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Author Topic: Oz - HBO Prison Drama Series 1997 - 2003  (Read 6124 times)

Offline Dave

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Oz - HBO Prison Drama Series 1997 - 2003
« on: March 08, 2015, 07:22:57 AM »

'Oz' was an American TV prison drama series that ran for six seasons on HBO from 1997 to 2003 (eight episodes per season except for season 4 in which there was sixteen). “Oz” is the nickname for the fictional Oswald State Penitentiary (later to be renamed Oswald State Correctional Facility) a level 4 maximum-security state prison supposedly located in New York. Set almost entirely in the prison the main setting where the majority of story arcs take place is Emerald City - an experimental hi-tech unit that emphasizes upon rehabilitation and learning responsibility in an extremely controlled environment with a balance of members from each racial and social group. The inmates get special perks in exchange of doing what is asked of them. There are African American Homeboys, Muslims, Italian wiseguys, Latinos, Irish, the Aryan Brotherhood, Bikers, Gays and many other individuals not affiliated with one particular group. All the inmates strive for different needs. Some fights for power to take over the drug trade or to be the dominant faction or individuals simply want to survive as the prison staff struggles to control them all. Not everyone survives and every character is at risk.


The show is a no holds barred account of prison life although factual accuracy is often sacrificed for dramatic purposes. There is shocking imagery with intense scenes of graphic violence, brutal sexual assaults and drug abuse although is in excess of reality but most of the activities depicted have a basis in fact. All the slang used however was made up for the show. Every episode is narrated by the wheelchair bound inmate Augustus Hill breaking the fourth wall by explaining all of the show's plots, subplots and conflicts and provides context, thematic analysis and humour. There is no main character as the show follows multiple ones and their stories but there is a focus on a primary set of characters -  Miguel Alvarez, Tobias Beecher, Augustus Hill, Tim McManus, Ryan O'Reilly (my favourite character), Kareem Said and Vernon Schillinger. Each character represents the different groups of people that live in Oz and how they interact within their groups and with others.


‘Oz’ is one of my all-time favourite ever TV shows. It paved the way for modern American adult dramatic entertainment like HBO’s other show ‘The Sopranos’ and more recent ones like ‘Breaking Bad’, 'Sons of Anarchy’ etc. It has great storytelling and a great ensemble cast portraying highly memorable characters. When I was still living in the UK, I caught the show late one night on Channel 4. I had never heard of it before and I came into it late watching it from the beginning of Season 2. Even though I missed the entire first season, I became hooked because it's very compelling stuff. I was so addicted and I couldn’t miss a week and watched it all the way up to the penultimate episode but missed the finale. I recently started watching the series again and this time right from the beginning and I’m going to see how it all ended at last.

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Offline woodenheart

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Re: Oz - HBO Prison Drama Series 1997 - 2003
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2015, 09:36:09 AM »
Awesome show..

Watched the whole series..just amazing. : )

Offline Dave

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Re: Oz - HBO Prison Drama Series 1997 - 2003
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2015, 02:56:20 AM »
Who's your favourite characters?

I've heard the finale is disappointing. What do you think? Don't spoil it for me though I'm on season 4 right now. I remember season 6 being the weakest overall.

Offline Darkgod

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Re: Oz - HBO Prison Drama Series 1997 - 2003
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2015, 11:02:23 PM »
Great show O'rely is the best character IMO. I met the cast a few years ago when season 6 came out on dvd. Have 2 seasons autographed... and Chris Melon I told my wife, then girlfriend she should marry me
I Respect when someone has their own opinion, but you look like a fool when you just copy some one elses opinion. You know who you are.

Offline Dave

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Re: Oz - HBO Prison Drama Series 1997 - 2003
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2015, 05:47:43 AM »
Ryan O'Reily is my favourite character as well.

Offline IrishG3nt

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Re: Oz - HBO Prison Drama Series 1997 - 2003
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2015, 07:31:04 AM »
Ryan was to damn skinny to be scary...when he acted tough I found it laughable.....but this show is really damn good!!
I have CanDY!!