Well, the first two seasons were good. This third one represents a sudden and significant drop in quality. Most of the main characters are the same; it’s the dialogue and storyline that can’t, for even one episode, manage to rise above mediocrity. The comedy is mostly lame and the drama arcs are silly and underwhelming in comparison to the ruckus Vee, now dead, brought in Season 2. Inmate Piper Chapman and her baggy eyes have become almost completely unlikeable. The fact that “transsexual” men are still men is (finally) addressed and the plot makes practical use of the women’s dirty panties, but there’s not much else to compliment about this disappointing season.
my rating = 3 of 5
The first episode is an odd and unnecessary departure. After it, the series goes back to normal, or at least as normal as it gets at Litchfield Penitentiary, which isn’t normal at all. If there does exist a real-life prison with a cast of characters enveloped in a neverending drama storm this entertaining, their story isn’t shot and edited this brilliantly. Forget Piper Chapman. Her mess of a love life is overshadowed by the other, more interesting people around her; the familiar ones from Season 1. The new inmates are more caricatural than realistic, but Vee at least provides the plot with a major source of conflict and Soso is cute to look at.
my rating = 4 of 5
Piper Chapman is bisexual. I don’t think that word is ever said during the entire season, but that’s what she is. She’s not “straight” nor a “lesbian”. She’s into girls and guys, or at least one of each; her fiancé Larry and her girlfriend Alex. It’s an important distinction because the theme of Orange revolves around sex and romance. It’s a prison soap opera filled with constant drama. The analogy is high school because what’s petty in the real world is serious enough to fight or kill someone for in prison. There are also plenty of laughs. It’s the combination that entices as you find yourself coming back to follow not just the lives of Chapman and her two partners, but also her fellow inmates; one of which really is a fellow.
Why a man, albeit one who alters his body to be like a woman, is sent to a women’s prison is never addressed, though the scenes sometimes cut from current time to backstory. Each episode focuses on one or two characters, and that does wonders to humanize them, but it’s not consistent. Certain people are covered more than once while others are completely overlooked. Also, the initial idea to end each episode with a wild cliffhanger is abandoned after only three. Soon a show that started-off great has settled into an inferior comfort zone. The drama is sometimes over-the-top and the comedy occasionally misses the mark; the Michael Jackson bit comes to mind; but the show is both zany and endearing on the whole.
my rating = 4 of 5
I’m surprised to hear a song like this from KRS-One. It’s a story about him having sex with a girl who’s thirteen years old, which, as far as the law is concerned, makes him a rapist. That’s despite the fact that the girl never bothered to tell him her age until he asked. By then, it was too late. They’d already done it and she’d already began to develop romantic feelings for him. “I want to be with you forever,” she tells him the next morning.
It’s a tricky predicament and a serious issue for men, and women, who go to parties looking for sex, but KRS-One handles it with misplaced satire by getting the girl’s “Pops” involved and ending the story with a rather outrageous twist. What her father does is possible but extremely unlikely under the circumstances. It’s a major turn-off on a song that was relatively believable until that point. The pointless “moral” epilogue makes it worse.
my rating = 3 of 5
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Niesha Nicole Jackson, 35, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Kimberly Mueller to 15 years and seven months in prison for bank fraud and failure to appear for sentencing, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Jackson had failed to appear for sentencing on the bank fraud conviction in 2011 and had been living as a fugitive until April 2014.
On July 30, 2009, a federal grand jury indicted Jackson on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of bank fraud. According to court documents, Jackson was part of a credit card scheme that netted over one million dollars in losses to 37 banks in 2007 and 2008. Operating from California, the scheme’s organizers sent runners to Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas to use prepaid credit cards at banks for cash advances. Although the cards only had small amounts of money available, the runners would tell the bank tellers to call a toll-free number that was controlled by Jackson or another co-conspirator. Jackson, posing as a card services representative, would mislead the bank employee into believing that there were thousands of dollars available on the card, and then would instruct the teller what buttons to press on the card terminal in order to make the transaction go through. After receiving the cash, the runner would keep a portion, and the rest of the fraudulently obtained funds would go to the organizers in the Sacramento area. Jackson pleaded guilty in March 2010, but then failed to appear at her sentencing.
While she was a fugitive, Jackson was featured on CNBC’s program “American Greed: The Fugitives” and labeled as the “Bank Robbing Babe.” In April 2014, after receiving information that Jackson was in Fairfield, the Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force, composed of U.S. Marshals and state and local agencies, set up surveillance and arrested her at a hotel. When Jackson was arrested, she had in her possession jewelry, a Cartier wristwatch, five pairs of luxury-brand shoes, 27 luxury-brand purses, and a T-shirt with “BR Babe” printed on it.
At sentencing today, Jackson addressed the Court and said that she had panicked on the day of her sentencing, and while on the run, she knew that one day it “would all come to an end.” Judge Mueller commented that in 2011, she had been inclined to impose a 10‑year sentence on Jackson, but that today, a longer sentence was necessary to send a message to defendants who might think about absconding. The judge said that even if Jackson had panicked on the day of sentencing, “she had plenty of time to think about it.” Thus, the Court imposed an increased sentence of 12 and a half years for the bank fraud and an additional, consecutive three years and one month for the charge of failure to appear.
This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from police and sheriff’s departments in several states. Seven other defendants have previously been convicted and sentenced for their roles in the conspiracy. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew D. Segal prosecuted the case.