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If you haven’t yet watched Wentworth then I must tell you just how much you are missing out on one of the best TV shows right now. I know there are many great American TV shows based on prisons such as ‘ Prison Break’ and lately there is ‘ Orange is the new black’. ‘Wentworth’ is an Australian TV show on SoHo that stands at par with the two in terms of prison drama.
Wentworth is based on a female prison by the same name. Behind the high prison walls and massive fences, there are different women and correctional officers. Each with a story of their own on how they got residence at Wentworth and how they are spending their time behind the walls.There is also prison politics with inmates running different crews, trying to be ‘top dog’ and trying to live a normal life despite their current circumstances. There are also families left at home that bring their own twist to the plot. The correction officers also have their own personal stories which add to the interesting drama at Wentworth.
The main character is Bae Smith (Danielle Cormack) who is remanded at Wentworth after being arrested for the attempted murder of her husband. Bae comes to prison all innocent expecting to await her trial in peace. However, she soon realizes just how prison works and discovers that she will have to toughen up to survive at Wentworth. The things that she goes through at the jail will break your heart and like a train wreck that you can’t tear your eyes from, you will be shocked to see just how much Bae’s life goes into a spiral. The Bae who walked into the prison is definitely not the same lady by the end of the second season. Prison changed her from a broken, abused housewife to something else. Or maybe it just revealed the real her.
On the other side is Frankie Doyle (Nicole Da Silva) who relishes the role of ‘top dog’ and would do just about anything to run the prison. She is a tough brunette lesbian who always finds a way to get people to do her bidding. Not only does she try to control the inmates but also tries out her power over the correctional officers.Frankie has a tough, mean side and you will find yourself really hating her at times such that her soft moments will catch you off-guard.
It is interesting to interact with the different characters in the prison. For instance, Doreen Anderson (Shareena Clanton) and Liz(Celia Ireland) take on the mother figures at the jail. They always watch out for the girls. Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine that they actually belong in the prison. Then there is Sue Jenkins (Katrina Milosevic) who acts as Frankie’s ‘muscle girl’ and we get to see her physically bully people although at the same time, it seems that Frankie takes advantage of her insecurities. My favorite guard is Will Jackson (Robbie Magasiva) who is a dedicated correctional officer and who also happens to have paid a very high price for his job. He loses a loved one in the jail and nearly loses his mind in the first season. Again, in season 2, he faces new afflictions that now threaten his life. He also has a very close friendship with one of the inmates, a friendship that I keep holding my breath hoping that it will lead to a romance.
Not all guards are good though, some of them are straight-up psychotic like the Warden in season 2, Joan Ferguson(Pamela Rabe) who does more to cause havoc than bring order to the jail. She not only interferes with the inmates but also the other correctional officers.
There are already 2 seasons of Wentworth with a total of 22 episodes. I promise you, once you start watching the first episode you will get hooked.
The series has a very high rating of 8.6 on imdb, check below link for reviews
Orange is the new black has a rating of 8.5
While Prison Break also has the rating of 8.6
If we are to go on the that then Wentworth is as good as Prison Break and better than Orange is the New Black. Definitely worth checking out.
Here is a link to another review of the show by Telegraph.