Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons: Season 5

  • 06 Feb - 12 Feb, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly

Raphael Rowe is an interesting guy, and Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons is interesting largely because of him. You’d think having a hard time after a wrongful conviction would be enough to put anyone off incarceration, but he seemingly can’t wait to get banged up again and again. For the viewer’s purposes, it’s only a good thing. Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons: Season 5, now streaming on Netflix, works in the same way previous iterations (excepting the first) have – with Rowe providing a been-there, done-that kind of authenticity to life on the inside. This season usually comprise of four episodes. In each, Rowe gets banged up in some far-flung prison with some kind of unique gimmick or problem and does a week’s hard time there, giving us insight into not just the inmates but the system that made them such. Most ostensibly real-life accounts suffer from sensationalism and an obviously fake made-for-TV sensibility, but Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons isn’t like that, thanks to Rowe. Even briefer than usual, this new outing only has three episodes, but it makes them count. You can’t help but wish for more, but what’s on offer is diverse enough that each episode feels distinct and dangerous, as it should. Fans of this show, in particular, won’t find much that’s surprising but they will certainly find what they were expecting, which is the reason to tune in anyway.