All The Questions I Have After Binge Watching All Five Seasons of Wentworth
This post is a clear departure from my usual topics and has nothing to do with green living, parenting, or even politics. It is purely a self-indulgent deep dive into a series that has riveted me and been literally the only thing to take my eyes off MSNBC in 15 months. This post is dedicated to my Facebook friends who recommended it and sent me into a six-week binge bender.
Wentworth is an Australian series taking place in a women’s prison – but Orange is the New Black it is not. And at first, I was concerned that it would just be grim – none of those comedic undertones from our favorite OINTB characters. But it strapped me to my seat and would not let me up until it was damn ready. And the best part – in less than a year I will get to watch a brand new season.
One of the best things about binge-watching this show was reading the episode recaps by Elaine Atwell. She wrote the first 4 seasons on AfterEllen and Season 5 on her own Web site, The Dart.
Spoiler Alert: Do Not Read This Unless You Have Finished All Five Seasons. If you have not, bookmark this and come see me when you are done.
OK, so we have to start with the comparison between Australian and U.S. prison life. I must assume that, much like OINTB, Wentworth is attempting a realistic portrayal with some level of advisement. And if this is true, maximum security Australian prison beats the hell out of U.S. minimum security. In fact, I wonder if Australia even has minimum security prison if this show is mixing murderers with minor drug offenders?That said, the maximum security prison private single room rivals my Freshman dorm room. Your own television? Closed door privacy? An en-suite toilet and sink? In America, you get stacked like factory hens in an open room with a filthy toilet down the hall and a communal TV room. Also, in Australia completely open lesbian prison relationships are totally cool. You can make out in the hallway and sleep in the same bed. In the morning you can share a cuppa in the private alcove. Apart from all the shivving and cavity searches, it looks quite comfy.
Also, the uniforms are optional? How did Sonya Stevens have a full wardrobe of her own clothes to wear? Also Sonya’s whole plotline – NO. This is not Dynasty. Enough of all of this. Leave Liz alone!
I get that the inmates keep being dragged back, unable to escape this place (Save for Doreen – let her live!). But what does it take for a guard to decide that maybe this isn’t the greatest job in the world? They literally will not resign. You can torture them, physically assault them, murder their spouse, and make their lives a living hell but quitting this particular line of work does not seem to be an option – even for a staff of guards who seem to all be quite well-off and completely devoid of family ties.
Briefly back to Doreen – what have they done to her child’s hair? Is this an Australian trend? What is that to do to a one-year-old? I can not find a photo of this but just trust me, it’s bizarre.
What the hell happened to Kelly Bryant in Season 2, the former inmate under Ferguson who reveals she used to torture the inmates? She went into a dark room, confessed all this to Fletch, and was never heard from again. Did I miss something?
Elaine Atwell pointed this out in her recap but it begs repeating: what is up with all the welding when they are making tiny wooden boxes and putting them in larger wooden boxes (coffins)? Wouldn’t this lend itself more to carpentry than metal shop? WHAT IS BOOMER WELDING?
Speaking of Boomer, why could we not leave Maxine well enough alone? She was one of the best characters and they had to take her away? And they had to give this poor transgender woman breast cancer so she has to lose the physical traits that have helped define her identity? So cruel. They better bring her back!
The season four finale brought me to my knees in absolutely hysterical tears. I am a masochist and want to feel that gut-wrenching pain again.
They can twist the knife so well without resorting to horror movie cliches like the tongue-cutting dentist or the buried-alive villain – yet they do. Truly though, I will not miss Ferguson. But they will pry Franky from my cold, dead hands. Seriously I don’t care if she is in or out of prison – just make her the main focus of the show forever and I will forgive all other transgressions.