Shameless says goodbye to its first Gallagher sibling in a fitting yet frustrating farewell

B-

When a main character exits a long-running series, it’s typically a time for reflection: for more than eight seasons, Ian Gallagher has been a critical part of Shameless, and one of the longest-running primetime explorations of homosexuality in the past decade. There are fans of the show who were drawn in by Ian’s…

It's equal parts satisfying and alarming when Orange Is The New Black's season finally kicks into gear

A-

I have my issues with the haphazard plotting that Orange Is The New Black can fall into during the middle section of its seasons, but I can’t deny that the show knows how to use it to its advantage as its stories start to converge. I went into “Double Trouble” feeling like the season had failed to generate much…

Orange Is The New Black is still juggling tones, even in its most consistently dramatic season

B-

Although I’d argue this season of Orange Is The New Black has been fairly uneven in terms of its storytelling, one thing is more balanced than ever: this is, at its core, a dramatic television show. Whereas even during the riot it felt like there were characters and storylines that existed solely for comic relief,…

There's positive momentum and negative momentum, and Orange Is The New Black has the latter right now

B

Since being introduced in Frieda’s flashback, Carol and Barb have had surprisingly little impact on this season of Orange Is The New Black. The idea of two sisters feuding as the leaders of C Block and D Block is a key part of the culture at Max, but the actual characters have been sketched in slowly while the show…

Taystee remains the face of OITNB's riot, but her truth isn't what everyone wants to hear

B

Although in the worst of circumstances, Taystee has been given a rare opportunity. Because of her role as the face of the riot, and because of the federal investigation choosing to focus their efforts on holding her responsible for Piscatella’s murder, she is now the face of the incarcerated people of America. People…

Orange Is The New Black tries and fails to place a new character on the same level as its existing ensemble

B-

When Orange Is The New Black first started using flashbacks, their primary purpose was to provide insight into who these women were before they became inmates at Litchfield. The show opened with Piper’s transition from civilian to inmate, but over time the flashbacks gave us a stronger sense of the journeys the other…

On both sides of the law, Orange Is The New Black struggles to move past the riot

B-

When The Good Place presented at its first Television Critics Association press tour, my question was tied to the fact that it was a rare breed: a television comedy without a status quo, or without what appeared like one. I don’t remember the specifics of creator Mike Schur’s answer, but it boiled down to “yes, that…

Does Orange Is The New Black really think this toxic relationship is anything but toxic?

C+

I am on the record here at The A.V. Club that Netflix’s “Skip Intro” feature does more harm than good, even if I will admit to using it on occasion, but I’ll admit that this season of Orange Is The New Black has probably played better to those who’ve bypassed Regina Spektor and had no idea that Laura Prepon was still…

The stakes are high on Orange Is The New Black, so naturally it’s time to check in on garbage Caputo

C+

The stakes of Orange Is The New Black have never been higher than they are in Max right now. As the FBI’s investigation of the riot continues, every word that these women say could seal their fate or the fate of one of their fellow inmates. Sometimes this is on purpose, as when Gloria uses Blanca to help pin the riot…