Orange is the New Black Season 6: A Review *Spoilers*

*Major spoilers if you haven’t watched the season already*

Orange is the New black season 6 was released on Netflix 27th July. I finished the whole season within 2 day and I can no longer feel any sort of emotion.

If you can remember the series of events from season 5, you will know that we were all a witness to the riots that occurred at Litchfield Penitentiary. Daya shot CO Humphrey, Maria stole Gloria’s chance to see her son by releasing the hostages, Alex and Piper became engaged, and with Red hellbent on revenge, she (and friends) captured CO Piscatella. However, he finally had his comeuppance as he was accidentally shot by riot guards, when he was let go by Red herself. We left the inmates of Litchfield as they were then moved to maximum security prison. And that’s what you missed on Glee.

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This then leads to Season 6 showing the aftermath of the riots and what happens to them. For some, the transition to max is a smooth ride and they deal with some normality, but for others, they really face the consequences and the injustices.

Being moved to max also means meeting new faces. We meet Piper’s new roomie, Madison or “Badison”, who has to be one of the most annoying characters of all time. Her goal is to cause trouble by pulling pranks and threatening Piper. While it’s all fun an games at the beginning, for the rest of the season, it just gets tiring and unnecessary. There’s not really a story line that goes with Badison’s antics, although it is shown that she does need to feel a part of the group. To be accepted. But either way, I can’t stand her.

Then we have the Denning sisters, Carol and Barb. The sisters are the driving force behind the main story line for this season, and they cause a divide in the prison and become the boss of their own blocks due to the hatred of each other. C-Block belongs to Carol and D-Block belongs to Barb, and the rivalry between each block is extreme, to the point where they plan to jump a game of kickball with secret weapons. The sisters ended up in max due to killing their little sister, in which it has to be one of the most darkest backstories OITNB has ever told. However, their hatred grew towards each other because Carol supposedly stole a story that had happened to Bard, and the sisters have hated each other ever since. That is it. No other reason. And then it turns out that the story neither happened to Carol or Barb. During the final episode, they have an argument as to who the story belonged to and later end up killing each other over it.

…Yeah

Although the story line for the sisters ended up not so well for them., the characters were written very well. Showing respect between other characters, like Carol and Red’s mutual hatred for Freida, and Nicky helping Barb through her drug withdrawal, we saw sides of them that they really do care for others, if they are treated right back. However, it shouldn’t go unnoticed that they shouldn’t be messed with because they could really do some damage, and the hatred they have for each other makes for a really fun, dramatic watch.

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Moving on from the new faces of max, we have our inmates from Litchfield. Some characters I loved even more, and then there were some that I started to despise. Daya took a turn for the worse as she took a plea deal for shooting CO Humphrey and knowing that her staying in max for life was inevitable, started to hang with the wrong crowd, getting involved with drugs. Barely recognisable as herself, and making the wrong decisions, she definitely wasn’t made to be the character we all knew and loved. Maybe we were not meant to like her, because I for sure don’t.

Blanca, surprised me the most as she ended up being my favourite character for the entirety of the season. Fitted with funny remarks and the hilarious story line to try and get pregnant inside of prison with the help of Nicky, she became one of the characters that didn’t have a side to hate. She was even released early. YAY.

However, the excitement for Blanca was soon dissolved, as we found out that good ol’ Linda Ferguson A.K.A Amelia Von Barlow from season 5, revamped MCC and Litchfield Penitentiary, and changed it to PolyCon and replaced the former Litchfield with an Immigration centre. As Blanca was being lead out of max with Piper (as she was let out on early release due to Badison’s failure to give her extra time), The two were split into different queues. Piper being lead out of the prison’s doors, and Blanca being lead out the back door facing an immigration and customs transport bus. This alerting the big issue in America, immigration and being separated from families by force.

This also coincides with Taystee being framed for the death of Piscatella. Involvement from the ACLU and #BlackLivesMatter to help with Taystee’s case really hit home for viewers due to it being a huge injustice in America. By portraying such subjects on a show, it is more likely to bring up a conversation and show how important of an issue it really is.

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Because of the events that happened in the finale, we will most be getting a 7th season due to all of the unanswered questions. What will happen to Blanca? The aftermath of Taystee’s trial? Will Alex and Piper’s relationship survive 4 more years whilst Alex is still serving time? Is Lorna and the baby okay? Will C-Block and D-Block find peace?

Being a fan of Orange is the New Black since the beginning, and it being one of my favourite shows, I was pleased with the season, but at the same time, not satisfied. Some of the story lines for some characters were unnecessary and what about the other prisoners who were located to different max facilities? Maybe this is all something we will find out in the next season and the story was held for then? Who knows.

Either way, it’s still a show that I adore and I can’t help but mention some of the moments that made me happy. For example, Alex and Piper’s ‘prison’ wedding, Flaca and Cindy’s radio show, and the new guards, Alverez and Ginger. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

P.S. Just gotta show some appreciation for young Carol Denning, like, come on.                                                 tumblr_pcobqlDhBo1tivfbeo3_540

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Reflection

For the final part of this course, a reflection is required to show how far we’ve come with blog writing and being in groups.

At the start of the course, I was certainly interested as I do read blogs in my spare time. I never knew what to write about if I ever created one, so this unit was the perfect way to see if I was capable to do so.

The blog writing aspect has helped me with my writing skills, being able to write in my own terms, sharing my own opinions, and being able to write about what interests me, but still being able to write with a sense of sophistication. Another thing that the blog has helped me with is keeping up with current affairs. As the unit is live, we react to whatever has happened within that week. Before this unit, I was not bothered at all by news and my only news source were Twitter and Facebook. However, through discussions during seminars, weekly cinema screenings, and posts added to the Unit X Facebook group, it allowed me to see that even though I am not particular interested in certain news topics, it is still interesting to learn about them and other people’s opinions.

My blog posts consisted that of music, games, films and TV shows reviews of things that I have seen or been listening to at the time of writing the posts. Writing what I liked/disliked about something gave me a chance to voice my opinions on a platform where I felt most comfortable. However, I do wish that I built up the courage to talk about specific topic in relation to a show/film etc. (Which I did start to do on my Brooklyn Nine-Nine blog post).

Blogs were social media years before the term was coined, and, in many ways, blogs still form the backbone of social media. Far more people are on Facebook or another social media platform than there are bloggers, but much of what we do in social media is at root a form of blogging.

This quote by Jill Walker Rettberg tells us how important social media is to blogging, even though blogging has become quite unpopular compared to other types of social media. One thing I did notice that is important with blogging, is social media presence. To get blog posts seen, I shared them through all social medias I owned. This included Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr. Yet, if I did not share a post through enough networks, I did notice that it did not get many hits, and for me, it showed that consistency is key. To get posts seen, I needed to upload posts regularly, therefore, I aimed to upload once a week, however, there were times where I became stuck on what to write. This shows me that this is a common thing with all bloggers, and it shows me that it is not an easy task.

For our group work, we were asked to create 4 infographics in groups of 3. Once we were in our groups, we made a Facebook Messenger chat. With this, we could talk about ideas, plan days where we would meet up, or aid any one in need of help. At the beginning of the unit, we knew that 3 of the infographics could be on any topic we choose, so we created these as individuals. Mine being on ‘Women in Film’, and the other group members did theirs on music and gaming. However, there was a bit of trouble with the group itself when it came to the 4th infographic. Nearing the end of the unit, I asked if we should meet up to finally talk about any ideas that we have. Yet, the rest of the group decided that there was no need to meet up and if someone came up with an idea for it, then that is the idea that we would use. Getting closer to the deadline, no idea was mentioned, and because no idea was mentioned, I decided that because my infographic topic about women in film was a relative issue in today’s society, that it should be the group’s infographic and I would and did create another infographic, on a Korean group, BTS, on top of it, finalizing the 4 infographics in total. This made me feel a bit let down, because I had to use my own work, rather than something that we all worked on together, and then I had to create a new infographic with hardly any time at all. I did wish that I said something to the group, rather than letting it go.

Through this unit, I have learned to pay more attention to things going on in the world, even if they are not in my interests. Learning about why people have different opinions than me, has taught me to open up and to be more confident in putting out my opinion into the world. My writing skills are getting better, the more I write, I am able to write in a way that I feel the audience can connect with. Using informal language can be a great positive when writing to an audience who is the same age as me (20). In terms of group work, my goal is to speak up when something is not right and to be more assertive. Unit X has given me the courage to possibly carry on blogging as it has been one of the most enjoyable units this year.

References

Walker Rettberg, Jill. Blogging.2013. Polity Press. 

Moulin Rouge!: An Underrated Popular Film

In 2001, Baz Lurhmann created a musical romantic comedy, the second film as part of his Red Curtain Trilogy, set in the Monmartre Quarter in Paris, France, 1900, Moulin Rouge! It tells the story of an English poet, Christian, who falls in love with the star of the Moulin Rouge, Satine, however, Christian’s positive attitude and beliefs about love are soon destroyed, as he learns that loving the right person in the wrong setting and wrong time, will end in disaster.

One thing that will always baffle me as to why no one hears knows of Moulin Rouge!, is the fact that it had one of the best cast films I’ve seen in a long time. To name a few, Ewan McGregor plays young Christian, and yes, he does sing, and yes, he is absolutely amazing at it. He has certainly left me asking why doesn’t he sing anymore? And who thought we needed a singing Obi Wan Kenobi? Nicole Kidman plays the sensuous Satine, and Jim Broadbent plays Harold Zidler, the owner of the Moulin Rouge. (But seriously who doesn’t like Jim?).

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One of the many reasons why Moulin Rouge! is such a beautiful film, is for the pure aesthetics of the setting. Of course being set in the Monmartre Quarter and in the Moulin Rouge itself, we are going to get stunning visuals from lighting to the architecture, in a true Baz Lurhmann style as he is well known for his use of bright colours.

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Also, it’s good to mention that Satine’s chambers were set in an elephant’s head and it was pretty damn cool.

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With Moulin Rouge! being a musical, you guessed it, there are songs. However, the songs are all covers of popular songs at that time. The cast do their own renditions of Your Song by Elton John, Like a Virgin by Madonna (This sung by Jim Broadbent. if you don’t watch the film, I highly recommend that you just watch that clip because it is hilarious beyond words.), The Sound of Music and even Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. With such a range of songs, they fit the film perfectly. The song, Lady Marmalade by Pink, Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim and Mya, is in fact from this film too.

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Overall, Moulin Rouge! is one of them films that once you watch it, you’ll want to watch it over and over again. Being nominated for 8 Oscars at the 74th Academy Awards, and winning 2, you can understand why it’s so popular but it’s a film that needs more attention. With a notable cast, an enjoyable, but bittersweet, plot, and some good music, you can’t help but fall in love with Moulin Rouge!

And now I leave you with a “whoops it’s a spoiler but the film is from 2001, so get over it” picture that for me, is very relatable.

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Rationale

For my coursework, we are required to reflect on our media consumption of the past week, or couple of weeks.

My media consumption has been rather consistent in the fact that all I’ve done is binge-watched multiple seasons of The Great British Bake Off (Thank you, Netflix). However, I have noticed that I do spend a lot of time on Youtube. Whether it’s watching news videos from Phil DeFranco, various videos from the queens of Rupaul’s Drag Race (mainly UNHhh with Trixie Mattel and Katya), or cooking videos, I don’t really have a preference. Youtube is such a bittersweet platform. The videos aren’t 4 hours long or have multiple seasons, so they’re easy and quick to watch, but because I’ve watched so many short videos, my attention span has gone downhill dramatically.

Apart from that, I have been watching season 10 of Rupaul’s Drag Race, which its episodes are released every week, cartoon Aggretsuko, Four in a Bed and Come Dine With Me are shows that I could watch all day long, however, I have also started to watch The Vampire Diaries which is unusual for me because as I mentioned in my blog posts, I don’t tend to binge-watch shows that are so detailed like The Vampire Diaries because it takes a lot out of me. So by watching competition/food like shows such as The Great British Bake off, something different happens every week and they are easy going.

Another aspect of media that I consume is playing Overwatch on my PlayStation 4. Overwatch is a team shooter game which has 27 characters to choose from and each character has their own back story which is interesting to read upon. Because there are different game modes, maps and frequent updates, it is a game that I am obsessed with.

From what I can tell with my media consumption, I really like competition shows and competitive games, which surprises me because in reality, I’m not that much of a competitive person. The idea of other people doing well in something that they’re good at, makes me enjoy what I’m watching. As for my game play, I enjoy the competitiveness because it’s not real and I can take my victories and defeats as they come. Also, being on a team that isn’t full of hate, like most multiplayer games, is so refreshing.

This infographic shows the statistics of women in film and the significant impact that they’ve had.

 

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Why I Needed A Film Like Love, Simon Sooner

Love, Simon is a teen comedy-drama, telling the heart-warming story of Simon Spier, a gay teenager who tries to go about his daily life, even though he hasn’t come out to his friends, family or school.

The story centres around a confession post, that another teenager at school is gay but wants to remain anonymous by going under the name ‘Blue’. Knowing that another kid at school is gay, Simon reaches out by email and throughout their conversations, Simon ends up falling in love, still not knowing who Blue is. However, Simon’s emails are found by another student, Martin, who then proceeds to blackmail Simon into getting him a date with one of Simon’s friends, Abby. If he isn’t successful, Martin will leak the emails to the entire school.

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Throughout the film we see that the emails have actually been leaked. However, we don’t see Simon being ashamed that everyone knows that he is gay. He is angry that he didn’t get the chance to come out as gay himself when he was ready. Which is something that we, as an audience, would never expect and what’s best is that no one cares that he’s gay. His school, family and friends are all supportive of Simon and tries to help him find out who Blue really is.

What I really love about this film is how realistic it is. Coming out is so nerve-wracking, that it carries a a type of stigma that we should all be afraid and scared. Yet, this film shares a positive light in the sense that there is no hate against people being gay. It offers comfort to those who are struggling to come out or who are facing hatred, and for those who aren’t part of the LGBT community, it teaches them that it can be a really tough process and we all need to be kind to each other.

When I was in high school, there were no films that provided me with this security that coming out would be okay. Majority of LGBT films back then were about cheating, over-sexualised, or have the distinctive ending of  “It was all a phase and you’ll end up straight by the end of it”. So hopeful. I know.

Knowing now that kids who are in this position have a film that is so empowering and full of self-worth, is so heartwarming. They have an LGBT film that truly reflects them and it definitely shows that everybody deserves a great love story.

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