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Oz (Season 2) DVD Review - Articles Surfing
Nominated for 2 Emmys, including Best Casting for a Series, Oz is widely regarded as one of the best prison dramas ever created. The brainchild of creator Tom Fontana (former writer for such hit TV shows as Homicide: Life On The Streets and St. Elsewhere), Oz was one of a number of a highly successful HBO original series to premiere in the 1990s, keeping good company among such shows as Sex And The City and The Sopranos. Premiering in mid-summer 1997, Oz quickly built a large and loyal following of voyeuristic viewers hypnotized by the series' vivid depiction of no-holds-barred prison life. Following six critically acclaimed seasons, Oz was cancelled in early 2003, but lives on via DVD'
Oz is the street name for the Oswald State Penitentary, a rough and hardened prison where survival of the fittest is the prevailing law. But the focus of Oz is Level 5, an experimental cell block deemed "Emerald City" that's managed by Unit Administrator Tim McManus (Terry Kinney) and thick-skinned Warden Leo Glynn (Ernie Hudson). One of the prisoners, wheelchair-bound convicted murderer Augustus Hill (Harold Perrineau Jr. of Lost) narrates for the viewer, tying together the various storylines that play out within the prison. In an atmosphere of well-governed anarchy, prisoners come and go (some paroled; some murdered), prison guards uphold their duty (while some are corrupt), and various groups (such as Muslims, Aryans, Latinos, Italians, gangstas, gays, etc.) compete for power over each other and over the prevalent drug trade rampant within the walls of Oz. Tobias "Toby" Beecher (Lee Tergesen) plays the "everyday man," having been convicted for manslaughter while driving drunk, and his character's experiences force the viewer to place himself in the shoes of the inmate. Other notable characters include Prisoner Miguel Alvarez (Kirk Acevedo), Prisoner Bob Rebadow (George Morfogen), Prisoner Vernon Schillinger (J.K. Simmons), Prisoner Kareem Said (Eamonn Walker), Prisoner Tony Masters (Steven Wishnoff), Officer Diane Whittlesey (Edie Falco of The Sopranos), and Father Ray Mukada (B.D. Wong of Law & Order: SVU). Together, they form a solid cast that makes Oz one of the best original cable dramas ever produced'
The Oz (Season 2) DVD features a number of dramatic episodes including the season premiere "The Tip" in which Oz takes a rest following a deadly riot that left two officers and six prisoners dead. Governor James Devlin (Zeljko Ivanek) demands an answer to the riot's cause, and he enlists Alvah Case (Charles S. Dutton) to investigate, promising him his support for state Attorney General. After a thorough investigation, he decides to look the other way in regard to Whittlesey and Ross's cigarette operation and Ross's subsequent murder, and he deems the riot a "no-fault" occurrence, incurring the wrath of Governor Devlin' Other notable episodes from Season 2 include "Great Men" in which Kareem Said sees the opportunity to have his conviction overturned when the judge from his trial is admonished for accepting bribes, and "Escape from Oz" in which two prisoners are killed when an escape tunnel collapses, while Said turns down a pardon from the Governor, making him all the more popular in Oz'
Below is a list of episodes included on the Oz (Season 2) DVD:
Episode 9 (The Tip) Air Date: 07-11-1998
Episode 10 (Ancient Tribes) Air Date: 07-20-1998
Episode 11 (Great Men) Air Date: 07-27-1998
Episode 12 (Losing Your Appeal) Air Date: 08-03-1998
Episode 13 (Family Bizness) Air Date: 08-10-1998
Episode 14 (Strange Bedfellows) Air Date: 08-17-1998
Episode 15 (Animal Farm) Air Date: 08-24-1998
Episode 16 (Escape from Oz) Air Date: 08-31-1998
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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