Oz (1997–2003)
8.7/10
967
1 user 3 critic

The Routine 

In the 'Emerald City' experimental unit of Oswald State Penitentiary, we meet some of the diverse inmates who exist in a pecking order of Gangbangers, Latinos, Muslims, Westies, Aryans and Wiseguys.

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Cast

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Tony Musante ...
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Sean Whitesell ...
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Dr. Gloria Nathan (as Lauren Velez)
George Morfogen ...
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Storyline

In the 'Emerald City' experimental unit of Oswald State Penitentiary, we meet some of the diverse inmates who exist in a pecking order of Gangbangers, Latinos, Muslims, Westies, Aryans and Wiseguys.

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12 July 1997 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On-screen brothers Ryan and Cyril O'Reilly are played by real-life brothers Dean Winters and Scott William Winters. Their brother Brad Winters is also one of the writers. See more »

Goofs

When Ryan O'Reily approaches Mike Healey he says "My brother says hello" right before asking a favor. In season 2 when his brother Cyril O'Reily is introduced he is mentally handicapped and the relationship between him and Mike doesn't make a lot of sense. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Augustus Hill: Oz. That's the name on the street for the Oswald Maximum Security Penitentiary. Oz is retro. Oz is retribution. You wanna punish a man? Separate him from his family, separate him from himself, cage him up with his own kind.
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Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Oz Theme
By Dave Darlington and Steve Rosen
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User Reviews

 
The start of HBO's run of fantastic TV shows
27 November 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Before The Wire, before Six Feet Under, before the Sopranos, we had Oz. This first episode got me hooked. I didn't watch it when it first aired back in 1997; I started watching it recently in the year 2011, 14 years after it originally aired, and I've already decided that Oz is now one of my favourite TV shows of all time. I kind of wish I could have started watching it a little earlier. Now I know where the Wire and The Sopranos gets its HBO high quality style programming from. Though Oz is one of those shows that is actually easy to follow the plot.

So this TV show is about the daily routine of prisoners and staff in the penitentiary of Oz. Each episode looks at a particular theme of stories that affects prisoners in Oz. We have at least one person die in each episode. "The Routine" starts it all, which introduces our huge ensemble cast, where there is no protagonist, and where characters that you get to know a lot might eventually get killed off. This episode is no exception, having this crazy prisoner, who steals the episode by getting into trouble a lot, but gets killed. The show is really dark but feels realistic. The acting is fantastic, the writing is superb, and the pacing is nice and slow. It's a TV show that you'd never see anything like it before 1997.

Oz wouldn't work in any other TV channel but HBO, and probably Showtime. The show has the freedom to do anything, like have bloody violence, strong language, discrimination, and sexual references. It's unfortunate that only 8 episodes are made each season, but I guess the season with 16 episodes makes up for it.


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