Caged Heat – Am I seeing double ?

Posted: June 25, 2015 in TV

As luck would have it, and under strict medical supervision, the two preeminent shows about women in prison are being watched together – OITNB (as all Hipster dufi call it) and Wentworth. One is all orange , the other goes for a very fetching pale blue. One is Aussie and the other Yank. In fact there are not a lot of similarities at all except that at least they have both moved to the 21st century and not all gay women are depicted as butch dykes hit with the ugly stick – although still a smattering to be sure. And the stick did not miss, trust me. I should add that I understand gay women about as well as I understand your basic hetero version so its all a mystery to me still. The biggest difference though is in the grit factor and sense of danger if you like. OITNB has really mellowed to the point that it could be set in an LPGA locker room now while Wentworth depicts a more shiv happy world which is likely a more realistic depiction of life behind bars. But this is TV land after all, so which is the better show?

Both offer different viewing enjoyment. Wentworth is the winner for moi because it provides drama and suspense and characters you care about. All season built well to an excellent finale which answered some questions, left a few maybes swirling and of course set up the next battle for Bea. This is what a season finale should do – keep you hooked and not pissed off at delaying tactics as the season stretch continues. OITNB on the other hand was a bit like Summer Camp on steroids. There was no big baddie this season but there were some very funny lines, mostly throw away lines from the lesser characters. They ditched one of the better characters half way through – Nicky – and ditched one of the more annoying ones – Bennett – as well. The corporate take over worked well with Caputo a stand out as usual. There was no great character arc to follow and as such you were not hanging out for the next episode as you did with Wentworth. As such, it would be a better model to have Wentworth as a binge watch and OITNB a weekly sit down with slippers and a cuppa. OITNB of course comes from the creator of Weeds which faded after a strong start. I doubt the same will happen with OITNB but there has been a drop off since Season 1. Eventually we have to have seen all of the main characters back stories so one assumes more will have to actually happen in the present day each episode in ensuing seasons. This should be a good thing.

At the end of the day both are great viewing and you have to love the Netflix model – and support it! With Wentworth we are stuck with Fuxtel – especially now that our leaders have progressed down their desired path – back to 1950. Interesting times ahead.

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