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The HBO series "OZ" is almost set entirely in "Oswald Penitentiary." It is a prison experiment where inmates are granted or supposed to be granted more freedoms than in other prisons. It is one of the most "adult" shows to ever air on television. The show consistently shows extreme violence often including rape, nudity including full frontal nudity, and coarse language.

"OZ" is narrated by the character Augustus Hill (Harold Perrineau). Before most episodes and frequently after episodes he talks directly to the audience. He is also shown living throughout the prison and interacting with other characters.

The show has a claustrophobic feel to it. There are rarely any images of people going outside or existing outside of the prison. The staff is usually only shown while they work. The employees are also shown at times to be more violent and sadistic than the prisoners they are supposed to be guarding.

Many of the prisoners in the show are divided into groups of gangs based on ethnicity or affiliation. There are few "lone wolves" but those that wish to exist alone are usually killed or made to work for one of the prison gangs. There are a few exceptions involving the most intelligent and those that have proven themselves to be capable of great violence.

The character Tobias Beecher (Lee Tergensen) is one character tricked from the onset to become an underling of the white supremacist group. He was once an attorney before he killed someone in a drunk driving crash. Vern Schillinger (J.K. Simmons) plays his foil and throughout the series they are constantly scheming against each other.

Other primary characters on the show include Tim McManus (Terry Kinney) who envisioned the experimental prison and is constantly fighting for its survival with Warden Leo Glynn (Ernie Hudson). Rita Moreno plays Sister Peter Marie Reimondo and is a character of conscience. Eamonn Walker plays Muslim leader and political activist Kareem Said.

6 Seasons, 56 Episodes - Canceled
July 12, 1997
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Oz Full Episode Guide

  • Querns makes a return to Oz as a warden. As Howell learns that she's pregnant, Rebadow unsuccessfully petitions to artificially inseminate Norma. Vahue returns to Oz to talk to young prisoners and has a reunion with Brass. Alvarez receives bad news from the parole board. The mystery behind what really happened to Cloutier is revealed by Hoyt to Ray. Meanwhile, Idzik's death penalty sentence is overturned; Dr. Nathan lends her support to Ryan on the day of Cyril's execution; and the production of Macbeth is held, but Schillinger's fate is the same as the character he plays.

  • Omar White sponsors Idzik as he transfers to Em City. Glynn realizes a connection between Johnson and Loftus, which brings up more details surrounding Loewen's death. Robson continues with his rape counseling. The inmates support the O'Reilys as Cyril's execution nears.

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