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  • OZ Complete Collection (Season 1-6) [DVD]
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OZ Complete Collection (Season 1-6) [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: Terry Kinney
  • Writers: Tom Fontana
  • Format: Box set, PAL, Full Screen
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 21
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Oct. 2008
  • Run Time: 3131 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001CO5WXI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,653 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Oz - Season 1-; Oz - Season 2-; Oz - Season 3-; Oz - Season 4-; Oz - Season 5-; Oz - Season 6-


Season One

HBO's violent men-behind-bars drama is an addictive, testosterone-driven soap opera for guys. The eight episodes of the first season set the style for the show: a massive cast of a vivid characters on both sides of the bars, four or five stories unleashed at a breakneck pace and framed by angry, oddball introductions, and a soaring casualty rate. Created by Homicide producer Tom Fontana, this drama quickly earned its rightful reputation as the most brutal show on TV. It's simple chemistry: combine volatile ingredients in a confined space, shut tight, and shake. The yellow brick road of the Oswald Correctional Facility (affectionately known as "Oz" among the inmates) leads to "Emerald City," an antiseptic cellblock of cement and glass overseen by prison-reform advocate Tim McManus (Terry Kinney). The first episode introduces its two most compelling inmates: meek lawyer Beecher (Lee Terguson), who transforms from a vulnerable lamb to a fearless, drug-addicted wildcat, and Muslim activist Kareem Said (Eamonn Walker), a fiercely non-violent leader whose campaign for reform explodes in a season-climaxing riot. The stunning first-season cast also features Ernie Hudson (the warden), Rita Moreno (a worldly drug-counseling nun), and Edie Falco (who jumped from her role as a single-mother prison guard to mob wife in The Sopranos). It carries no rating, but the drug use, nudity, and brutal violence make this highly inappropriate for young viewers and unsuited to the squeamish. Oz pulls no punches in its portrayal of prison violence and predatory abuse. --Sean Axmaker

Season Two

If the title of HBO's brutal prison drama suggests a fairy tale, be warned that this Oz lies on the other side of the rainbow. This gritty portrait of men behind bars is a testosterone-driven soap opera packed with murder, suicide, sadism, and savage battles for dominance in the concrete jungle. Season 2 opens in the wake of a prison riot that shut down the experimental cell block known as "Emerald City" among the inmates, but it doesn't take long to build a whole new head of steam after prison reformer Tim McManus (Terry Kinney) reopens the unit. The drug wars pit the Italians against the blacks, the Aryan Brotherhood re-establish their campaign of intimidation, and Alvarez is pushed to desperate measures when he's ousted by the new Latino leader (Luiz Guzmán). Even more volatile than the physical brutality (this season offers up a bloody blinding and a crucifixion) is the soul-crushing psychodrama played out between vicious Aryan leader Schillinger (J.K. Simmons) and Beecher (Lee Tergeson), the meek lawyer transformed into a drug-addicted wild man by prison's predatory world and seduced by cold-blooded killer Chris Keller (Law and Order: SVU's Christopher Meloni). Some the stories get lost in the thrilling runaway pacing, but at its best Oz's searing stories of men penned in and pushing back goes straight for the jugular and invariably draws blood. In addition to HBO's four-minute promotional short is an interesting featurette in which the creators and select actors discuss the show. --Sean Axmaker

Season Three

A volatile men-in-prison soap opera, fueled by testosterone and lubricated by blood, HBO's Oz is addictive viewing. The third season of the most violent show on cable TV, set in a cage of concrete and steel and glass, opens with echoes of violence past. Miguel Alvarez (Kirk Acevedo) is in solitary confinement for brutally blinding a guard, one-time drug lord Simon Adebissi (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) mourns for his murdered father, and Tobias Beecher (Lee Tergesen) nurses bones broken by Aryan Brotherhood leader Schillinger (J.K. Simmons) and a heart broken by the betrayal of Keller (Law and Order: SVU's Christopher Meloni). Their stories of vengeance, redemption, and forgiveness anchor this season. The show races through each episode with a driving pace that only intensifies the ferocity. But for all the show's physical brutality, the most affecting violence is emotional, from the strange and savage love affair between Beecher and Keller to the escalating war of terror between Beecher and Schillinger. On a lighter note, this season marks the debut of both Miss Sally and new prison CO Sean Murphy (Robert Clohessy), whose understated strength is too often overlooked in the face of the show's more explosive personalities. Season 3 ends pitched on a powder keg, with the fuse in the hands of the show's most ferocious, unpredictable character. It's the kind of promise that will have you slavering for season 4. The three-disc set features all eight episodes along with a season 2 recap, episode recaps and previews, commentary on the episode "Unnatural Disasters" by writer-creator Tom Fontana and episode director Chazz Palmintieri, and 22 minutes of deleted scenes. --Sean Axmaker

Season Four

The heightened reality of Oz remains consistently engrossing in the fourth season of HBO's volatile prison drama. All 16 episodes were written or cowritten by series creator Tom Fontana, and are bookended by the wisely sardonic observations of paraplegic prisoner Augustus Hill (Harold Perrineau), whose terse, philosophical ruminations about life in "Oz" give the series its literate edge. The 2000-2001 season finds Oz in the wake of racial warfare; tensions remain high among the factions that make the "Em City" cell block a hotbed of seething animosity among the skinhead Aryans led by Shillinger (J.K. Simmons); Muslim splinter groups led by Kareem Said (Eamonn Walker), the fearsome Adebisi (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and Supreme Allah (Lord Jamar); and the resident Mafia, Latinos, and lowlifes who make up Em City's embroiled population of newcomers, hard-timers, and death-row inmates. Unit Administrator McManus (Terry Kinney) sets up a centrally located penalty cage for anyone who causes outbreaks of violence (which are shockingly frequent and frequently lethal), but loses his job in a mid-season plot development that spins Oz into a maelstrom of internal politics and brutal retaliation. Through it all, Fontana and his collaborators (including guest director Steve Buscemi) maintain impressive focus on dozens of finely drawn characters. Laced with homosexual tension, jealousies, religious fervor, and threats of betrayal, the season's most compelling conflicts involve impulsive killer Ryan O'Reily (played with cagey menace by Dean Winters) and his brain-damaged half-brother Cyril (Scott William Winters); and the manipulative Keller (Christopher Meloni) and his prison lover Toby Beecher (Lee Tergesen), a lawyer and convicted murderer whose survival seems perpetually uncertain. Tenuous order is barely maintained by warden Glynn (Ernie Hudson) and Catholic counselor "Sister Pete" (Rita Moreno), but the bulk of Oz's fourth season is devoted to chaos, as shifting loyalties keep all prisoners (and all viewers) in a state of anxious anticipation. The criminal histories of many inmates are shown in flashback, and one death-row scenario (involving guest star Kathryn Erbe) reaches its inevitable conclusion. By the time episode 16 ends with a blazing inferno, you'll be wondering about the fate of Rev. Cloutier (Luke Perry) and anxious for the tumultuous events of season 5. --Jeff Shannon

Season Five

Raw, uncompromising, and brutal, the fifth season of Oz represents a turning point for the series, tying up loose ends and preparing for the closure of season 6. As with all previous seasons of HBO's hard-edged prison series, the outbreaks of violence, racial tensions, emotional bleakness, and full-frontal male nudity ensure that Oz is decidedly not for the weak of heart. Simmering animosity between the Aryans, Muslims, Sicilians, and Latinos continues unabated; these eight episodes include numerous shankings and slashings, a severed arm, strangulation, a stabbing with a crucifix, and the death (among others) of one of the series' most prominent characters. As Schillinger (J.K. Simmons) and his skinheaded Aryans exploit a naive pair of new inmates, tensions mount between the weak-willed Omar (Michael Wright, in a standout performance) and his prone-to-rage Muslim mentor Kareem Said (Eamonn Walker, also excellent); Ryan O'Reily (Dean Winters) continues to protect his volatile brother Cyril (Scott William Winters) and reunites with his mother (Betty Lynn Buckley) who's in Oz doing community service; McManus (Terry Kinney) locks horns with his ex-wife over prison policy; Alvarez (Kirk Acevado) seeks partial redemption by training a guide-dog for the guard he blinded; and Keller (Christopher Meloni) returns to the "Em City" cellblock, to the relief of his bisexual lover Beecher (Lee Tergesen) who attends "interaction" sessions with Sister Pete (Rita Moreno) to encourage tenuous peace among inmates. With subplots involving guest stars Luke Perry, Peter Criss (from Kiss), Malachy McCourt, and others, the fifth season of Oz is weak at times, but series creator and primary writer Tom Fontana keeps a lot of characters in steady play, covering impressive dramatic territory after the relatively generous allotment of 16 episodes in Season 4. The series is clearly winding down here (the semi-musical episode "Variety" is a curious attempt to broaden the show's creative horizons, and works surprisingly well), and the outbreaks of violence now have a rather predictable and oppressive frequency. Anyone looking for "feel good" entertainment should stay away, but Fontana and the uniformly excellent cast maintain admirable depth of character and incident, including a tragic loss (in "Visitation") that resonates throughout the season. --Jeff Shannon

Season Six

The sixth and final season of HBO's prison drama Oz--which aired in 2003--is brutal, passionate, and gritty. Compellingly addictive with taut storylines and superb acting, each of the eight episodes on this 3-disc set nicely paves the way for the series finale, which wraps the show up in a satisfying (and surprising) manner. Often told through the eyes (and voice) of deceased prisoner Augustus Hill (Harold Perrineau, Lost), Oz isn't an easy show to watch. Inmates are routinely raped, tortured, and killed--not out of need, but out of boredom and cruelty. And in a corrupt system where too few bureaucrats actually care about these men's lives, few are willing to do anything about it. Those that do give a damn--Sister Peter Marie (Rita Moreno, West Side Story), Father Mukada (B.D. Wong, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), Dr. Nathan (Lauren Velez), Warden Glynn (Ernie Hudson), McManus (Terry Kinney)--face an uphill battle. One of the strongest storylines is the ongoing romance between murderer Keller (Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: SVU and Beecher (Lee Tergesen), who's hoping to be paroled. Series creator Tom Fontana doesn't allow their arc to be diluted by any idealistic expectations. The viewer is acutely aware that Beecher is an easy target for annihilation whether or not he is released from prison. The viewer is never quite as certain of Keller's motives--whether they're borne of love and affection, or a selfish need to satisfy his own primal urges. Like Beecher, Alvarez (Kirk Acevedo) is trying to keep his own nose clean in the hopes that he'll be eligible for parole three years down the line. It's easy to understand the almost suffocating feeling he lives every day, knowing that three years may as well be a lifetime when you're behind bars and the target of both your former gang and the Aryan brothers, led by Schillinger (J.K. Simmons, Law & Order: SVU, the Spider-Man films). And Ryan (Dean Winters) desperately tries to save his mentally retarded brother Cyril (played by Dean's real-life sibling Scott William Winters) from being executed. There are a few subplots that don't ring true, such as the quasi romance between a librarian (Patti LuPone) and one of the prisoners, and an elderly inmate's (Joey Grey) implausible death wish. And for all the constraints the majority of convicts face, some appear to have almost free run of the prison. Still, Fontana has created a vivid, dark world where the occasional acts of humanity are as important as the non-stop chaos that is Oz. While it certainly helps to have seen the previous five seasons of the series to enjoy this season, it's not mandatory. These last eight episodes work fine as a stand-alone piece of drama. --Jae-Ha Kim --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Philzee VINE VOICE on 17 May 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
All the clichés are true: it's gritty, controversial, and hard-hitting and will definitely tax your sense of injustice.
I missed the series when it was shown on TV so this was a complete faith purchase for me. Hearing about it on the grapevine and reading the helpful reviews here I decided to go for it.
If you're reading this then you must be considering doing the same so I'll lend my voice to the others' here and say: do it; you wont regret it.
You may be concerned (like I was) that a 6 series drama set in a prison might get a little laborious story wise and a tad claustrophobic. Well lay those fears to rest! This truly is brutal TV; it'll leave you shocked, affronted, angry, maybe even a little sad. One thing it will not leave you is bored.
Acting is top notch with some really interesting characters. Tobias Beecher's (Lee Tergesen) journey is probably one of the most compelling as you witness how prison life completely changes him from naïve polite man to a designer-beard wearing hard man teetering on the brink of sanity.
The truly despicable Vern Shillinger (Tobias' arch-nemesis if you'll permit me to be so dramatic and played by J K Simmons) is easy to hate and their continued tug-o-war provides truly shocking but compelling moments.
Simon Adebisi (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) is worthy of a mention as he is a real force to be reckoned with. He also leads the racial war in series 4 and, if I'm being honest, steels the show.
I should probably mention Chris Keller (Christopher Melloni) who comes strutting into Oz near the beginning of series 2. He becomes emotionally involved with Beecher and is one of the story strands that constantly evolve as the series rolls by.
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97 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Tristan Martin VINE VOICE on 8 Sept. 2008
Format: DVD
Oz, is the slang name for Oswald State Penitentiary; the fact that it is (presumably) name after Lee Harvey Oswald - an innocent man - gives the audience some idea of where this programme is coming from.

Oz is a hugely neglected masterwork, featuring the best cast you've never heard of. This overlooked drama series never stepped out from The Sopranos' shadow, which is a great shame as it deserves to be considered alongside HBO's greats: The Sopranos, Deadwood and The Wire; that is, Oz can be considered as one of television's greats.

Viewer be warned, Oz is set inside a maximum security prison and it doesn't make for comfortable viewing, given that it is populated by neo-Nazis, bikers, black gangbangers, militant Muslims, Latino gangs, the Mafia, drug dealers, pimps, hustlers and killers. Trying to keep a lid on the escalating violence and even making a gesture at reforming the inmates, are a desperate staff of Correctional Officers, psychiatrists, doctors, priests and administrators.

At only eight episodes per series, unlike The Sopranos, The Wire's and Deadwood's thirteen (or thereabouts), Oz is fast-paced, intense, brutal and uncompromising but always intelligent and never sensationalist. There is humour in there too but given its subject matter, it's somewhat of the gallows variety. Creator Tom Fontana, who also wrote or co-wrote every episode of the entire six seasons, deserves great credit for depicting a world full of pretty vile but human people, people whom you generally wouldn't want to spend any time with at all - yet in his hands, they become compulsive viewing.
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Fraser Ramsay on 1 Jun. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Last night I watched the last ever episode of `Oz'. That was the end of a 6 week period spend watching the show from Season 1, Episode 1 to Season 6, Episode 8. I'm a huge fan of American TV Drama. In recent years I've watched The West Wing, The Shield, Mad Men, The Sopranos, The Wire, Generation Kill, Damages and The Corner in their entirety. Oz is right up there with the best TV dramas of all time. Oz is the nickname for the Oswald State Correctional Facility, formerly Oswald State Penitentiary, a maximum-security prison at Delaware, USA. Many of the plot arcs are set in "Emerald City" ("Em City"), an experimental unit of the prison in which the unit manager attempts to emphasize rehabilitation and learning responsibility during incarceration. Emerald City is an extremely controlled environment where there are a controlled number of members of each racial and social group.

The writing of the show is brilliant and I believe this is helped by the fact that series creator Tom Fontana was involved in the writing for every episode. I believe the slight dip in quality of writing on The West Wing was down to Aaron Sorkin's departure from the show. Oz doesn't have this problem. Although some storylines are slightly far-fetched, each episode has something to grip you and bring you back to the harsh realities of the brutal prison environment. The performances from the principal actors are outstanding. The characters are believable and you develop an emotional bond with some of them. This has a lot to do with the writing but can only have the impact it does thanks to the performances.
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