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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oz - The most gripping television series ever.
Like a realy good book Oz grips you and makes you want more, in all my 21 years ive never been so gripped by a t.v show.

You'll never want an episode to end, theres numerous plots that intertwine and twist and turn. Racial and Drug issues are rife amoungst the inmates along with a hefty dose of violence.

The acting is superb, the characters are...
Published on 17 Feb 2007 by Declan

versus
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brutality and humanity in OZ
OZ - rough letter tattooed on an arm in Oswald Penitentiary and the prison drama about the inmates and staff in the section of OZ call Emerald City. Any connotation to Dorothy and Toto stops here. OZ is serious, tough, uncompromising, real, stripped to the bone and still manages to show the characters as people, good or bad. There are no one dimensional characters here,...
Published on 2 April 2008 by Louise Amkaer


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oz - The most gripping television series ever., 17 Feb 2007
This review is from: Oz : Complete Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Like a realy good book Oz grips you and makes you want more, in all my 21 years ive never been so gripped by a t.v show.

You'll never want an episode to end, theres numerous plots that intertwine and twist and turn. Racial and Drug issues are rife amoungst the inmates along with a hefty dose of violence.

The acting is superb, the characters are inspired with Adebisi being the best, an almost cartoonish figure who plagues his inmates with power and a no nonsense attitude. Oz while being very serious and shocking at times retains a certain comedic slant that makes it even more watchable. Series 1-4 cannot be beaten, the rest veer slightly.

If your a fan of great Tv or film do the right thing.

Buy this and become a prisoner to its unbeatable charm.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint of heart, 24 April 2007
This review is from: Oz : Complete Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
If you like your drama to be compelling and uncomfortable in equal measures, then Oz is for you. Quite simply this is one of the best things HBO ever did. It's raw and explicit at times, but it is filled with brilliant performances and amazing writing. Highly addictive.

If you've enjoyed other HBO series such as Six Feet Under or the Sopranos, chances are you'll love this.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Show, 6 Feb 2007
By 
This review is from: Oz : Complete Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
The first time I caught this show was by accident but I was hooked after about two minutes. Many of the actors will be recognisable from shows such as Lost, Law and Order, The Wire, Rescue Me and The Sopranos. This show has some of the best writing and characterisation that has ever been on television and definately holds up ten years later.

Oz is the nickname for the Oswald State Correctional Facility, but the majority of the plot arcs are set in Emerald City ("Em City"), an experimental unit of the prison, where the unit manager tries to emphasize rehabilitation during imprisonment.

Life in Oz is tough and the show revolves around the plotting and schemining of the inmates and as a result daily life in Em city often includes murder, violence, drug use, rape, homosexuality and religious and ethnic tensions.

Oz does not try to speculate on the cause of criminal behavior by the inmates, indeed the show takes place exclusively behind the prison walls except for when a particular inmate is introduced by showing the crime which he is in prison for. This helps to vrete a very claustrophobic and tense atmosphere. One of the perspectives shown by Oz is that the rehabilitation of the prisoners is impossible when the system is largely corrupt.

The true masterstroke of Oz is that it refuses to pigeon hole its characters. Even the most sociopathic prisoners are shown to have moments of humanity while some of the nicest prisoners commit very bad acts. It is also notable that some of the most 'normal' prisoners are in prison for crimes that are far worse than some of the worst prisoners and as a result you as the viewer end up feeling sympathy for some of the characters before remembering that they have killed a child or a cop.

I had given up on this show ever being released region 2 so I have imported every season but I would strongly recommend this show to anyone who like good, gritty drama.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars for the show- not the DVD presentation, 19 Feb 2007
By 
W. Latimer "talk_to_the_hand" (Belfast, N. Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Oz : Complete Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
It's taken five years but at last Oz has been released on Region 2 DVD. But has it been worth the wait? Yes... and no. Don't get me wrong- Oz is a fantastic show: great stories, well told. My only grievance is with the complete absence of any extras. The Region 1 DVD contains two audio commentaries by series creator Tom Fontana and star Lee Tergesen, biographies, deleted scenes, a featurette and a music video. So why is this not the case with the Region 2 DVD? If you have a multi-region DVD player, my advice would be to invest in the Region 1 version. Die-hard fans will probably be disappointed by the lack of bonus material to complement the series. According to the inside flyer, Season 2 is released on Region 2 DVD in May 2007, followed by season 3 in November 2007.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius, 20 Mar 2007
This review is from: Oz : Complete Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I could try writing a review for this DVD but there is no way I could do it justice. This show never got the justice it deserved on this side of the pond as some of the other HBO dramas. Channel 4 always put it on at a ridiculously late time and as a result not many people got to see it. I was 16 revising for my GCSEs late at night and discovered this gem and I was hooked instantly. Quite simply the best TV drama you will ever watch. The characters are pure genius and the stories will keep you on the edge of your seat. Get all six season if you can on region 1, trust me you won't be disappointed. Adabesi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oz - very good but not for the faint-hearted, 29 July 2007
This review is from: Oz : Complete Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I was recommended Oz by a friend and had heard good things about it so decided to buy it. It is good but not for the faint-hearted. If you like a tough, gritty and often graphic drama, then Oz is for you. The characters and storylines are good, although sometimes unrealistic. It also makes you think as its got quite a bit of philosophy/observations about people/society in it, which I really like. I plan to get all 6 seasons.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh wow! This is *so* good!, 2 Jan 2007
By 
This review is from: Oz : Complete Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I've been waiting for this for ages!

It's another HBO series, but man - it's the best! (no, really - this is one of the best TV shows ever!!!)

Oz is Oswald State Correctional Facility - a prison. Most of the shows are set in 'Emerald City', an experimental unit of the prison, where they emphasize rehabilitation and learning during incarceration.

Emerald City is a great metaphor for racial and economic struggles, but beautifully done, with a very soft touch approach (thematically - it's not a drama for the faint hearted though!)

The cast is fantastic - Rita Moreno, Ernie Hudson, Christopher Meloni, B. D. Wong, Dean Winters, Kirk Acevedon, Harold Perrineau, .J.K. Simmons, Eamonn Walker, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje,..... who?? Pah - you'll recognise a lot of them - there's a lot who were real stars before, and a lot who've done good TV work afterwards, but together they're *such* a great cast!!

I **loved** this on Channel 4 (but they put it on at insane times - by the end you weren't going to see it by accident) and coming out on R2 DVD is fantastic :-)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most intelligent, witty and probing dramas about a man's quest for redemption ever made, 23 Dec 2009
This review is from: Oz : Complete Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I first started watching Oz 2 months ago and have since seen all 6 seasons, and have to say, in my opinion it is one of the best shows ever made. The cast is exceptional, the writing is always engaging and fast paced, the storylines keep you fascinated and each new interwoven plot twist serves to further each character's development beautifully. The series focuses on the day to day lives of the prisoners incarcerated in The Oswald Maximum Security Correctional Facility, and primarily those in the unit of the prison, Emerald City, set up by the idealistic Tim McManus. Each episode is around 50 minutes, featuring random interludes by the omniscient narrator and prisoner Augustus Hill, and, although other reviewers have stated they feel these interludes detract from the story, I find the reverse- that they add to the storylines, and his intelligent observations and facts make you think about what you're watching e.g. "So, what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom? What makes us so different? We're the only species who put our own kind in cages."
But it's the characters that really make the show exceptional, and it's a real testament to the quality of the actors that they can play men who have done such horrible things, and yet humanise them to the point where you are often sympathising with them, rationalising their actions, and hoping that each one will ultimately be saved. The main protagonists are- Miguel Alvarez (brilliantly played by Kirk Acevedo), the young Latino in for assault, whose father and grandfather are both in Oz too, demonstrating the failure of the prison system. He becomes a father which changes him for the better, but when his son dies he battles to keep his sanity living in Oz. Kareem Said (Eamonn Walker), the charismatic Muslim leader in Oz, who fights against the injustices in the prison system, especially in regards to minorities. His character provides a great platform for questioning the fairness of America's legal system. Tobias Beecher (Lee Tergesen), the ex-lawyer who is incarcerated for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. The show starts on his first day in prison, therefore his character acts as the audiences' gateway into prison life. Another notable character is Vernon Schillinger (superbly played J.K. Simmons), the Neo-Nazi head of the Aryans inside Oz, and arguably one of the greatest television villains of all time. Moreover, a hoard of other talented actors makes up the rest of the multi-faceted characters within Oz.
Quite simply, if you want a show that is full of action, suspense, brilliantly acted, and with a superb script which will make you question how you view the penal system and its socio-economic implications, then Oz is the show for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Osawald..., 4 Aug 2007
By 
This review is from: Oz : Complete Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Oz introduces us to the microcosm of Emerald City- an experimental unit in the fictional Oswald State Penitentiary- and its inmates. A mixed bunch of hardened criminals, racists, addicts, out and out psychopaths, and at least one man who made one terrible mistake. Possibly no other television series has had a leading cast who should be so unsympathetic, and the miraculous thing is that Oz succeeds in getting you to care about them and only very rarely whitewashes the fact that most of these men are utter scum.
Narrated by a wheelchair bound former gang member (more familiar to most UK TV viewers as Michael from Lost), a ploy designed to tie each episode into a narrative theme such as sex, drugs, and capital punishment, each episode has its own story tied into a larger arc. The first season in particular focuses on escalating violence and racial tensions as different factions vie for control of the drugs that move through the unit and react to the initiatives of an increasingly draconian state governor. Mixed in with all of this is the arrival of Tobias Beecher, a soft lawyer convicted of killing a girl while driving drunk, whose highs and lows (some utterly appalling) run through the next several seasons. The whole story is not for the even remotely faint hearted with graphic violence, frontal male nudity, anal rape, and the sort of language you would expect from a group of male prisoners.
With all that said Oz is brilliantly written and acted and cannot be faulted. HBO probably produce the best TV on the planet and Oz was one of their early triumphs. This is a set of eight remarkably put together episodes of a remarkable series that takes us from the opening of Oz to a vicious conclusion without ever losing a step. For anyone who likes their television to be high quality and is not put off by a bit of (not unnecessary) gore Oz must be for you.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for this since years, 8 Jan 2007
By 
T. Francois (Belgium) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Oz : Complete Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I've been waiting for this show to appear on Region2 for years now!!! I know i was blown away by it when it was aired on Belgian TV years ago. Year after year, there were these new shows comming out combining the best of "soaps, action, suspense and quality" (think in the likes of Sopranos, The Wire, The Shield). They all get great respect and almost unanomous positive reviews and all the time i was thinking: "Doesn't anybody remember OZ??!!"

So, the summarize: in my opinion a true founder of an immensly popular genre that a lot of people seem to have forgotten. Hope it won't outdated, be definitely a must-see!
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Oz : Complete Season 1 [DVD]
Oz : Complete Season 1 [DVD] by Alex Zakrzewski (DVD - 2007)
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