Not having CBS is becoming quite an inconvenience. Let’s get it together people.
Listen, I love Suits more than most, but that bowling scene should NOT have made the final cut, I’m sorry. Still love ya, but it’s the final season, be better.
Season 2 of Workin’ Moms is now available on Netflix.
As is season 1 of Another Life. “After a massive alien artifact lands on Earth, Niko Breckinridge leads an interstellar mission to track down its source and make first contact.”
A new episode of Baskets airs tonight. I’m thoroughly enjoying this season thus far.
“While HBO’s president of programming, Casey Bloys, says ‘never say never’ to the possibility of Big Little Lies season 3, he’s not optimistic about it actually happening. ‘Having approached a possible season 2 skeptically, what became clear to us was there was more story to tell,’ Bloys said at the summer edition of the Television Critics Assn. press tour Wednesday. ‘To me, there’s no obvious place to go, or no obvious story. That said, this group is extraordinary… so if they all came to me and said, “We have the greatest take,” … I would certainly be open to it because I love working with all of them.’ He then followed up with, ‘Who knows? It certainly doesn’t feel like it [will happen], but I’m open.’”
TV Land has picked up a 7th season of Younger.
HBO has ordered a 2nd season of Los Espookys.
Netflix has canceled Designated Survivor.
Netflix has also canceled Tuco & Bertie, one of the worst shows I’ve ever tried to watch.
HBO announced that the 6th and final season of Silicon Valley will return in October.
TNT has ordered a 5th season of Animal Kingdom.
“Comcast said NBCUniversal’s highly anticipated entry into the streaming wars will launch in April 2020, a deadline that 500 dedicated employees are working steadily to try to meet. . . The free, ad-supported offering will initially roll out across the footprints of Comcast and Sky, hitting the market after Disney and Apple bring forth subscription products, with WarnerMedia targeting spring 2020. Given its strategy to tie the streaming rollout to Summer Olympics in Tokyo will offer NBCU a wide platform to drive streaming adoption when the Games begin next July.”
“Science Channel has greenlighted a series tentatively titled Homemade Astronauts, which will follow DIY rocketeers as they attempt to get a man into space on tight budgets. The show, now in production for a 2020 premiere, will follow three self-financed teams. Mike Hughes and Waldo Stakes are working on a manned rocket to space, designing what they call a ‘rock-oon’ — part rocket, part balloon — that they hope to use to get Hughes to the Karman line, the border between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space, which is about 62 miles high. To raise money and awareness, they plan to first launch Hughes 5,000 feet high in a steam-powered rocket. Ky Michaelson, who has been called the real-life ‘Rocketman,’ is the first civilian to build and launch an unmanned rocket into space. He's now looking to become the first amateur to build and launch a fuel-powered, manned space rocket. Meanwhile, Cameron Smith is creating a space suit that can withstand all the elements of space at 60,000 feet and hopes to get there in a specialized hot air balloon.”
“Netflix has commissioned Styling Hollywood, a fashion reality series produced by Kingdom Reign Entertainment and ITV America. Styling Hollywood is to document celebrity fashion stylist Jason Bolden and his interior designer husband Adair Curtis as they run their lifestyle company JSN Studio, all while navigating the ups and downs of social life and marriage. Bolden has previously worked with a client list that comprises Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union, Mindy Kaling, Zazie Beetz, Wiz Khalifa and Ava DuVernay, among others.”
The new season of Running Wild With Bear Grylls, which premieres on November 5 on Nat Geo, will feature celebrity guests: Brie Larson, Channing Tatum, Cara Delevingne, Dave Bautista, Armie Hammer, Joel McHale, Zachary Quinto, Bobby Bones, Rob Riggle and Free Solo climber Alex Honnold. Never seen an episode and have no plans to change that.
Per Deadline, “HBO announced its documentary slate for the second half of 2019 during its TCA panel today and also revealed a new documentary series about the Atlanta child murders of the late 1970s and early ’80s. Read details about all of the projects below.
“HBO Documentary Films, Show of Force, Roc Nation and Get Lifted Film Co. are in production on the Atlanta docuseries. It will offer a never-before-seen look at the killings of at least 30 African-American children and young adults that occurred over a two-year period in the Georgia capital — from the initial disappearance and discovery of two slain teenage boys and the fear that gripped the city to the prosecution and indictment of 23-year-old local native Wayne Williams and the rush to officially shut down the case.
“Four decades after the killing spree began, evidence has come into question and decades of pressure from the community has prompted Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to order a large-scale re-investigation, demanding the evidence be retested using the latest DNA technology.
“No premiere date was announced for the untitled series produced and directed by Show of Force’s Joshua Bennett, Maro Chermayeff, Jeff Dupre and Sam Pollard. Patrick Reardon of Roc Nation also exec produces along with and Get Lifted Film Co.’s Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius and John Legend.
“Here is HBO’s documentary slate for the second half of 2019:
UNMASKING JIHADI JOHN: ANATOMY OF A TERRORIST (July 31; previously announced)
In 1995, Mohammed Emwazi was a grade school student in London with a promising future ahead of him. By 2015, he was better known as Jihadi John, a masked, ISIS terrorist in Syria, notorious across the globe for broadcasting his brutal executions of Western hostages. The revealing documentary examines what propelled Emwazi’s journey down a violent path, the points at which intelligence agencies were aware of his growing radicalization and attempted, unsuccessfully, to deter him, Emwazi’s use of social media as an ISIS recruitment tool and launchpad to notoriety, harrowing first-hand accounts from his surviving hostages, and the collaboration between the world’s leading intelligence agencies to track him down and bring him to justice. Directed by Anthony Wonke.
ALTERNATE ENDINGS: SIX NEW WAYS TO DIE IN AMERICA (August 14)
In 2018, for the first time, more Americans chose cremation than traditional funerals and burials. This film explores the changing attitudes, rituals and mechanics of death, including the ways it is recognized, and how the end of life is approached. Subjects include the choice to use medical assistance, unique celebrations of life and ways to honor loved ones as they die. Directed and produced by Emmy® winner Matthew O’Neill and Perri Peltz.
IN THE SHADOW OF THE TOWERS: STUYVESANT HIGH ON 9/11 (September 11)
When the Twin Towers were attacked on September 11, 2001, students had just started their day at Stuyvesant High School, blocks away. Drawing on intimate access to eight student eyewitnesses, the documentary offers a unique perspective on this tragic day. Directed and produced by Emmy®-winner Amy Schatz, the documentary weaves footage of the attack with compelling interviews with the students, who, as young teenagers, found themselves fleeing debris in the heart of the danger zone and faced with a harrowing journey home. Now adults, many from immigrant families, they speak with feeling about the backlash against minority communities that followed the attack and the deep friendships with classmates that got them through. A story about how it felt to be a young person at ground zero, the film explores the ways in which September 11th shaped these students’ lives and continues to shape our world today.
BUZZ (September 25)
This revealing and personal documentary follows Pulitzer prize-winning reporter and author, Buzz Bissinger, as he experiences a sexual awakening while collaborating with Caitlyn Jenner on her tell-all memoir. A verité portrait of his transformative journey, the feature documentary is directed by his childhood friend Andrew Shea. As he works to perfect Jenner’s book, Bissinger simultaneously examines his own heteronormative constraints, exploring previously uncharted sexual desires in ways that test his marriage, family and sense of self. Interweaving editing sessions between Bissinger and Jenner with personal insights into Bissinger’s sexual evolution from his family, Buzz is a deeply personal film that explores the pursuit of true freedom of expression.
The headline-generating documentary news series will continue with four more episodes this fall. Directed and produced by Emmy® winner Matthew O’Neill and Perri Peltz, the series will continue to work with leading Axios journalists to highlight the week ahead in politics, business, and technology, and other big topics shaping the future. Co-founded in 2016 by Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei and Roy Schwartz, Axios is known for its news-making interviews, illuminating coverage and trustworthy insight delivered with “smart brevity” and a distinctly shareable format.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR (October)
Composed entirely of newspaper photographs, this documentary is acclaimed filmmaker and Emmy® winner Alan Berliner’s personal journey through 40 years of pictorial history culled from daily printed editions of the New York Times. Part musings of a self-described news junkie, part heartfelt elegy for the death of the printed newspaper in the digital age, the film is filled with observations, stories, opinions, humor, and idiosyncratic reflections on the news, good, bad and fake, past, present, and future.
LIBERTY: MOTHER OF EXILES (October 24)
From Emmy® winners Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato and executive producer Diane von Furstenberg, this film explores the surprising past and the culturally relevant present of the iconic Statue of Liberty. The documentary follows the legendary fashion designer, “godmother” of the statue, in her quest to discover the little-known story of how French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi’s dream became a reality, the challenges the statue has faced over the decades, and what Lady Liberty means to people around the world as a symbol of freedom and a beacon of hope to immigrants. Jason Blum and Sheila Nevins also executive produce.
TORN APART: SEPARATED AT THE BORDER (October)
Directed by Oscar® and Emmy® winner Ellen Goosenberg Kent, this documentary follows the story of two mothers who were each separated from their children in the United States for months after fleeing from danger in their homelands to seek asylum. Both mothers work with pro-bono lawyers and volunteers to reunite with their kids who have been placed thousands of miles away from them with little access to communication. These stories illuminate the ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and reveal how separated families are forced to navigate a complex system while desperately attempting to reunite with their children. Executive produced by Elli Hakami and Julian P. Hobbs for Talos films.
THE BRONX, USA (October)
From the filmmaking team behind If You’re Not In the Obit, Eat Breakfast, this documentary features members of producer George Shapiro’s graduating class of 1949 from DeWitt Clinton High School, as well as students from 2017’s graduating class. Set against the socio-cultural history of the Bronx, the film interviews Robert Klein, Gen. Colin Powell, Melissa Manchester, Chazz Palminteri, Alan Alda, Melle Mel, Carl Reiner and Rob Reiner. Directed by Danny Gold.
THE APOLLO (November 6)
Directed by Oscar® and Emmy® winner Roger Ross Williams chronicles the unique history and contemporary legacy of New York City’s landmark Apollo Theater. Over the last 85 years, what began as a refuge for marginalized artists has emerged as a hallowed hall of black excellence and empowerment. The film weaves together archival clips of music, comedy and dance performances; behind-the-scenes verité footage of the team that makes the theater run; and interviews with such artists as Common, Jamie Foxx, Savion Glover, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson and Pharrell Williams. In addition to the examination of its archives, the film offers an in-depth look at the present-day venue, spotlighting the 2018 multi-media stage adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ acclaimed book “Between the World and Me” as it comes together on the theater’s grand stage. In the film, Williams explores not only the struggle of black lives in America, but the role that art plays in that struggle, and the essential part the Apollo continues to play in the cultural conversation, lighting the path forward. Produced by Lisa Cortes, Jeanne Elfant Festa and Cassidy Hartmann. Executive produced by Nigel Sinclair, Dan Cogan, Nicholas Ferrall and Julie Goldman.
VERY RALPH (November 12)
Directed by Emmy® winner Susan Lacy, this portrait of Ralph Lauren explores the life and career of one of the most successful designers in American fashion and reveals the man behind the icon. With an uncanny ability to turn his dreams into reality, Lauren has cultivated the iconography of the American dream as a global lifestyle brand. Through extensive and candid conversations, Lauren reflects on his pioneering vision, his five-decades-long marriage and how a boy from the Bronx who knew nothing about designing fashion built a multi-billion-dollar global empire. The film also includes intimate interviews with family, colleagues, journalists and other notables.
ERNIE & JOE (November)
Texas police officers Ernie Stevens and Joe Smarro, part of the San Antonio Police Department’s ten-person mental health unit, are putting compassionate policing practices into action. This documentary chronicles their dramatic daily encounters with people in crisis, showing how their innovative approach to policing – which takes mental health into account – can diffuse dangerous situations and divert people from jail into mental health treatment. Directed by Jenifer McShane.
ART OF POLITICAL MURDER (November)
Based on Francisco Goldman’s book of the same name and executive produced by Oscar®-winner George Clooney and Grant Heslov, this film tells the story of the 1998 murder of Guatemalan human rights activist Bishop Juan Gerardi, which stunned a country ravaged by decades of political violence. Just two days after presenting a damning report blaming the atrocities of the civil war on the Guatemalan military, Bishop Gerardi was found dead in his home. Fearing a cover-up, the church assembles a team of young investigators to take on the case. They begin to unearth a web of conspiracy and murder, entangling the upper echelons of the government. Directed by Paul Taylor, Produced by Teddy Leifer.
This documentary series chronicles the stranger-than-fiction story of an ex-cop turned security auditor who rigged the McDonald’s Monopoly game promotion for a decade, stealing millions of dollars and building a vast network of co-conspirators across the U.S. The series draws on exclusive firsthand accounts and archival footage, featuring: the FBI agents who brought down the gaming scam; McDonald’s corporate executives, who were themselves defrauded; the lawyers who tried the case; and the culprits and prizewinners who profited from the complicated scheme, as well as the individuals who were often unwittingly duped into being a part of the ruse. The series comes from Unrealistic Ideas, the non-scripted production company launched by Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Archie Gips. Directed by James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte.
SAUDI WOMEN’S DRIVING SCHOOL (December)
In June 2018, women in Saudi Arabia were allowed to drive legally for the first time. Set at The Saudi Driving School in the capital city of Riyadh, which caters exclusively to women, this documentary follows Saudi women as they embrace a new way of life and the freedom that comes from being behind the wheel. Through intimate interviews and revealing verité footage, the eye-opening film captures how women’s lives are changing in Saudi Arabia, the hope that they have for greater gender equality and the challenges they face in a Kingdom that appears to be making strides forward but continues to silence and jail female activists. Directed by Erica Gornall and produced by Nick London.
MOONLIGHT SONATA (December)
11-year-old Jonas, who has a cochlear implant, is struggling to learn the first movement of Beethoven’s anguished Moonlight Sonata, which the composer wrote as he began to go deaf. Jonas’ grandparents, Paul and Sally, have been deaf for nearly 80 years, but unlike Jonas, the majority of their lives were shaped by silence. As Jonas dives deeper into Beethoven’s music, his grandparents begin to feel the gulf that lies between them. The story becomes an intergenerational tale of deafness and a deeply personal portrait of three lives, and the discoveries that lie beyond loss. Directed by Emmy® winner Irene Taylor Brodsky.
FINDING THE WAY HOME (December)
J.K. Rowling’s LUMOS foundation highlights the distressing circumstances for the eight million children living in orphanages and other institutions around the world and focuses on reuniting them with extended family members or placing them into loving foster families. Finding The Way Home interweaves insights from families who have been torn apart, the social workers who have helped reunite them and the dedicated foster parents who have taken in children with stigmatizing disabilities, to illustrate what it truly means to be home. Directed by Emmy® winners Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill.”
From The Hollywood Reporter: “Hulu is entering the world of Douglas Adams with a series adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
“Carlton Cuse (Lost, Jack Ryan) and Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman) are collaborating on the project, sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter. The show comes from Disney's ABC Signature, the division of ABC Studios that focuses on development for cable and streaming outlets.
“Cuse and his Genre Arts company have an overall deal at ABC Studios.
“Hulu declined comment.
“Adams created Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as a radio series for the BBC and later turned the story into a series of six novels. The saga centers on an Englishman, Arthur Dent, who becomes a space traveler after Earth is destroyed by an alien race to make room for an intergalactic highway bypass.
“Fuchs will write the show and executive produce with Cuse. Disney, the majority owner of Hulu, owns the rights to Adams' novels and produced a 2005 Hitchhiker's Guide feature film that starred Martin Freeman, Mos Def and Zooey Deschanel.
“Cuse is also co-showrunner of Locke & Key at Netflix, but stepped away from showrunning duties on Amazon's Jack Ryan following production on season two (which has yet to air). Fuchs has a story credit on Wonder Womanand has also written the features Pan and Ice Age: Continental Drift.
“The Hitchhiker's Guide project will look to join an expanding roster of Hulu originals that includes The Handmaid's Tale, Veronica Mars, Harlots, Runaways, The Act, Castle Rock, Ramy, Shrill, Pen15, Letterkenny and the upcoming Looking for Alaska and Little Fires Everywhere. Seth MacFarlane's sci-fi series The Orville is also moving to the streamer for its third season after previously airing on Fox.”
Per Variety, “As Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs prepares to reprise Making the Band, Danity Kane’s Aubrey O’Day is still recovering from trauma that followed her run on the MTV series.
“Under Diddy’s guidance, the 35-year-old singer found fame in reality television, first on Making the Band, which auditioned hopeful vocalists for a spot in a to-be-formed music group. The show was launched in 2000 on ABC by late music mogul Lou Pearlman (who formed O-Town on the series’ first season) before Diddy took over the franchise for MTV in 2002, leading to the formation of groups including Danity Kane and Day 26.
“Reflecting on her time on the series during an interview with Variety, O’Day claims she experienced behavior from Diddy that she believes he would ‘not at all’ get away with these days. ‘Diddy’s a father, so hopefully he’s learned things about the way that you handle women and has more compassion for women now,’ she says.
“O’Day and Diddy had a rocky relationship during the series, which culminated in Diddy ejecting her and bandmate Wanita D. Woods from the group in 2008. Remaining members Dawn Richard, Aundrea Fimbres and Shannon Bex continued before eventually disbanding.
“‘Puff is a very difficult person to work with,’ O’Day says. ‘Everything had to be perfect. I remember times where he looked at my toenails and was like, “What is your third toenail doing? Go get that sh– fixed before you walk into a room.” Or we would be in rehearsals performing an hour-and-a-half set over and over and he would walk in for five minutes with a camera and say, “Aubrey, why are you sweating? You look like a wet dog. You’re the hot one, so do you think anyone wants to see that?”’
“‘We were scared to death with what would happen with Puff each day,’ she continues. ‘There was just no room for error. Diddy was one of the most intense people you could ever work with. I experienced everything from race [remarks] to sexism and a lot of it was scary. I have a very strong mom who wasn’t necessarily a nurturer and I remember one time as a kid I hit my knee and as it was bleeding everywhere, she said, “Suck it up Aubrey!” That was proper training for what I would experience on Making the Band.’
“Tough moments on national television were a world away from O’Day’s ambitions as a teenager growing up in Palm Desert, California. Coming from a family of attorneys, she had plans to study international law at Columbia University, until her mom, Kandy Allen, emailed her about an ad in the local newspaper stating that Diddy was searching for a girl ‘that sings like Christina and dances like Britney.’ Allen encouraged her daughter to audition, noting that as an attorney herself, she didn’t feel law offered the creativity O’Day sought in life, and that having to constantly prove herself as a woman in the field might overshadow the work itself.
“Unable to find a ride to the audition, O’Day put the idea aside and went to bed, but says that night she dreamed that she made the band and became an international success. Sure enough, a friend offered to take her to the audition the next morning and she was accepted. ‘I never looked back,’ she reflects. ‘It changed the course of my life. It was a really exciting time … before I knew everything I know now.’
“Before O’Day was dismissed by Diddy, Danity Kane released two albums under his Bad Boy Records label, but she says band dynamics became frayed and she questioned why they would continue while so unhappy as a group when they weren’t making substantial money. Their manager, Johnny Wright, encouraged her to stick with the band, pointing out that talent was ‘always replaceable’ in showbiz and that the minute they surrendered their musical dreams, a new band would likely swoop in and take the spotlight.
“‘As we got bigger, there was a lot of division in the group because the men wanted to put the women in categories – the pretty one, the one who sings,’ she explains. ‘But the pretty one wanted to be a singer and the singer wanted to be known as pretty, so then you start disliking the people around you because of the boxes that the men want to put you in. And there were always cameras around, so we got used to not speaking openly with each other because we never wanted to make this show a battlefield for tantrums. We wanted to represent women in a good way.’
“Despite the struggles she faced during the show, O’Day says the experience taught her not to depend on anyone (subsequently learning all facets of the industry from how to edit a music video to writing her own songs and handling hair and makeup) and she’s excited about the return of Making the Band.
“However, her excitement at the announcement was clouded by her own hopes to reunite Danity Kane for a similar series. While she, Bex and Richard reformed last year and recently released a new song, Neon Lights, coinciding with a tour, O’Day says she had also been in pitch meetings with MTV, trying to sell a show concept involving all five members uniting to put a new girl group together on television.
“O’Day thinks Diddy’s star power made him more appealing to work with, but she hopes that MTV might still consider her pitch, adding that a network with female executives should be encouraging more talent shows which empower women.
“While her passion lies with such a series, in the meantime O’Day is busy with another MTV show – Ex on the Beach, which sees celebrities looking for love amid sun, sand and surf, only to find their former exes showing up. The first episode saw O’Day discuss Donald Trump Jr., with whom she allegedly had an affair with in 2001 while Trump was married to Vanessa Trump. In the episode, O’Day declared Trump her ‘soulmate.’
“O’Day has moved on from both Trump and her famous ex, Jersey Shore star Pauly DJ Pauly D DelVecchio, and can now be seen looking for love on Ex on the Beach. ‘I had a year-and-a-half of therapy after dating Pauly D because it was an incredibly toxic relationship and I lost myself completely,’ she says. ‘I had to learn how to love with boundaries because if you don’t, you will bend yourself over so far back that you will break your back. I learned how to love with boundaries and I’m still testing it out and you’ll see some of that play out on the show.’”
This article has been condensed. And she looks absolute horrible on the aforementioned Ex On The Beach.
Per The Ringer, “[s]o little has changed inside the four walls of Litchfield Penitentiary, and yet so much has transformed outside of them. That’s what newly paroled inmate Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) learns in the seventh and final season of Orange Is the New Black, as she struggles to readjust after 18 months on the inside. Litchfield may have experienced staffing changes, inmate turnover, and in one daring-if-failed experiment of a season, a convulsive riot. But the place remains, as institutions are designed to, spirit-crushingly static, resistant to any individuals who try to change it. Meanwhile, the rest of the world has continued at its normal pace: Piper’s brother had a baby; her ex has married her ex-best friend; her circle has long since adjusted to her absence. Piper’s been gone for a relatively short period of time, but she’s emerged into a landscape she can barely recognize.
“The same could be said for Orange Is the New Black itself. Jenji Kohan’s carceral dramedy premiered in 2013, when Peak TV was still but a twinkle in Ted Sarandos’s eye. Along with House of Cards, Orange was half of the dual gauntlet thrown by the then-upstart streaming service making its first foray into original programming, give or take a Lilyhammer. The two series represented radically different, if equally ambitious, ideas of blockbuster programming—Netflix essentially covering its bases as it prepared to make a staggering bet. House of Cards brought together an Academy Award–winning star and a revered auteur for a grim, antihero-led, crisply photographed plunge into the political underworld. Though it presaged the blurred lines between film and television, House largely conformed to both mediums’ pre-existing ideas of prestige: star-fronted, cynical, and distinctly masculine.
“From the beginning, Orange was different. Its signature creative force hailed from TV, not film; Kohan, an alumna of classic sitcoms like Mad About You and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, was coming off the successful run of her Showtime series Weeds. A suburban farce about a soccer mom who breaks into pot dealing, Weeds introduced a core element of Kohan’s creative signature: a tone that seesawed between searingly funny and deadly serious, with stakes that could turn from petty to dire on a moment’s notice. Orange kept this trademark and added another: the diverse, sprawling ensemble without a true protagonist, starting with a gateway figure but quickly outgrowing her. (This setup has been passed down virtually unchanged to Orange’s successor series, GLOW, which Kohan executive produces.)
“House of Cards ended last year under extreme circumstances; accounts of sexual assault and harassment by Kevin Spacey forced an abrupt end to a once-marquee property. The specifics of the situation meant Cards’ conclusion became about far more than entertainment. Long-announced and intentionally planned, Orange’s home stretch prompts another kind of reflection. With both of Netflix’s opening salvos wrapped up, it’s a fitting occasion to look back on what’s shifted since that telltale “duh-dunnn” first echoed through the world’s living rooms.
“Six years ago, conversations about diversity and representation had yet to become the lingua franca, in part because Orange had yet to start them. People of color, LGBT people, immigrants, and the disabled are not a trend. These communities predate any single show, as does art representing them, as does the desire for more of said art. But Orange did more to thrust these issues into the popular consciousness than any single show before or since. In contrast to a white, straight, and male default, the volume and confidence of Orange’s unconventional casting stood out like a yuppie Brooklynite in a prison. Orange didn’t just have a female protagonist; it had almost exclusively female roles. Orange didn’t just have black, queer, poor, or Asian characters; it had several of each, ensuring none were forced to stand alone or play mouthpiece. Orange didn’t dip its toe into inclusive storytelling; it dove in headfirst.
“It’s hard to overstate the novelty, and therefore impact, this sea of then-unfamiliar faces had on audiences. This M.O. immediately yielded a bumper crop of rising stars: Uzo Aduba, as the eccentric yet well-meaning Suzanne Warren; Laverne Cox, as the transgender hairstylist Sophia Burset; Danielle Brooks, as the ebullient Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson. Simply by example, Orange started to redefine the idea of the protagonist, both in the sense of who could carry a show and whether a show had to be carried by a single person in the first place. By Kohan’s own admission, Piper was intended as a ‘Trojan horse’ into stories less frequently placed at the center of a narrative. Once viewers had been trained to care about Piper’s fellow inmates, her purpose was served and her role receded to that of one bit player among many. Prison is, by definition, a place where society sequesters those it would prefer to forget: the sick, the old, the difficult, the marginalized. Orange gave them the spotlight.
“The House of Cards prestige model is far from dead, even if the series itself has rapidly faded from our collective memory. Netflix, like other networks, remains eager to work with name-brand directors and ever-bigger stars. (Cards even inaugurated a long-term relationship with David Fincher, which has since yielded two seasons of Mindhunter and an upcoming feature.) But going forward, Orange’s template seems fated to be more influential. Television is too chaotic an industry to have an easily traceable domino fall of cause and effect. Still, looking at a landscape that now includes such perspective-driven series as Transparent, Jane the Virgin, High Maintenance, Master of None, Atlanta, Insecure, One Day at a Time,Euphoria, and Russian Doll, it’s hard to imagine all of them existing in a world without Orange as a precedent. GLOW may be the most direct follow-up to Orange, but it’s by no means the only show to bear its fingerprints.
“The legacy of Orange as a series is inextricable from the rise of Netflix as a platform. Orange was one of the first shows most fans experienced via binge, a then-novel concept of marathoning a season hours at a time, often finishing in the space of a weekend. Streaming-native TV as a whole would take years to catch up to this titanic shift in viewing habits, overcompensating with bloated runtimes and abandoning structured episodes without a ready replacement. Orange, on the other hand, was a natural fit, intuiting this new rhythm on a miraculous first try. Such a massive cast, with scores of names to remember and bit players who fade into the background for hours at a time, likely couldn’t have worked on a weekly release schedule. On Netflix, Orange could open its second season by spending a full hour on Piper alone, assured viewers would just click a button afterward to rejoin the main action. It wasn’t just that Orange helped put streaming on the map. It was that Orange suggested there was a way to make TV specifically for streaming. The show’s home was also its format, and that format wasn’t just incidental to its artistic goals—it actively assisted in meeting them. What a lack of censors or commercial breaks was to cable, density could be for the internet.
“In the years since Orange’s premiere, Netflix has seized on diversity as something of a calling card. Often, the company has done so cynically, as when it attempted to soften the blow of cancelling One Day at a Time by touting its bona fides. But Netflix has also backed this rhetoric up with real investment, starting with a show about women of every age, race, size, and sexual orientation forced to endure together. The animated rainbow logo that plays before every Netflix product stands for the queasy idea that catering to every demographic is good business for a corporation that wants to be in every household. Yet Orange was an early indication that Netflix’s global ambitions could also incentivize good art.
“Season 7 of Orange is neither its worst nor its best. For a deliberately decentralized patchwork, an ending is an inherently tricky exercise. Why stop now when you’ve already made the case you could go on forever? The prison-industrial complex isn’t going to wind down anytime soon, nor will Litchfield run out of inmates. Orange tries to maneuver around this problem by awkwardly reattaching itself to Piper’s journey as she navigates parole, though the audience has long stopped viewing her as a surrogate. Still, Orange admirably multitasks by introducing yet more women for the system to indifferently persecute and the show to empathetically shade in, many of them through a topical subplot set at an ICE detention center. (One of the more tragic indications that Orange was well ahead of its time is how well positioned it is to address the carceral state’s latest horrific outgrowth.)
“On top of these already significant undertakings, Orange lumps in the standard final-season work of revisiting old friends, whether transferred prisoners or fired guards. Understandably, the episodes visibly strain to accomplish everything they set out to, particularly toward the very end. Delivering closure, let alone dozens of forms of it, is hard. But there’s arguably no more Orange way to go out than biting off slightly more than it can chew. Besides, exactly how Orange ends is of little significance compared to how it will live on—and that was guaranteed long ago.”