Oz

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HBO (ended 2003)

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Ho_Man

User Score: 249

8.8
out of 10
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2,078 votes
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SHOW REVIEWS
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Oz

Show Summary

Oz is the name on the street for the Oswald State Penitentiary. Our wheelchair-bound narrator Augustus Hill (Harold Perrineau Jr.) takes us through the wacky world of Emerald City, the experimental unit started by Tim McManus (Terry Kinney). There's shankin' and lovin' and cussin' and fightin' but in the end, HBO makes a damn fine prison drama. It's gritty. And there you have it.
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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • I dont want to go to prison

    10
    With epic violence, brutal murders and storys that keep you wanting more. Oz would put the fear of God in anyone when thinking of prison.
  • More than a decade later - still outstanding

    10
    Gritty, dirty, unique, well acted, superbly written - one of the greatest TV shows ever. The atmosphere is dark, realistic but also weirdly surreal. It grabs you and hold in its world of violence, survival and deep human insticts and emotions. OZ is simply amazing.
  • An Unrelentingly Bleak Meditation on the Violence and Dysphoria Permeating the American Prison System

    9.0
    Welcome to Oz (The Oswald State Correctional Facility), a terrifyingly corrupt Prison set in upstate New York where the burdens of the state are pooled together with the very worst being brought to "Em City" a cell block oriented around rehabilitation and education led by the originally naive Tim McManus. "Em City" brings many members of diverse groups (Neo-Nazis, Muslims, Gangbangers, Junkies and Psychopaths) into a melting pot where there are no secrets. There are no solid walls, with all of the cells being glass prisms forcing the guards to watch in helpless horror (and even take part in the cruelty themselves) as prisoners Rape, Kill and sell/use massive amounts of Drugs all in the pursuit of power and any equivalent of freedom they can get their hands on. Over the course of Six Seasons each consisting of Eight hour-long episodes we learn more than we could ever want to know about the crimes, passions, relationships and vices of the inmates and guards. The Acting across the board is stellar- striding a fine line between Bold Art (the show is narrated from the rotating prismatic perspective of a wheelchair bound prisoner floating above the chaos of Oz like Glenda the Good Witch in her bubble) and eerie naturalism. Beyond this however most viewers will probably be put off by the EXTREMELY BRUTAL violence and full frontal male nudity (often within the context of Rape). Oz is a grueling experience but ultimately finds redemption in its humanization and not glorification of Prison Life. This is not The Shawshank Redemption. Instead we get an intimate look at the horrors of the Prison System and the corruption that sews the seeds of discontent often ending in the deaths of human beings. For those who can stomach the default nastiness and cynicism Oz will prove to be a rewarding and highly engaging exercise in sustained tension.



    HIGHLY RECOMMENDEDmoreless
  • One of the best and most entertaining, ever!

    10
    There's still nothing like it. A true original.
  • great tv

    10
    oz is an excellent show! from episode one it's in your face, raw and ugly, very unpc and with plenty of dark dry humour!! it has some great characters and concentrates on the inmates and staff, each episode devotes say 15 minuites to a current storyline and has a great narration by augustus hill on a topic like death, television and society! what's great about oz is that despite all the murders and mayhem there's plenty of morals too!! what the show does best is mix terrible violence, racism and villainy with plenty of dark humour! i also recommend the governer, the wire, underbelly and the shield!moreless
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    More Info About This Show

    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    Thrillers, gritty crime scenarios, Crime, gritty cinematography, cerebral