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Who is the main character?

  • Avatar of wr8280

    wr8280

    [1]Jun 28, 2007
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    I started thinking about this yesterday. It seems like the writers purposefully do not favor any one character. They introduce characters two at a time and often kill off characters or write them off. Just when the focus is on one character they will ignore them in the next episode. This is pretty unique even compared to breakthru shows like 24, Sopranos, etc. I guess you could argue that Oz itself is the main character or "the system" is the main character but this is incorrect- it is merely a setting- although it does have its own personality and at sometimes feels "alive" it is all in our imagination because Oz is just metal and concrete... Which leads me back to my original question: Who is the main character? Or if you don't want to answer that tell me who you think gets the most screen time or who you think the writers favor the most.

    Thanks for your input!

    Edited on 06/28/2007 9:52am
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  • Avatar of Ho_Man

    Ho_Man

    [2]Jun 28, 2007
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    I think Beecher is the main character. He goes through a whole lot of changes from season 1 to 6 and has a decent ammount of screen time as well. But it's pretty hard to determine which is the central main character though, but my interpretation is that Beecher is the main character.

    The other main characters would be Glynn, McManus, Ryan O'Reily, Schillinger, Said, Hill and Alvarez.

    Edited on 06/30/2007 11:32pm
    Edited 3 total times.
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  • Avatar of Fitzycent

    Fitzycent

    [3]Jul 1, 2007
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    Tom Fontana said in one of the DVD commentaries that he thought of himself as McManus. But said Beecher's story was always written first.

    ยข
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  • Avatar of chriseternal

    chriseternal

    [4]Jul 20, 2007
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    I've asked myself this same question. Although there really isn't ONE main character I think the experience of OZ is mostly seen through Beecher. If there HAD to be a main character, it would be him.
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  • Avatar of bloodlike1

    bloodlike1

    [5]Jul 25, 2007
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    Beecher the biatch and O'Reily are
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  • Avatar of HandsomeDead

    HandsomeDead

    [6]Aug 10, 2007
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    If you had to pick one, then Beecher would make sense as he was the main focus of the very first episodes (Besides Dino Ortolani whose death so early on after being feature so heavily was a stroke of genius) and from then on he was involved in most of the major storylines.
    Edited on 08/10/2007 12:34pm
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  • Avatar of JohnnyPromoshot

    JohnnyPromoshot

    [7]Sep 12, 2007
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    I think that Tom Fontana purposely left the concept of a "main" character ambiguous in order to keep the audience in suspense. The whole idea of Oz is that nobody is safe and anyone is liable to be killed at any time (just think of all the times you watch the show and think "I can't believe they just killed that guy off"--be it prisoner, prison official, or whoever).If there was a "main" character, then that person would automatically gain a sense of invincibility in an environment which is unpredictable and chaotic (like Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek--if he died in some episode what good would the show be then thereafter?). I think I remember Tom Fontana discussing how he wrote the show by dreaming up the ideas and translating them to the script, which would explain why certain characters get killed off almost at random. Also, because of the large amount of actors that worked on the show, a constant death rate seems to be a way of keeping the plot from being overloaded with characters and storylines. Of course if forced to make a decision, I would nominate either Augustus Hill (because of his narrator status--even the Oz book was based on his perspective) or Beecher (because the first episode starts with his incarceration and subsequently shows the progression of adjusting to prison life).

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  • Avatar of matzaa

    matzaa

    [8]Sep 15, 2007
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    JohnnyPromoshot wrote:

    I think that Tom Fontana purposely left the concept of a "main" character ambiguous in order to keep the audience in suspense. The whole idea of Oz is that nobody is safe and anyone is liable to be killed at any time.If there was a "main" character, then that person would automatically gain a sense of invincibility in an environment which is unpredictable and chaotic


    I have to agree with you at this one.
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  • Avatar of khaki_dojo

    khaki_dojo

    [9]Sep 26, 2007
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    I'd give it a toss up between Tobias Beecher, Ryan O'Reily and Augustus Hill.

    So much of the first half of the series revolved around Beecher. His entry into prison, his journey into prag-dom, his recoveries and then his failures. He went from a white collar convict with a DUI conviction to, in some ways, not much better than Schillinger and his men.

    O'Reily is who I lean toward because life in Oz seemed to revolve around him in many ways. Almost everything that happened he either had a direct hand in, or knew about. No one in that place was as well connected as he was. No one was as manipulative or as cunning, but at the same time, O'Reily had his own version of a strict moral code.

    Hill because he was narrator. The show started with, and often ended with, him. He would be the one who provided all the tidbits. In many ways, he was the heart of Oz, which is why what happened in the fifth season was so significant.

    On a secondary level, Kareem Said, Miguel Alvarez and Vern Schillinger, but they'd be second storey, not first.

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  • Avatar of pjhasham

    pjhasham

    [10]Nov 27, 2007
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    In Season 1 there were four characters listed as "Starring" and 10 others listed as "Also Starring" The fourlisted as Starringwere Glynn, McManus, Hill and Said.If the de facto main character had to be one of them, it would be Hill orMcManus.Otherwise, I'd call Beccher the lead because he arrives inEmerald Cityon Day 1, appears in every episode and because his enemy, Schililinger,is probably the most evil character in the prison. But really Oz is largely an ensemble piece.
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  • Avatar of IamYes

    IamYes

    [11]Jan 1, 2008
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    Ryan O' Reily

    Ryan has had the most screen time and has been in the most episodes. Meaning 56 episodes.

    He is so damn connected and knows about everything. He has such a major storyline, hes just awesome, and he survived.

    But then Beecher, hes another very main character, but he has only appeared in 46 episodes. That is 10 episodes less then ryan, more then a normal season of oz. so i think it is safe to say that Ryan O' Reily is the main character in oz, if one had to be choosen.

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  • Avatar of k9krunchees

    k9krunchees

    [12]Jan 22, 2008
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    It is foolish to choose a main character, because the show doesn't seem to have one. You can rally up evidence and make assumptions, but what difference does it make? No single character makes the show. There's really no point of picking a main character.

    I always assumed Augustus, simply because of the narration. And of course, there's Beecher. The fact that the show makes you cheer for him, and stay on his side, and he actually follows through and kicks ass like you so anxiously want him to. Compare him to Schibetta, for example. I don't know about you, but I was pissed after the second time he got owned. And right when it becomes his time to kick some ass, finally... he just gets killed on the spot. Screw that.

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  • Avatar of pjhasham

    pjhasham

    [13]Apr 16, 2008
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    IamYes wrote:

    But then Beecher, hes another very main character, but he has only appeared in 46 episodes. That is 10 episodes less then ryan, more then a normal season of oz. so i think it is safe to say that Ryan O' Reily is the main character in oz, if one had to be choosen.

    If you're basing that on the IMDB, it's not true. According to the TV.com page on the last episode, Ryan, Beecher, Rebadow and Schillinger all appeared in every episode. Of those, I would still choose Beecher, because he arrives in the first episode and leaves in the last.

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  • Avatar of gmvail23

    gmvail23

    [14]Aug 14, 2008
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    I've always thought it was Tobias Beecher, the show starts on his first day in Oz. His character also seems to go through the most changes during the 6 seasons. His experience are probably the most like any regular person would go through if they, like him, had nothing in their life to draw on.

    Augustus Hill is the heart of the show, the character not his role as the narrator.
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  • Avatar of davidesommo

    davidesommo

    [15]Jan 19, 2013
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    Tobias seem to be the leitmotif of the show even though Oz should be supposed to not have any particular main character.


    The attention to him has been very balanced troughout every season.


    Augustus Hill too often is not involved in the conspiracies inside Oz to see him as a main character and this is the only rason why Tobias comes to mind first.

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