"We the inmates of Litchfield are human beings," the character Alison Abdullah reads at the top of the new Orange Is the New Black Season 5 trailer. "We are protesting the abusive conditions under which we are being held."
After the brutal conclusion Netflix's OG series gave us last year, it's eminently clear why this is a mission statement for Orange this time around. The dehumanizing BS at Litchfield Penitentiary has gone far past what's even remotely acceptable, and the place needs to change or burn. (One definite change comes in the wardrobe: Many of our heroines at the women's prison are now wearing all kinds of non-inmate clothing, including guard uniforms and, for Big Boo, one helluva suit.)
Lest you think Orange Is the New Black is tilting its finely balanced comedy/drama scale in the latter direction, you'll still have moments like Flaca and Maritza getting psyched to be "super famous" for a prison riot. Or the moment where Taystee tells Piper, "People ain't gonna like you." With her response, the white protagonist on one of the most powerfully diverse shows on television nearly topples the fourth wall by acknowledging viewers who have found her to be one of the least interesting characters. "Story of my life," she says.
Orange returns June 9. Watch Fuse's recent chat with star Taryn Manning, where she talks both about the show and her new music: