Culture

What’s Trending on TV: ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Brings out the Riot Gear, Tony Awards, and Ratings

Each week we will bring you the latest in television news, episode trailers, and promotional news. From what’s streaming this week to the best scenes from hit series, we’ve got you covered.

It’s the moment that Orange Is the New Black fans have been waiting for since Dayanara Diaz pulled the gun on officer Humphries in the corridor in season four. Last year’s finale ended with such a pulsating moment of panic that I continued re-watching it months later. Swarms of inmates circled Dayanara as the fateful standoff ensued. When the screen faded to orange, we were in a state of heightened disbelief . Viewers of the show spent almost a year wondering about the conclusion of the dramatic ordeal. This Friday, those who binged and spent the weekend getting annoyed by our screens asking “Are you still watching…”, got our answer. [Dear Netflix, the answer is always YES! I’ll tell you when I’ve had enough.] This season of Orange Is the New Black followed he amazing fallout from that moment both emotionally and literally. The prison’s control being relinquished to the prisoners created a wellspring of chaos. The ensemble drama does a great job of painting the many shades of vengeance and grief this season. The inmates angst is displayed as a collective frustration. Whether its the Latino, Black, racist, or clinically insane, the universal disgust for the treatment of the inmates over the past several months connects them all.

The death of Poussey Washington in season four became the match that sparked this face-off that would carry through the entire season. With so many different voices, the struggle to find leadership and direction sways each episode. This is never more obvious when Hot Cheetos and Takis are on the list of inmate demands.  Who’s on top of the pyramid of power also has severe and dangerous implications. The series highlights what happens when people are pushed to the brink. It also shows women who’s freedom has been beaten to shreds and what they’ll do grasp a sliver of  it back. Many of the characters go through questions of conscious throughout the season. Some of them relinquish loyalty, friendship, love, and more to capitalize in this moment topsy-turvy prison upheaval. Eventually, they begin to ask themselves several questions in the most violent and wild moments; Where is the line between punishment and justice? If freedom worth losing my humanity over? This season get carried by the amazing performances by the various actors and great writing that puts beautifully and layered storytelling at its center.

Tony Awards

The 2017 Tony Awards were last night. Hosted by actor Kevin Spacey, the annual theatrical award show’s most celebrated work was “Dear Evan Hansen.” The production gained six awards in total. Here’s a list of last night’s winners in major categories which included Bette Midler, Kevin Kline, and more:

Best Play
“Oslo,” Author: J.T. Rogers

Best Musical
“Dear Evan Hansen”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Kevin Kline, “Present Laughter”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Laurie Metcalf, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Ben Platt, “Dear Evan Hansen”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Bette Midler, “Hello, Dolly!”

For a full list of winners, click here.

News

– Each week closer to July 16th is a week closer to Winter. HBO continually releases videos and information on the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. New details like 71 minute and 81 minute episodes is creating excitement like no other amongst fans.The production juggernaught has been releasing old clips under the theme of “Prepare for Winter”. A few days ago HBO released its final proclamation video titled “Winter is Here”:

-Also in GOT news, actress Nell Tiger Free who played Myrcella Baratheon outlined the last-minute switch to change the way her character died. “I don’t know if I should day this, but originally what happened is they gave me those mashed up bananas with the fake blood, and my brains were supposed to be all over the ship.” If its between death and Cersei being my mother, I’ll take the poison any day.

-Television’s original Batman, Adam West, died Friday night. The 88-year old actor brought life to the character that made its television debut in 1966. West’s family released a statement following his passing, ““Our dad always saw himself as The Bright Knight and aspired to make a positive impact on his fans’ lives. He was and always will be our hero.”

-The lowest rated shows of the 2016-2017 television season has been complied. Half of the shows I never heard of and the other half evokes the memory of “Oh yeah..that show…right…” From Katherine Heigl’s (bye girl) failed drama “Doubt” to a Nick Cannon show titled “Caught ON Camera”, each show can be truly thrown into a sea of forgetfulness.

-Open TV webseries Brown Girls has picked up a development deal with HBO. Showrunners Fatimah Asghar and Samantha Bailey are bringing there hit series to the our television screens. The show centers around the friendship and bond between two young women of color navigating love, careers, and more. Start binging here.

-Television executives got together at the ATX Television Festival this weekend. Several network bosses discussed what makes a show successful, what they consider when reviving a show, and more. Jennider Salke of FX stated, ““It always amazes me that these shows can break out in a world where there is so much [TV content]. You just have to keep striving for something inspired, and you got to have a good strategy. It’s really hard. The stars have to align,” but good TV “always will find a space.”

-There was a reunion of the Alias writers at that same festival. The group spoke about the show’s legacy, casting Jennifer Garner, what it was like to premiere after 9/11, a possible revival,  and other topics.

-ABC has halted production on the spinoff Bachelor in Paradise. There was allegedly an extreme incident of misconduct on set. It was so bad that the entire cast was sent home. Warner Brothers has released a statement, “We have become aware of allegations of misconduct on the set of ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ in Mexico. We have suspended production, and we are conducting a thorough investigation of these allegations. Once the investigation is complete, we will take appropriate responsive action.” More details will surface in the coming days I’m sure.

-Consulting firm Anatomy Media did a study in Millennials and how they watch television. The study found that the age group, for the most part, couldn’t correctly match television shows to their corresponding networks. The exception to this finding was Netflix. The study also confirmed that Millennials watch broadcasts on screens other than TVs more than any other age group (duh). The “cut the cord” cable generation also could care less about Amazon original series. (“Amazon… I never heard of her…at all”)

Shock and Jaw Dropping Moment of the Week

Season 2 of the Syfy series Wynonna Earp kicked off this Friday night. For Lost Girl and Canadian television fans it was good to see actress Rachel Skarsten on the screen again. She seemed to blend well with the Earp gang that thrives on killing demons, telling fantastic Plan B jokes, and wearing cut-off tops in the winter. Sadly, in the show’s last minutes she was killed off unexpectedly. No really, me and my next door neighbors who heard my screaming had no clue. Her abrupt murder put enough fear in the evil fighting team that they signed on to work for her killers without hesitation. They literally had to sign a contract in blood which makes that the worst job interview of all time. Catch the new season of Wynonna Warp on Syfy Fridays at 9PM Est.

Promo of the Week

(Fear of the Walking Dead, Sunday at 9PM Est on AMC)

What You Should Be Watching

Shut up, just shut up, you had me at violence. You had me at violence. USA premiered the season two of its high octane drama Queen of the South last week. The show centers around Teresa Mendoza and her quest for survival after her boyfriend is murdered. Teresa’s boyfriend left her a drug trafficking book that elevates her in an all out drug war between a married couple.  Camilla Vargas and Epifanio Vargas will stop at nothing to get power and control over their counterparts territory  . Where Epifanio sees Teresa a dangerous problem that must be squashed, Camilla knows that the information in the book can destroy Epifanio for good. As Teresa tries to secure the safety of her loved ones and herself in this dangerous world, she begins to ascend through the ranks. The show has great action, moments of extreme plot twists, and scandal.

Tweets of the Week

 


You can follow Candis McLean on Twitter (@CandisRMcLean) and e-mail her at candis.mclean@gmail.com. Follow Philly Influencer on Twitter (@PHL_Influencer), Facebook and Instagram.

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