Orange is the New Black Season Two (Blu-ray) Official AVS Forum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-23-2015, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Orange is the New Black Season Two (Blu-ray) Official AVS Forum Review



Check out our review of season two of this dark comedy that follows engaged Brooklynite Piper Chapman, whose wild past comes back to haunt her and results in her arrest and detention in a federal penitentiary. To pay her debt to society, Piper trades her comfortable New York life for an orange prison jumpsuit and finds unexpected conflict and camaraderie amidst an eccentric group of inmates.




The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

87



Details:

Studio and Year: Lionsgate - 2014
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 774 minutes
Genre: Drama/Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Jason Biggs, Kate Mulgrew, Natasha Lyonne, Pablo Schreiber, Taryn Manning, Michelle Hurst, Uzo Aduba, Matt McGorry, Danielle Brooks, Yael Stone, Jessica Pimentel, Laverne Cox, Lorraine Toussaint
Directed by: Various
Written by: Piper Kerman & Jenji Kohan
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 19, 2015


"Back with conviction"


My Take:

Based on the best-selling memoir by Piper Kerman, Orange Is the new black is a darkly comedic series that follows Piper Chapman (Schilling) when a crime she committed in her past sends her to an all-women’s prison with an unforgettable and irreverent group of fellow inmates. Shocking revelations and new arrivals shake up the lives and relationships of Litchfield's prisoners in this highly anticipated second season.

I watched Orange is the new black season two with my wife when it debuted on Netflix streaming and as with season one we were instantly drawn in. This is a well written comedy/drama with a character driven narrative derived from a cache of wonderfully infused and evolving subplots that orbit around Piper Chapman. I find the show to be more drama than comedy as the innate social themes are infused with the communal undertow of prison life and the daily struggles/conflicts that accompany it. The show is compelling and successfully keeps you off balance as the storyline shifts, ebbs, flows and suspends while effectively drawing you into its world. I found the superbly developed interpersonal relationships some clearly defined while others remain somewhat ambiguous, to be the show’s foundation serving to be the springboard from which the juiciest plot points and demonstrably engaging moments are derived from. Definitely an adult drama there is mature themes, sexual interplay, and tongue and cheek humor that underpin the proceedings.

Season two includes wonderfully infused subplots that provide a series of secondary characters that accent the stable of primary characters and their respective storylines while adding complimentary supporting subtext. As with season one, some are conveyed via flashback sequences that allow a bit of an escape from the confines of the prison and provide an enriching connection to who these people were before we met them. Tedium never sets in as the correlation between the past and present is seamless within the narrative’s context. Star Taylor Schilling owns the character of Piper Chapman and serves as the catalyst for the show’s terrific ensemble cast which this season got more of a chance to shine. Several new faces appear this season but probably none has the impact of Lorraine Toussaint’s “Vee” who is simply marvelous in the villainous role. Kudos to the show’s writing and directing team who provided such an engaging flow throughout the season. We loved Orange is the new black’s > second season and eagerly look forward to season three.


Parental Guide:

The show contains mature themes, sexual content, brief nudity and language.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 84
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element): NA


Video: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Orange is the new black season two comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 19 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.1 Mbps.

This 1.78:1 framed video presentation offers appreciable high definition resolution that has a satisfying glossy aesthetic. Images are stable and sharp with plenty of discernible texture and revealing fine detail during close-ups. Many of the show’s sequences are shot in uneven and low lighting. Shadow delineation and depth is quite good. Blacks are deep while exhibiting appreciable dynamic range with stable yet slightly elevated contrast that never infringes upon fidelity. Colors are snappy and bright and sullen and muted where appropriate. Fleshtones appear descriptive with variable depth that brings out the differing complexional types among the cast. This whistle clean and faithful high definition presentation bests the Netflix streamed image and looks great.

The DTS-HD MA soundtrack features crystal clear dialogue, gratifying dynamic range and a subtle, yet enriching surround sound mix. I was pleased with its use of spacial dimension and directional cues to create a realistic and occasionally immersive sound field. This worked hand in hand with show’s music to build tension and drive its thematic elements. I thought it sounded quite good.


Bonus Features:
  • (HD) Back before the potato sack – 15 minute featurette
  • (HD) Orange peeled – 15 minute featurette
  • (HD) A walk around the block – 7 minute featurette
  • (HD) The VEE.I.P treatment – 10 minute featurette
  • Cast/crew audio commentaries on episodes “Hugs can be deceiving” and “You also have a pizza”
  • Digital HD Copy





Final Thoughts:

Adapted from the memoir of writer Piper Kerman Orange is the new black is a well written and compelling prison dramedy that pulls few punches and leaves you hankering for more. Kudos to the show’s writing and directing team who provided such an engaging flow throughout season two. The Netflix original series comes to Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound and a fair supplemental package that offers insights from the cast, crew, and creative team. For fans that wish to own the series on home video Orange is the new black season two on Blu-ray is the way to go.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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post #2 of 9 Old 05-23-2015, 12:12 PM
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Bring it....
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-23-2015, 05:27 PM
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why isnt it in 4k yet?
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-23-2015, 11:28 PM
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If anyone has ever respected me....







Bring it....
What I meant to say was... I like this series a lot. First few episodes are a bit slow, but necessary for the build up and character development. Highly recommended
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-23-2015, 11:43 PM
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I zoomed through Season 1 and the first couple of Season 2, and then it seemed to slow down a bit. I hope that Season 3 is more like Season 1. Can't wait for Season 3. OTOH, why bother reviewing the Blu-Ray? The only reason anyone would buy it is if they have a really crappy internet connection.
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-24-2015, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post
I zoomed through Season 1 and the first couple of Season 2, and then it seemed to slow down a bit. I hope that Season 3 is more like Season 1. Can't wait for Season 3. OTOH, why bother reviewing the Blu-Ray? The only reason anyone would buy it is if they have a really crappy internet connection.
Many rural areas do not have broadband and Satellite is not a viable option due to caps ...
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-25-2015, 10:40 AM
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Season 2 was a big letdown for me compared to season 1. Based on employed TV critics, my opinion is in the minority.

Here's hoping season is better and is actually better than season 1. If it regresses like season 2 did then I'll probably be done with this show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post
I zoomed through Season 1 and the first couple of Season 2, and then it seemed to slow down a bit. I hope that Season 3 is more like Season 1. Can't wait for Season 3. OTOH, why bother reviewing the Blu-Ray? The only reason anyone would buy it is if they have a really crappy internet connection.
Not everyone has/wants Netflix and some people actually like to watch content in top quality rather than inferior streaming quality. Using what you said, one could ask why bother reviewing any blu-ray if the show/movie is available on Netflix....
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-25-2015, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfergie View Post
Many rural areas do not have broadband and Satellite is not a viable option due to caps ...
Right. A really crappy internet connection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlindo View Post
Season 2 was a big letdown for me compared to season 1. Based on employed TV critics, my opinion is in the minority.
I don't get what the critics are saying because everyone I talked to at work, myself included, like Season 1 a lot more.

Quote:
Not everyone has/wants Netflix and some people actually like to watch content in top quality rather than inferior streaming quality. Using what you said, one could ask why bother reviewing any blu-ray if the show/movie is available on Netflix....
SuperHD is really, really good. Well, for Netflix original stuff, it seems really stupid to review the Blu-Ray like a year after everyone already watched it on Netflix. AVS should review the SuperHD version instead, since it's just as good of a video quality anyway, and would be much more timely. It's not like TV where MPEG-2 over compression makes stuff look like crap.
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-26-2015, 09:15 AM
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I'm one who much prefers the disc equivalent over streaming. That being said, I am glad I watched this one on my trial month with netflix recently, because it did not grab me at all. I finished season's one and two just to see if it would catch my interest more, but it didn't. I might have wasted money on the blu-rays had I not had that month free on netflix.

I am all for the women-dominated cast. I just can't connect or feel for Piper as a main character at all. Alex Vause was more engaging than Piper was, but she's only in like half of the show (currently). I just didn't care all that much on the back story of the rest of the cast, either.

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