Season Review: ‘Orange Is the New Black’

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It’s now officially June and you know what that means. It’s time for us to go to back to prison. There’s a new season of Netflix’s hit series “Orange Is the New Black.” That’s right, our favorite inmates have returned one.

Season five of “Orange Is the New Black” follows the events of the season four finale as a prison riot broke out and chaos fills the Litchfield. This season takes places over in “real time” meaning that we are seeing the events unfold over the course what feels like a couple of days. It’s hard to remember that it’s over a couple of days because it really feels longer than that. While it takes like three episode to get to the day after the prisoner took control, you end up loosing track of how many days it’s been.

This season is extremely busy when it comes to plot. There is so much going that you lose track of what everyone is up to. The main focus is geared to the inmates wanting to be treated better and getting justice for one of their fallen comrades who was killed at the end of season four. This is where many of the characters shine. Tastee, played by Danielle Brooks, really stole the show. She pretty carried the show more than the lead actress, which was a plus. While I don’t really hate Piper Chapman, she was just a bitch last season and probably one of the least likable since season two. It was refreshing for her to take the backseat for other characters. While Piper eventually got into the mix of the main plot, she was only a background player. And yes, Piper and Alex were a subplot this season. Sigh. I’m kind of over them at this point just because they are more on and off than a light switch.

The problem of this season is that there’s too much stuff going on. While there’s a lot of good moment, you end up missing or forgetting about them because of it. The humor that is usually featured in the show also falls short of it’s usually goodness because of how tense everything is. There are some good comedy from unlikely duo and it’s used in a way doesn’t kill the mood/tension.

“Orange Is the New Black” season five isn’t a great season compared to past seasons. While it doesn’t have some redeeming qualities to it, the plot is too busy. There’s just too much going on to make the subplots matter. It’s great for the simple fact that Piper Chapman isn’t the focal point of the season.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Season Review: Arrow

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The final finale of the DC universe has aired and it pretty much blew all the other finales out of the waters….if you saw it, you got it. It’s time to reminisce on what I believe is the best season of “Arrow.”

Season five was a much darker season, which is hard to believe on a show that had Oliver choose whether he wants his mother or sister to die, and made us all watch Black Canary get stabbed and be okay before crushing our souls with Laurel Lance’s death. #NeverForget. It was a full circle season as it’s the last to have the flashbacks of Oliver’s life before season one. I’m okay with this because the flashbacks haven’t really been good since season two. This season’s flashback focused on his life in Russia and how he got involved with the Russian mob. They were hit and miss which is expected to the flashbacks. While they were better than the past ones, I didn’t enjoy them as much as the flashbacks that were more recent. I’m glad that they are over.

 

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Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak

The main story arc featured Oliver balancing his life as Mayor of Star City as well as his past with the villain Prometheus. There was a little story arc where Oliver must form a new Team Arrow in order to stop a gangster for taking over. It wasn’t anything spectacular but it was good. But the Prometheus storyline was probably the best they have done since the Deathstroke arc in season two. They made it seem more intense and like the stakes have never been higher. There was also intense wondering on who exactly Prometheus was. Because of “Flashpoint,” many people thought it was someone who died in the previous seasons, excluding Laurel (I get to her later). We knew that Prometheus knew Oliver’s secrets and that he wanted revenge, but it wasn’t until later on that we knew why.  It was shocking but shocking because it took five seasons for someone who was affected by something in season one to take revenge. I tried to be vague as possible but you know what the story in season one even if you stopped watching after the mess that was the latter half season 3.

 

“Arrow” didn’t have as many characters as “Supergirl,” but rather a few new ones of both

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Juliana Harkavy as Dinah Drake

main and recurring nature. I like how they incorporated some older characters more and fleshed them out when it came to the new Team Arrow. There was also enough time without the former members that when they came back, you treated them all the same. Most superhero shows that do a mix up like this just have an episode or two before they bring the older characters into the fold. “Arrow” waited for five episodes, which was an entire subplot. I also like how they use Black Siren. It was teased that it would be the return of the actual Black Canary, but it was Black Siren pretending to be Earth-1 Laurel. It was something that everyone wanted from “Flashpoint” and they teased it and then took it away from us. It was a genius move. I enjoyed the fact that Katie Cassidy got to play “Evil” Laurel Lance again and it adds so much to the character. We already know that she will be the main character again in season six and I can’t wait to see what will become of that Laurel. I also hope they don’t kill her again. I also really like how they introduced the character of Dinah Drake, the original Black Canary in the comics. It didn’t piss on Laurel Lance but rather build on her legacy.

 

Besides Stephen Amell, the best performance goes to both Emily Bett Rickards and Paul Blackthorne. All three did an amazing job with how they presented their characters. Felicity and Quentin went through the most character change this season. One took more risks after a horrible event happened to them at the hands of Oliver because of Prometheus while the other fell from grace and had to work their back to where they were before the end of season four.

This season was about cause and effect and how every action has can come back in ways you don’t expect it. This was an absolutely great season. The flashback isn’t going to affect the rating because you come to write off the flashbacks. “Arrow” took an even darker approach and had a cliffhanger ending that you don’t know where it’s going to go next season. This season was everything. It came full circle and was the best DC show that aired during the 2016-2017 season. I cannot wait to see how it will build on the massive amount of momentum that season six will have. “Arrow” didn’t fail this city .

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Season Review: The Flash

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The third season of “The Flash” seemed to have flown by in a speed of light. The second show in the Arrowverse, the show has certainly grown into its own and the third season shows it.

The third season main story arc dealt with Barry Allen saving his mother and rewriting history into “Flashpoint.” Because of this, Team Flash has been charged from what we remember in second two. It also unleashed the speed god known as Savitar.  It was also the Iris/Barry love show. We’re just going to ignore that they were pretty much raised by the same dad. This story arc wasn’t everything it could have been because the whole “Flashpoint” only lasted one episode. Sure, it affected the entire Arrowverse but it was only in minimal things. I would have liked to see because it’s a pretty big deal in the DC Comic Universe (they made a movie of it.) There should have been more at stake because of it. Also, a crossover episode that was better than the ones we got. But because of “Flashpoint,” the show took the dark and twisty route and it was the best season so far. When it needed to make it seem like life or death, it felt like it. The music this season added to the overall suspense of the season. There were a few episodes like the two-part episode in Gorilla City and the musical episode that were like “ehhh, really?” It wasn’t because they were bad, but they didn’t fit in with the episodes before and after.

 

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Carlos Valdes As Cisco Ramon/Vibe

The subplots revolved around villains/heroes from “Flashpoint” coming into the new present world, as well as the development of Wally, Caitlin, and Cisco into their metahuman powers. Caitlin even finds romance this season and breaks the curse of falling in love with evil people that are the season’s villain. She ends up falling in love for the reformed minion of Savitar. The subplots didn’t outshine the main story arc and they did their part to advance other stories that would help with overall story down the road. The best story arc this season was Caitlin and her powers. It was a different take on self-discovery because she knows what the powers will do to her. It was different than Cisco’s who also was discovering what he could do. Both were afraid to tell anyone about their powers. But one accepted it faster while one tries to hide it. It was a very timely concept and done in a way.

 

They really didn’t introduce any new characters and had the smallest new cast in any of

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Tom Felton as Julian Albert

the Arrowverse shows. Because they didn’t add any new characters, you are more invested into them. They only one new main character and a couple minor character that really only appeared when it was for plot convenience. The best new character was Tom Felton, Draco Malfoy.  Tom’s character was different that what we usually saw. It appeared because of “Flashpoint” and really didn’t like Barry. But over the course of the season, they became friends. It wasn’t something that we normally saw due to most people like Barry and Barry doesn’t really interact with anyone besides Team Flash.  I hope that he’s still in the show for the fourth season, if there is a fourth season. The season finale left that up in the air.

 

The show has grown a lot since the first season and has become one of the best DC shows on The CW and television. It finally knows what it’s doing and found its place. The show has gotten progressively darker and while it still can pull off it’s a lighter side, it can properly balance it. Out of the Arrow “spinoff,” this show is second place. I’ll reveal the best “spinoff.” And yes, I know that “The Flash” isn’t really a spinoff but for this purpose, it is. I hope there is a season four because I want to see what they do with this show. Also, I hope they make the new DC comic storyline like “Flashpoint” into an event. I would really like to see more multiverse interactions.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Season Review: Supergirl

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The end of the world is here as it’s time for spring finales for all of our favorite television shows. It’s time to reflect on the past season for some of our favorite show. To kick it off, let’s reflect on Supergirl, season two.

“Supergirl” isn’t a bad show. I actually preferred this season to the one on CBS. It just a show that is there.  There was time that I would forget it’s on and not really care like I did for the other three DC shows on the network. The acting is good and the show does present a different version of the Arrowverse, the universe that the show is located in, than what we normally see.

This season featured two main story arc: Finding Kara and Alex’s father and facing Cadmus and an alien invasion from the Daxam army. There’s also a lot of subplots like James Olson no longer wanting to be taking picures but saving the city, Alex’s sexuality, and J’onn finding out that there are other Martian’s on Earth. The subplots hurt the main story arcs to an extent. The subplots were sometimes way more interesting than the main arcs. There was also so many subplots that it overshadowed the actual story they wanted to tell.

There was also too many characters that bogged down which ones you needed to care

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Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor

about and which ones you don’t. I found myself at times not liking characters that I knew that the producers wanted me to like. The introduction to a Superman was nice and really showed how much we need another Superman show/TV movie. He was a nicely added character to the overall plot when needed. They didn’t use him all the time and which was nice because they let Supergirl be Supergirl. The addition of the Luthor’s, minus Lex and his father, didn’t really add anything to the story. Sure, they were a big plot contributor to the first story arc but other than that they were just ehh. Both Lillian and Lena didn’t really have a personality but rather were just there. Lena seemed to be always in trouble and needed to be saved by Supergirl.

 

It’s because of the massive amount of characters, you don’t grow attached to them. “Arrow,” “The Flash,” and “DC Legends of Tomorrow” can make you feel things and invest into the characters. They also don’t have an overabyndance of characters that really don’t mean anything. Like, I love Laurel and Sara Lance. I don’t know why but they are the best part of the show and my favorite characters in the entire Arrowverse. I also love Killer Frost and would love to see her be the main villain in season four of “The Flash.” I’m emotionally invested in the characters of Black Canary/Black Siren, The Canary/White Canary, and Killer Frost. I don’t feel that in with any of the characters on “Supergirl.” They need to cut back on characters in season three.

 

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Chris Woods as Mon-El

The standouts this season were Chris Woods and Chyler Leigh. They both did amazing job with their characters that made them shine more. I’ve seen Chris act in “The Vampire Diaries” where he made his character of Kai the most enjoy villain of since The Originals. He shined so well and really made Mon-El a character that I didn’t know I would like. I like how they took him from what was pervieced a Daxam was from Kara’s explanation to someone who Kara loved and is the totally opposite of how he started the show. Chyler is just a badass. Like she is rivaling her stay on “Grey’s Anatomy” when it comes to how awesome she is doing at this role. She took Alex from someone that really wasn’t important to someone who is stealing the spotlight and
getting it more. There was one episode where Alex is missing and she really stole the episode with that performance. I also really like the fact they gave her a love interest who happens to be a girl. Alex had the most growth this season and I honestly can’t wait to see what Chyler will do next season with the character.

 

The show is currently suffering from growing pains and identity crisis. “Supergirl” seems to not know if it wants to be serious like “Arrow” or something in-between like “The Flash” and “DC Legends of Tomorrow.” It hasn’t found its place yet and what kind of show it wants to be. It’s suffering from first season issues in it second season. This could be because of the fact it’s on a new network. But it hurt the show. You don’t know how to feel because you can’t read the tone of the show. Again, it’s not a bad show but rather just one that still hasn’t found it’s way in the world of DC shows on The CW. There is a lot of things they need to change for season three and I hope they can do it because it would be a shame to lose a show like it.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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