Wentworth Prison, or Wentworth, as it’s sometimes called is a good show. However, it’s a show that suffers from feeling all too familiar.
It’s probably a disservice to compare it to Orange is the New Black, but the similarities it has with OITNB are far too evident to ignore.
It doesn’t just have similar characters & settings to OITNB, it also has similar themes, stories & even the flashback structure. That being said, Wentworth was originally shown only 1 month after the 1st season of OITNB, so all of these similarities have to be simple coincidences.
The bottom line is that Wentworth does at times feel like a pale imitation of OITNB & other prison TV shows & films. The majority of season 1 lacks much in the way of originality. It does improve throughout its run though, & there are a couple of standout episodes in the latter half of the season.
One of the ways Wentworth sets itself apart from other shows & films is with its tone. Wentworth is dark, gritty and realistic. This can make certain moments a bit dull & difficult to watch at times.
On occasion, it also goes a bit over the top with its stylisation. For example, it likes its use of montage & I lost count of how many random & pointless slow motion moments it features. These aren’t necessarily bad, they’re just too frequent & distracting.
A show like this really depends on its characters. Sadly, there are only a couple of good characters in the 1st season & the main character definitely isn’t one of them. This is a problem because so much of the story focuses on that character, but she’s simply annoying & at times the story seems to force the character into unexpected situations.
It’s not all bad though. There are some good twists and turns here and there and the show presents some interesting mysteries for viewers to ponder.
Wentworth is good, but not great. There are other, far better shows like it. It lacks originality & interesting characters but for a 1st season, it’s a promising start. I’ll continue to watch it, but if it doesn’t improve then I don’t know how long for.