we’d also love to get to know some of the cast members. Nonetheless, the series stands decent on its own, and you’ll still have thirteen long episodes to plow through.

Conclusion

Orange is the new Black: Season 4 starts off in the same fashion as  the third season, but really picks itself up halfway through the season and ends up becoming very serious, exciting and in many ways sad for those who have to live in the prison. The series does a great job in creating a certain perspective at how some people view criminals, even those who hardly did any wrong, or were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. While we have the opinion that this series should slowly come to an end, the fourth season does redeem the poor offset and flow of the third season and allows the viewer to bond with the ladies once again.

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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Orange is the New Black: Season 4 (DVD) – Series Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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