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The Best Reviews Of 'Orange Is The New Black' Season 2

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If you're any good at binge watching, you're at least halfway through "Orange Is The New Black" by now. Maureen Ryan filed her review for Huff Post a day before the premiere, but we have plenty of energy left for analyzing Litchfield. To help you sort through all of the back stories, pie-throwing and strangely touching prison relationships, we bring you the best of the reviews of Season 2:

"Perhaps what's most notable about the first part of season two is how Kohan is more confident in her storytelling because she laid the foundation of these diverse characters in season one while also keeping the A storyline -- Piper’s shift from church mouse to aggressive, survival-mode inmate -- intriguing. Now she can give more depth to the worldview that's present in Orange Is the New Black, one of the most vibrant, surprising dramas you'll find anywhere." - The Hollywood Reporter

"In emphasizing the humanity of the inmates, their warders have been made to look, for the most part, pathetic, foolish or monstrous ... Indeed, this general spreading of sympathy, of going past stereotype to character — even with characters who began as stereotypes — is one of the best and most impressive things about the series. It matters that it is set in a minimum security prison, whose inmates are more luckless than evil, more preyed upon than predators. It matters that it is set in a minimum security prison, whose inmates are more luckless than evil, more preyed upon than predators." - Los Angeles Times

"It’s worth noting that some of the best, most natural writing in the show is done for the small group of male characters, including the corrections officer played by Michael Harney and the handyman played by Matt Peters. One of the better things in the season opener is a throwaway moment given to an unseen male officer addressing the handcuffed inmates in the plane: “We know you have a choice in your air travel. Kidding! You have no choice at all.” It’s just close enough to believable to be funny." - The New York Times

"Like 'Thrones,' 'Orange 'is partly a story of territory, allegiance and clans, here divided largely by race ... What Jenji Kohan does in this series is a bit like painting landscapes on a grain of rice; she shows that with enough attention to detail, the tiniest canvas can capture the universe." - Time

"As the series judiciously uses its flashback structure to fill in the whys of these women’s lives, we’re confronted with an array of socioeconomic, political, and emotional realities that makes every character, even small ones, feel truly distinct, and human. The dehumanizing nature of prisons, and the way that “convict” can come to trump all other defining characteristics, is certainly explored in the series, and it’s a woeful, scary thing to watch. But more excitingly, Kohan and her writers also look at how life flourishes and begins to boldly, starkly define itself in restriction. Prison isn’t exactly good for these women, but it does something to their essences, states them more loudly and forwardly than otherwise might be the case. And that’s fascinating to watch." - Vanity Fair

"[The] plot lines are about what they’re about, but they’re about ­something else, too; the “something else” is why they resonate beyond the final credits. Kohan’s series stacks the sociopolitical deck by having its mostly plucky heroines endure sneering condescension by emblems of the dominant culture. The problem isn’t the sentiments but the clunky way they’re expressed—as if the writers are reserving the good dialogue for the regulars, along with the empathy." - Vulture

"The show is often nasty and sometimes distastefully cruel to its characters, but it also easily forges a deep and authentic emotional connection to the viewer. There are frequent reminders that it’s as much of a dark comedy as it is a social study. In one of the new episodes, there is protracted debate about the location of the urethra in relation to the vagina — a matter definitively settled by Burset, a transgender inmate (played by Laverne Cox) — and a competition between two lesbian inmates, Big Boo and Nichols (Lea DeLaria and Natasha Lyonne) to see who can seduce the largest number of inmates, with a special emphasis on orgasm. I sometimes like to imagine the male-centric world of TV showrunners, producers, writers and even critics getting light-headed and passing out while they watch the show." - Washington Post

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