"Orange Is the New Black: Season 7": It's wild to think about now, but Jenji Kohan's "Orange Is The New Black" premiered as Netflix's third original series in July 2013, months after the now-disgraced "House of Cards" and the largely forgotten "Hemlock Grove."
Originally the story of Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a privileged 30-something white woman who ends up in upstate New York's Litchfield Penitentiary after getting caught for moving drug money for her international drug smuggler girlfriend, Alex Vause (Laura Prepon), the series was groundbreaking in its storytelling centering on queer women, Black and Black trans women, Latina women and other marginalized populations. The series really found its footing after moving on from Piper's melodramas to these far richer and more complicated stories.
In the series' final season, which premiered in July 2019, we see how Piper's life struggles to bounce back after being released early from prison, a cake walk compared to many of the other former and current incarcerated women's lives. The women most involved with the prison's uprising after the murder of Poussey (Samira Wiley), crushed to death by a police officer, have faced far greater consequences. Daya (Dashca Polanco) now is a killer; Red (Kate Mulgrew) is losing her mind, unable to be reached by her formal rival Gloria (Selenis Leyva); Taystee (Danielle Brooks) has lost her spirit. Meanwhile, a sinister evil lurks: ICE has opened a holding pen adjoined to Litchfield, where women, including Maritza (Diane Guerrero), live in another kind of prison as they are picked up one by one for their deportation trials.
It's devastatingly timely, and a must-watch.
ALSO NEW ON DVD
"An Accidental Studio": Documentary explores the beginnings of HandMade Films, the studio created by ex-Beatle George Harrison.
"Deadwater Fell": Four-part British mystery follows an investigation after a murder in a sleepy Scottish town. Stars David Tennant and Cush Jumbo.
"End of Sentence": A man (Logan Lerman) heads to Ireland to scatter his mother's ashes with his estranged father (John Hawkes). In English and Icelandic.
"Fisherman's Friends": Much to the surprise of the jaded music exec that signed them, an English countryside musical group scores a big hit. Stars James Purefoy, Meadow Nobrega and David Hayman.
"Hawaii Five-0": The reboot of the classic CBS Hawaii-set detective series says its final aloha.
"James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction": The Academy Award-winning director interviews legendary sci-fi directors and stars in this AMC documentary series.
"Legacy of Lies": An ex-British spy (Scott Adkins) searches for the truth behind a Russian operation.
"NCIS: The Seventeenth Season": The crime series returns just after Special Agent Gibbs (Mark Harmon) has been told his life is in danger.
"The Other Lamb": A young woman (Raffey Cassidy) begins to question the motives behind the cult in which she has grown up.
"The Outsider: The First Season": The hit HBO series based on the Stephen King novel follows an investigation that sprouts supernatural elements.
OUT ON DIGITAL HD
"Deep Blue Sea 3": Dr. Emma Collins (Tania Raymonde) and her associates return to Little Happy island to study sharks as a suspicious team puts all their lives in jeopardy.
"Nose to Tail": A chef with anger issues (Aaron Abrams) must save his high-end restaurant by playing nice with the investors who could help him.
OUT ON DIGITAL HD
"A Girl Missing": A home hospice nurse (Mariko Tsutsui) discovers that her nephew has kidnapped one of her granddaughters. In Japanese.
"Summerland": A solitary writer (Gemma Arterton) is reluctantly tasked with taking care of a young London Blitz evacuee (Lucas Bond).