Saturday, August 3, 2013

Bring Back Wheelchair Kid!

"Orange Is The New Black" generally succeeds at whatever it tries to do, so I was a little let down by the Episode 10 scenes with the "scared straight" wheelchair user kid. There's a followup scene with her where she's more of device to advance regular characters' plots. It's a better scene than this one, but this one has more interesting disability stuff.

The idea of a gang-banging wheelchair user works for this show, but the way the character is played is kind of lackluster. I think she's supposed to come off as bad-ass, but though her words are tough, her affect is sort of limp. Also, for a show with such outstanding writing, what she says about her disability is pretty cliché … "I can do anything anyone else can!" Not the most interesting thing to hear from a disabled teenager. I do like how the mere presence of a kid in a wheelchair throws off the carefully built swagger and menace of the inmates.

I don't know … maybe there just wasn't enough time to do more with a one-off visiting character. So, I'm hoping they'll bring Miss "roller" back next season as an inmate. I'd like to learn more about her through flashbacks, as the show has done with other characters. It would also be interesting to see whether she ends up specially victimized, specially protected, or whether she would wind up asserting some authority of her own … maybe carve out her own niche in the Lichfield social system.