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The last time we saw the inside of Litchfield Penitentiary, it was looking pretty empty, as most of the current inmates were out enjoying an illegal swim and most of the guards went on strike in a stance against Caputo. But we got to see a lot of new faces before the credits rolled, and one of those was Judy King, the celebrity chef that we’ll be seeing a lot more of in Season 4. Wondering what to expect from the newbie? Look no further for info than actress Blair Brown.
I think a lot of people think, 'Oh, she cooks, so she's like Martha Stewart.' 'Oh, she’s Southern. She's like Paula Deen.' She's actually Judy King, a creation of Jenji [Kohan] and the writers. She's slightly appalling and very good and very cheerful and probably fairly amoral. And it's interesting to watch because she's so other than anybody else in prison. And of course, Judy's greatest ally when she comes in is Poussey Washington.
Anyone who watched Season 3 is definitely familiar with the name Judy King, as her insider trading case was given lots of attention by Poussey, who stayed as glued to the TV as possible. (At least when she wasn’t culting it up with Norma’s crew.) The character is obviously based on Martha Stewart, or at least the basic logline of “celebrity personality gets unexpected conviction,” only Judy will be headed to the Big House while Stewart lived it up on house arrest. I’m sure there are more differences to be found, like maybe Judy shared Taco Bell and a 40 oz. with Jimmy Kimmel instead of Conan O’Brien. I dare not hypothesize on what she and Paula Deen may or may not have in common.
Even with as many interesting characters as creator Jenji Kohan has stuck between the many walls of Litchfield, Orange is the New Black can always use more talented actresses to take on the plethora of side plots the drama often has in rotation. And Blair Brown will likely rock the house, especially if the character is as amorally cheerful as Brown told TV Guide she is.
As an actress, Brown has a similar presence as Kate Mulgrew – and also the sci-fi cred, as Brown is best known to modern TV audiences as Massive Dynamic’s Nina Sharp on Fringe – so Judy will definitely be capable of holding her own with any of the other prisoners, especially with Poussey in her corner. Except maybe Black Cindy, because she wins everything.
Will Judy King make it through this season and into one of the many later seasons that are coming? Find out when Orange is the New Black Season 4 debuts on Netflix on Friday, June 17.