Orange Is the New Black: Looks Blue, Tastes Red
June 6, 2014 10:53 PM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

A mock Job Fair provides Taystee with a chance to show off her business smarts; Red feels isolated from her prison family.
posted by mathowie (48 comments total)
 
Looks like this season will follow the backstories of more of the women and this was the Taystee episode. One of my favorite characters, it was fun to watch her win the job contest as well as fill out more of her background.
posted by mathowie at 10:55 PM on June 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Poor Taystee. Going for the job, gets $10 instead, tries to accept it graciously. That's her character in one perfect little nutshell.
posted by RainyJay at 11:24 PM on June 6, 2014 [14 favorites]


Everything about the Job Fair storyline was perfection, and I'm delighted to get a Taystee episode.
posted by Stacey at 3:48 AM on June 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


The casting choices for the younger versions of characters in this season are amazing so far.
posted by GastrocNemesis at 5:34 AM on June 7, 2014 [14 favorites]


I kept trying to figure out why it seemed so weird to see Lorraine Toussaint playing a criminal drug dealer who goes to prison bugged me so much, but then I figured out it's because of where I know her from. She pops up all over the place, but that's how I got to know her first.

As great as she is, it is bugging me a bit how Litchfield is apparently just a game of "This is your life." You'll never guess who's behind the curtain: It's the drug dealer who landed you in here! (Who is also your mom! Or your surrogate mom! Or your former lover!)
posted by lesli212 at 5:56 AM on June 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


I really love all the performances in this show, but Danielle Brooks, Samira Wiley, and Kate Fucking Mulgrew are especially delightful, so a Taystee episode was very welcome. Also, I basked in its pleasant Piperlessness.

Btw, was there an official mod ruling about OInNB episode threads? One per day? Multiple threads per day (which might be hard for people to keep straight)?
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:39 AM on June 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


I HAVE to say, as someone who had teeth knocked out in a car accident--Pennsatucky's mouth just looks wrong.

Also--the book Red is reading is a YA novel that just came out a couple weeks ago! So random--maybe someone at the publisher has a friend on staff?

I really feel for Taystee--she's so smart and talented, this ep really shows how the system fails kids.
posted by leesh at 8:01 AM on June 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


the kid who played Lil' Taystee was SPOT ON. their casting choices thus far have been great.

i definitely wanted more from the Taystee storyline. The entire time Vee was making dinner for Taystee and the other guy, I kept waiting for police to bust in while Taystee is talking about horse stamps. (Also I want an entire episode where Taystee visits a Michaels craft store.) I was surprised that the flashback just ended with Taystee looking happy to be a part of a family, making salad and eating flaxseed bread.

I'm kind of over the Daya pregnancy storyline.
posted by kerning at 12:31 PM on June 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


Another vote for this being a great episode about Taystee. Really enjoying the new season, two episodes in. Taystee rocked the job fair!
posted by arcticseal at 1:53 PM on June 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


"I had a groupon." :D

The ensemble cast of this show is so strong. Far stronger and more talented than we might expect in a show focused on prison life, where the secondary characters could have been kept as caricatures, and not fleshed out. The writers/producers have done such a great job at giving them the spotlight and not focusing solely on Piper as the primary, central character, and it's made the show immeasurably better.
posted by zarq at 4:23 PM on June 7, 2014 [11 favorites]


I want an edit of the entire series without any of Piper's (or her people's) scenes. Would rival Breaking Bad for best TV show ever.
posted by Mick at 4:38 PM on June 7, 2014 [13 favorites]


Ha! I'd watch that show in a heartbeat. Bet it would be awesomely surreal.
posted by zarq at 4:41 PM on June 7, 2014


I really feel for Taystee--she's so smart and talented, this ep really shows how the system fails kids.

Yes! I spent the whole episode berating myself for not doing anything to help social injustice, combined with wondering what I could do, savior fantasies and a mix of other middle class and white guilt. It hit me right in the feels. (and made me mad, once again, at our prison system.)
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:36 PM on June 7, 2014


I'm like halfway through watching but so far my only note is that Larry-n-Dad's Groupon-enabled visit to the gay bathhouse couldn't have happened cause the laws passed in the 80s during the AIDS epidemic made running a bathhouse virtually impossible with some things grandfathered in but not someplace you'd get a Groupon to sheesh,
posted by The Whelk at 11:38 PM on June 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't know if this is my European perspective, but what got to me wasn't as much how the system fails kids, but how it fails adults. Taystee is so smart, so upbeat, so likeable, so friendly (all despite her terrible childhood), but when she got out of jail last season, she was back in in no time, because she had no friends, no support system and couldn't make it work. If she couldn't make it, then who can?
posted by blub at 3:27 AM on June 8, 2014 [22 favorites]


I HAVE to say, as someone who had teeth knocked out in a car accident--Pennsatucky's mouth just looks wrong.

I know this is nitpicky, but I thought the overdubbing of her dialogue (presumably because the busted-teeth prosthetic was interfering) was really obvious.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:01 AM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


According to these articles, it's not a prosthetic:
Vulture
Access Hollywood

But perhaps the point still stands - all the junk in her mouth makes it hard to talk. I didn't notice the overdubbing, but I trust you that it was done.
posted by valeries at 5:00 AM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


"Chicago?!? But Piper hates deep dish!"

If there has been a better single line encapsulation of what a clueless douche Larrry is, I cannot recall.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:49 AM on June 9, 2014 [16 favorites]


Taystee is my favorite character in the entire series. I would totally hang out with her.
posted by desjardins at 11:14 AM on June 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


I feel a bit bad for the Piper actress (Taylor Schilling?). It seems a few of us enjoyed the show more in its (to quote a previous commenter) "pleasant Piperlessness". And Taystee was awesome, for sure. (Also I found some of the writing last week to be pretty clunky- very Grey's Anatomy...but not so much this week thankfully).
posted by bquarters at 3:42 PM on June 9, 2014


I think Piper's necessary to restore balance to the force. If it weren't for her, the only self-involved middle class liberals in the world of the show would be the ones writing it and watching it. By having her as the POV character it allows the show to make all of these fish out of water jokes about the prison system and horrible way it treats people without making the other characters pretend to a naïveté that would be unnatural and patronising. All the stereotypes and fears people with no experience with the system have about it can be put in her mouth, made into jokes that she's the butt of, instead of putting them onto the other characters and dealt with as serious topics. Or at least, the show can have its cake and eat it, too, making superficial jokes about having a prison wife that Piper's at the center of and also treating the topic of sex among the prisoners with seriousness through the medium of other characters, letting them be the ones that bring the depth and contrast.

I feel like I'm not explaining what I mean well. Privilege, for once, would maybe be a better way to explain it; by having such a privileged character within the world of the show to be the dumbass about this stuff, the show doesn't have to treat the other characters with kid gloves, in a way. She absorbs the scorn.
posted by Diablevert at 9:43 PM on June 9, 2014 [13 favorites]


I feel a bit bad for the Piper actress (Taylor Schilling?). It seems a few of us enjoyed the show more in its (to quote a previous commenter) "pleasant Piperlessness."

It's a very good performance; her character is just a pill at times (purposely, as others have noted). The first episode was Nothin' But Piper, so that's why Ep. 2 was a relief, and I posted the comments about Episodes 1 and 2 after seeing only those eps. Then I watched the whole rest of the season immediately afterward, and now I have . . . things to say about the place of Piper overall, but it's not appropriate to mention those until we have an Episode 13 thread or close to it.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:51 AM on June 10, 2014


I have no major beef with Piper as a character, especially so far in season 2, but Larry has GOT to go. THE WORST. I really don't see the narrative point of his storyline, either. Piper in prison is way more compelling than Piper dealing with her shitty clueless ex.

Of course, don't get me wrong, I'd be happy if some of Piper's spotlight was given to other characters. But Larry is such a waste of time!
posted by leesh at 5:48 AM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Taystee is my favorite character in the entire series. I would totally hang out with her.

Same here. She's naive, but what a terrific person she is. I hate seeing her get hurt.
posted by grubi at 1:18 PM on June 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


leesh: " But Larry is such a waste of time!"

His storyline strikes me as another aspect of being sent to prison, and very real. People the convicts leave behind are going to continue their lives, not necessarily pine away waiting for them to be released.

In stories, we expect people like Larry to remain lovingly faithful and keep the home fires burning. The reality is, someone in his position will resent his wife being sent away. May be furious that she's not been faithful. Might feel like they've lost control or that their life has fallen apart. Etc., etc. Larry and Piper's relationship is collateral damage from her prison sentence.

There was a scene in episode 2(?) where a mother is reunited during visitor time with her kid. She's cooing over her baby, overjoyed to be able to hug him and (presumably) the baby's father is sitting across from her, obviously pissed off. Responding monosyllabic when she asks questions. Sad to watch. Also kinda understandable.

Larry is one answer to the question, "What happens to loved ones left behind in the real world?" In his case it might be, "Asshole remains an asshole."
posted by zarq at 2:53 PM on June 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


This episode didn't really work for me; it reintroduced all the main characters, but didn't seem to have a strong enough narrative arc to hold it all together. I felt like they did lay the seeds for some interesting stories, so I have hope.

A Piper-less episode was interesting, and I find the other characters far more interesting, but I also agree that you need her (or another central character) to provide the hook, or a central POV.

The Whelk: Larry-n-Dad's Groupon-enabled visit to the gay bathhouse couldn't have happened cause the laws passed in the 80s during the AIDS epidemic made running a bathhouse virtually impossible

Only in a few cities like New York and San Francisco. There's still quite a few of them around in other cities. Though ... I don't know how they would get ten feet past the front door without realizing that it's not a traditional sauna.
posted by kanewai at 1:57 PM on June 12, 2014


valeries, Both those articles about Pennsatucky's mouth are about Season 1 (check the 2013 dates). This year, yeah, I think she's got a prosthetic.
posted by lesli212 at 12:52 PM on June 13, 2014




How was Larry an asshole before Piper got sent to prison? Seemed like a pretty regular guy to me.
posted by archagon at 3:49 PM on June 14, 2014


The ensemble cast of this show is so strong. Far stronger and more talented than we might expect in a show focused on prison life, where the secondary characters could have been kept as caricatures, and not fleshed out

The one glaring exception to this has been the portrayal of the prison administrators, who have remained two-dimensional, mustache-twirling villains at least up through this episode. I get the point the show is trying to make through these characters ("THE PRISON SYSTEM IS RIFE WITH CORRUPTION"), but for a show that has done such an standout job of humanizing the inmate characters, it is disappointing that the prison officials haven't really moved beyond caricature (thinking specifically of Joe Caputo and Natalie Figueroa here). The message is an important one, but could probably be made without the bright, flashing, neon letters.
posted by The Gooch at 12:23 AM on June 15, 2014


homunculus: "“Where the Fuck Are All the Guards?!” An Ex-Con Reviews Orange Is the New Black"

Most of the comments on the article are worth reading as well.
posted by moody cow at 2:55 AM on June 15, 2014


I agree the guards and administrators are one dimensional stereotypes but I think that's part of Jenji Kohan's thing. Many or most of the characters are highly stereotyped or play with stereotypes. Poussey - common, I mean, this is a joke on Ebonic names. It's interesting to me how she pushes this stereotype thing so hard, in a really interesting effort to present complex characters. I think it mostly works.
posted by latkes at 1:44 PM on June 15, 2014


Poussey - common, I mean, this is a joke on Ebonic names.

In the first season she says she's named after the place in France, which fits with her backstory.
posted by phunniemee at 2:03 PM on June 15, 2014


Eh, Sure they come up with an explanation but I still think this was intentionally supposed to be funny - they actively joked about it in season 1.

Just read online that Samira Wiley, the actor who plays Poussey, is real life friends with Danielle Brooks who plays Taystee, which maybe helps support their amazing friend-chemistry on the show.

There are so many great actors on this show. It's really incredible to see so many amazing, skilled women of color actors getting such juicy roles on television.
posted by latkes at 3:03 PM on June 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Can I just say that these first two episodes worked with the Netflix format *brilliantly*. The first was all Piper, which just made me have to watch another, at midnight last night. The second was all everybody else, which now leaves me dying to watch yet another…

I'm almost afraid of watching the third (and fourth and fifth …) if I start before, say 8 pm, and inevitably lose the next five hours or so.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:10 PM on June 16, 2014


> Poussey - common, I mean, this is a joke on Ebonic names.

Nah, I don't think it's an ebonics joke at all. When you have a bunch of people thrown together of different nationalities and different backgrounds, you inevitably get names that sound funny to someone. The obvious jokes have been made in the expected schoolyard way, but it's not like they go on and on and on about it throughout the show.
posted by desuetude at 10:35 PM on June 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Unless I'm misremembering, the Poussay name ribbing only comes up once, briefly, in the first season. I think the girls (maybe led by Taystee?) are giving her a bit of good-humored mocking about being named pussy, and P just looks bewildered and says "yo, it's a region in France!" I don't think it ever comes up again.

I'm pretty sure the name is just the writers' ham-handed way of being like "hey, the people in prison might defy your expectations of people in prison."
posted by phunniemee at 4:59 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Google does not seem to back me up on this, but for what it's worth I just assumed it was Haitian. In some ways the show is very specifically grounded in the New York/Northeast region --- I think almost all the Latina characters are Dominican or Puerto Rican, not Mexican, for instance --- and a lot of the black people I knew growing up were of Haitian descent, and many had French or Creole names that were unusual to English speakers. I might be off my chump with this, again, because I can't seem to find anything to back me up on the web. So it's possible they just did it for the sake of a joke in the first season. But I at least had no trouble believing it was an actual name.
posted by Diablevert at 6:37 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I totally get that it could be a real name but there are constant goofy jokes like this on the show, for example, the new character from a later episode so I can't name her has an obviously joking and walking the line of almost racist name. I don't think this is an accident even if they don't go on and on about it forever.

To me this is part of Kohan's shtick. She walks the line with stereotypes. My guess is this is intentional, a way to nudge the audience into looking at stereotypes and analyzing their own. She loops you in with a joke.

I think the joke part of being Poussay is done and she's unlikely to keep revisiting it.
posted by latkes at 8:07 AM on June 17, 2014


Lest we forget, the obvious joke about Poussey's name gave us one of my favourite lines in the series so far: "Accent à droite, bitch!"
posted by Zozo at 8:54 AM on June 19, 2014 [7 favorites]


But... shouldn't it be accent aigu since the "ey" in "Poussey" is pronounced like a long a? I thought maybe I was crazy because I've never heard of an "accent à droite" but all of the Google results are for the OitNB quote so I think I'm right.

Quelqu'un parle français?
posted by desjardins at 9:56 AM on June 19, 2014


I'm dredging up some dim memories here, but IIRC the name of the accent is aigu, but the correction French teachers often write when language learners fuck up the spelling is accent à droit, that is "to the right." Accent aigu points to the right, accent grave points à gauche, to the left.
posted by Diablevert at 10:15 AM on June 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I guess I got confused on the concept of "pointing," then. For non-French speakers: Accent aigu goes from bottom left to upper right (droite), like so: année. Accent grave is the other way, for example très. So "pointing" refers to the direction "up." Got it.

sorry for the weird derail
posted by desjardins at 10:33 AM on June 19, 2014


I totally remember my French teacher (a French native) teaching us that the name was accent aigu, but also referring to it colloquially as accent droite.
posted by desuetude at 10:03 PM on June 19, 2014


Larry-n-Dad's Groupon-enabled visit to the gay bathhouse couldn't have happened cause the laws passed in the 80s during the AIDS epidemic made running a bathhouse virtually impossible with some things grandfathered in but not someplace you'd get a Groupon to sheesh,

I just figured they were at the gym.
posted by Sara C. at 5:57 PM on June 21, 2014


Also, re Poussey I just assumed it was her last name, and yeah, probably Haitian.
posted by Sara C. at 6:10 PM on June 21, 2014


Poussey's last name is Washington.

Yeah, Larry and his dad weren't in a gay bathhouse, there were just at a gym.
posted by desuetude at 4:30 PM on June 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I understood "accent à droite" to mean that the second syllable (the one to the right) is to be stressed. It's poo-SSEY, not (as in English) POO-see.
posted by kandinski at 10:37 AM on October 28, 2016


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