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By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 6, 2014

The second season of "Orange Is the New Black" is now available on Netflix. I previewed the first three episodes, and was glad as all get out to have the show back.

Confident from the beginnnig, it seems even more so, fully content to sideline Piper for an entire episode because the other characters are so strong. And its message about women and power is even more pointed in the new season, not only in how the inmates are treated by people outside the prison (think about the way the prison job fair goes) but in the power they have in their own lives and in the prison structure.

Keep an eye on a fine performance by Lorraine Toussaint as a new character, especially in the third episode, which is so affecting about Suzanne (aka Crazy Eyes) that it made me tear up a little. Uzo Aduba is superb as Suzanne, by the way, but she's able to do so because Jenji Kohan's vision and writing keep giving the actresses great moments to work with; Taylor Schilling, as Piper, has two early on. And there's a sense that nothing is insignificant on the show, which also neatly circles back to the first-season finale.

I have a few thoughts on how folks should prepare to greet local visitors during the Gay Games, which come to Cleveland and Akron in August.

"NY Med," the latest real-life hospital series from ABC, has moved its premiere date from June 24 to June 26.

 

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