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Oz: Complete First Season

Ernie Hudson , Terry Kinney    DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 29.00
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Oz: Complete First Season + Oz: Complete Second Season + Oz: The Complete Third Season
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Product Description

Oz: The Complete First Season (DVD)


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

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Tv Drama Ever Nov. 8 2002
Oz is hands down the best tv drama series ever! I started watching it midway through and on the Showcase network (Don't get HBO in Canada) and I instantly became hooked. The storyline is something you just don't see anywhere else on television. It is hard hitting and very raw. What I like best is that no one person is the star. It is an a large cast and everyone is important to the show.
The first season sets a lot of seeds for future happenings, but it is a fine season on it's own. You just never know what will happen. I never saw the first 3 seasons, I watched 4 and 5 and have seen some repeats of the first 3 so watching this DVD set was a huge treat for me. The Show is very easy to follow, has a ton of great acting and is just plan amazing.
I would suggest this to anyone who likes drama's. Yes the language is hard and there is some nudity (mostly male) people need to remember that this is a prison setting and that is what would happen in any prison. Sit back and enjoy. I can't wait for season two to come out in January.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OZ...We're Not In Kansas Anymore Toto! June 29 2004
Well, I'd seen HBO's other hit original series like "The Sopranos" and "The Wire", and I honestly thought that TV couldn't get anymore violent or better in story content! BOY WAS I WRONG! You have to watch the show from the beginning, but if you follow carefully you feel just like you're in the prison...which is exactly what the show's directors and producers have attempted to do by shooting in closed-in spaces and upping the anti on violence. It seems that movies are losing story conent and TV (with less censorship) is gaining much more edgy stories! Plus the cast is all-star from Rita Moreno (Sister Peter Marie) to the very under-rated Kirk Acavedo (Alvarez). Even the show's writer, Tom Fontana is so great at connecting stories and humanizing the most brutal killers in OZ. The only thing that I can find that irritates me is that these cast members keep doing LAW AND ORDER episodes! God! I mean, come on, it's better to burn out than fade away. Anyway, I've got to recommend this and the other seasons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like it or not, it sucks you in Feb. 21 2004
By A Customer
I have come to find that there are very few good dramas that center around prison life. Even then, the handful of films that I think are well done, like "Papillon" or "Sleepers", aren't really about prisons (they're about penal colonies and juvenile delinquency centers, respectively). Most films just follow the same formula: not-so-street-savvy person goes in, is told to beat up the first person he can, befriends some guy, gets sodomized in the shower, et cetera.
This HBO series, however, is surprisingly good. At times it gets a little too ambitious and tends to lose focus in trying to delve into each of the diverse characters, but by the last three episodes or so the action really gathers momentum. In fact, the plot is perhaps one of the most interesting I've yet seen; the problem is in the delivery. Tacky lines (for instance, "Coming from you, I'll take that as a compliment", from Reilly) muddle the action, and the Aryan Nations inmates feel a little too much like "American History X" clones. The worst part of the show, however, is the wheelchair-bound guide, whose incessant gesticulations and headset and dialogue are enough to make you want to stop watching.
All in all, though, its solid. The cast is pretty convincing, the violence is intense, and the climax is unbelievable. My verdict: good to rent, but not the best buy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This show just grabs you and won't let go!!!! June 21 2004
You won't find ToTo here!!!! Oz is a prison where men are supposed to be rehabilitated. Instead the men are still committing crimes, being violated, fighting for their rights, their lives, and trying to maintain their sanity. Season 1 you are introduced to Warden Glynn, trying to maintain order in the prison, and keep the funding. McManus he runs the Oz section, but sometimes his best laid plans don't always work. Augustus Hill is in a wheelchair, and he narrates the episodes. Kareem Said is the Muslim leader. I love this guys character, despite being in prison, he still tries to bring a sense of discipline, order, and he does not allow anyone to mess with him or his religion!!! Do not try to cross this brother!! He tries to help other black men follow the faith even if they end up on death row. This man enters the prison, and you see people go nuts!!! Some men like him and some can't stand him and want to see him dead. Sister Peter tries to help the men with their drug problems. Beecher is the man that does not belong, he is a former lawyer who is serving time for driving while impaired, and for killing a young girl. He meets up with Schillinger and his life goes from bad to nightmare. Shcillinger makes him wear make up, violates him, and every chance he gets abuse and use him until Beecher has had enough!! Alvarez is not in prison for 5 minutes before he is stabbed. This show will have you on waves of emotion. You will be angry, you will be shocked, you will be surprised, you will be sad, you will cry, and in some cases you will find yourself laughing. You feel for some of the prisoners, you will hate some of the prisoner, and you will like or dislike some of the workers. This is a GREAT show, and I'm looking forward to seeing Season 2 of Oz.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the Men.....
One of the best shows I have ever watched. A little graphic but still awesome. Thanks
Published 2 months ago by Donna Robertson-Balzer
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
only in english
Published 3 months ago by papous
5.0 out of 5 stars 90's TV shows are the best
I remember watching the odd episode of this show on Showcase, it was pretty brutal for its time. So glad to see it available on DVD finally. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bolder
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
The price is great compared to other stores here in Toronto... The order arrived in no time!

I love this show... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jae
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome show
it took a while until I got it but I did get it, it must of been lost in the mail or stolen or something but I when I called Amazon up they replaces it and it arrived a few days... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Christian Bertin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Show, awesome cast....
I am a huge CSI fan. I enjoy watching the show, but I enjoy the show even more now that it's on DVD. Read more
Published on July 19 2004 by S. M. Anderson
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Writing and Acting
After seeing parts of episodes while channel surfing, I thought I'd buy this and give it a go. WHAT A MISTAKE
After watching the first three episodes I am ready to bail. Read more
Published on June 2 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars OZ the soap opera
Coming from a person who has worked in a state prison for 15 years, stuff that goes on in OZ is absolutly ridiculous. But having said that I am hooked on the series. Read more
Published on March 28 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit hard to see what the fuss is about
As a gritty realistic drama about what prison life is like, this macho melodrama makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Read more
Published on Feb. 9 2004 by C. Jannuzi
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
This series isn't for everyone.The series does portrays the stark realities of prison life and is well written. 2nd season is a must to see.
Published on Jan. 31 2004 by "louandchrisbooksplus"
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