Orange Is the New Black: Fear, and Other Smells
June 18, 2015 7:31 PM - Season 3, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Piper gets creative in order to grow her new business. Suzanne's sci-fi sex story for drama class is a hit. Alex doesn't trust a new inmate named Lolly.
posted by schnee (9 comments total)
Time Hump Chronicles...SIX SEASONS AND A MOVIE!!!
posted by phunniemee at 7:52 PM on June 18, 2015 [8 favorites]

The Time Hump Chronicles is one of my favorite things about any tv show ever.
posted by tofu_crouton at 10:04 AM on June 19, 2015 [5 favorites]

I like the fact that a show that tends to be binge-watched (my wife prefers to call it "feasting") has the Time Hump Chronicles in it. It feels meta.
posted by nubs at 10:26 AM on June 19, 2015

My household is desperately hoping that Netflix releases the Chronicles as a tie-in novel. Or contracts the idea out to Chuck Tingle.

I don't care about Alex or Piper at all but if their storyline brings more Lori Petty into my orbit, it's a fair price to pay. Tank Girl forever.
posted by Stacey at 10:40 AM on June 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm a fan of the show in general, and enjoying this season in general, but am I alone in feeling like the swing towards making every inmate lovable has kind of eradicated a lot of the initial tension that made it interesting? In the first season, there were at least four characters (Suzanne (then 'Crazy Eyes'), Pensatucky, Red, Boo) that were actively unnerving in their own ways, and legitimately felt potentially dangerous.

Through the last two seasons, though, we've gotten to know them, and in so doing they've all had their rough edges smoothed out. Red is a sad woman who wants her kitchen back, Tucky is a defanged racist bigmouth, Suzanne a sympathetic writer, Boo a gruff-but-loveable ol' gal.

There's a kind of meta-adjustment going on here as well; as Piper acclimates to prison life, so do we, so her more nuanced and positive understanding of her fellow prisoners sort of translates upward to our understanding of them as well.

I'm happy to see Suzanne and Boo and Red and Tucky be non-caricatures and fully developed characters in their own right, but it feels like this season the pendulum has swung all the way over to the Hogan's Heroes side of the TV Prison spectrum -- who wouldn't want to be in jail, if you were locked up with all these fun, interesting, harmless people? Even the administrative villains have been gotten rid of in favour of ineffectual boobs and an amorphous corporate baddie.

One result of this is that Lolly feels like she's been dropped in from another show entirely, assuming Alex's "she's been sent to kill me!" paranoia is justified. Having a scheming assassin in the mix with this gaggle o' wacky inmates just seems super weird.

I feel a bit guilty (which is weird, considering all of these are fictional characters) in wishing that some of the characters were less three-dimensional, or at least less nice, but I miss the darker edges.
posted by Shepherd at 11:22 AM on June 19, 2015 [12 favorites]

I think you have a point Shepherd; I've been enjoying this season, but am a little disappointed that (while I don't think there's a need for someone like V) it feels like no one has any sharp edges or corners anymore; they might be quirky, but no one is dangerous or worrisome. I notice it the most with Suzanne - I'm glad she's not a caricature, but she now just feels like another of the loveable oddballs on the show, where before she was a character whose untreated mental health issues made her both sympathetic and unpredictable in terms of what she might do.

I think the show could give us characters we both understand, but who also have places and times where they are a little dangerous.
posted by nubs at 11:54 AM on June 19, 2015

Another downside to feasting (thanks nub's wife!) is that a lot of things make more sense, when viewed retrospective to future episodes. A sign of strong writing. Not quite as well planned out as Arrested Development (the original run).

Since V, everyone has become a lot less threatening - essentially an optimistic view of human nature; esp. some Boo + 'tucky action later.

Or maybe it's all relative. Perhaps Piper is actually the most uncaring and self serving of the lot, and she's the afeared one now? She was totally mean to Soso in the beginning and even tried to pimp her out to Boo. Then Pipes rats out Alex out of spite to land her back in jail. Now she's coming up with a skeavy contraband business and coercing her friends into participating as employees rather than as shareholders.
posted by porpoise at 8:42 PM on June 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

I really liked Suzanne's erotica author story arc. I'd be very surprised if shared writing - including erotica - wasn't a thing. At least in women's prisons, I'd imagine, but I'm talking out of my butt without any data.

Huh. Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. An editorial on The Angolite, written and edited by inmates of Louisiana State Penitentiary.
posted by porpoise at 8:51 PM on June 19, 2015

Shepherd: "I'm a fan of the show in general, and enjoying this season in general, but am I alone in feeling like the swing towards making every inmate lovable has kind of eradicated a lot of the initial tension that made it interesting?"

I think you are absolutely right. I had the thought while watching this exact episode, "When did OITNB make the cross-over from dramatic series with funny moments to sitcom with dramatic moments, and how did I not notice it?" There is some scary drama later in the season, and while it puts one of the main characters into a bad light, the evil is perpetrated by characters I don't think I had ever seen before.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:06 AM on June 22, 2015

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