When new shows come flying out of the gate to rave reviews, tuning in for Season 2 is always a gamble: Will the show be better than ever or face the dreaded sophomore slump? We’ve seen it go either way and the latter option is not pretty.
We’ll soon know the answer for Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black,” the women’s prison drama that debuted last summer and earned more buzz than even the highly-hyped”House of Cards.” The Season 2 trailer hit the Internet on Thursday morning, and from all looks of things (violence, threats, screaming guards) the stories will be out of control in the upcoming episodes.
Netflix shows are a curious test case for sophomore slumps because they’re on a completely warped schedule. Many viewers fly through all 13 episodes of the first season in one weekend. And after waiting an entire year for content that they consumed over the course of a few days many months ago, expectations can be sky high even as viewers struggle to remember plotlines since everything was a long-ago blur. That’s especially true on a show as crowded as this one, with an ensemble cast of characters who are all connected in various ways.
As a result of this skewed timetable, Netflix creators and producers are no doubt under pressure to battle against the combination of anticipation and apathy, and one way to do this is make sure the second season is as crazy as possible. That can have mixed results: “House of Cards” was as twisted as ever, but also seemed to slow down to a crawl in Season 2.
However, it appears “Orange” is ramping things up. There’s no sign of Pennsatucky, whom lead character Piper was seen beating to a pulp at the end of Season 1; however, we do get manic-looking Piper with a self-satisfied grin locked up in solitary confinement.
“I’m a lone wolf and a vicious one,” Piper growls. “Don’t make me rip your throat out.”
Other scenes: Red confronting an old, scary enemy who returns to the prison; lots of yelling from the guards, a gun going off; and characters foreshadowing the madness. (“There’s a storm coming,” whispers one. “This is like, next level crazy,” fumes another.”)
And a terrified new character, saying what everyone’s thinking: “This is not how I imagined prison to be at all.” The second season of “Orange is the New Black” premieres June 6.