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Oz: Season 1 (2002)

Ernie Hudson , Terry Kinney  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (701 customer reviews)

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Oz Season 1
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Oz: Season 1 + Oz: Season 2 + Oz: Season 3
Price for all three: $50.95

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  • Oz: Season 2 $17.98
  • Oz: Season 3 $17.98

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ernie Hudson, Terry Kinney, Jr. Harold Perrineau, Eamonn Walker
  • Producers: Barry Levinson, Tom Fontana
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: March 19, 2002
  • Run Time: 480 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (701 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005Y6YJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,195 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Oz: Season 1" on IMDb

Special Features

  • All 8 episodes on 3 discs
  • Two audio commentaries by series creator Tom Fontana and star Lee Tergesen
  • Deleted scenes with audio commentary
  • Featurette
  • Music video
  • Episodic previews
  • Index

Editorial Reviews

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

Product Description

Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, but definitely for those who appreciate cutting-edge drama that jolts, provokes, and challenges preconceptions. The setting is a prison ward, where hardened criminals exist in a heightened state of rage, revenge, and terror. What members of the various factions, divided mostly by race, do to one another and themselves forms the basis for each episode of this controversial HBO original. Potent language and no-punches-pulled violence. 8 hours on 3 DVDs. Simon Says: Though definitely modern and American, Maupin also shares something with Old World giants such as Dostoyevsky and Dickens: legions of devotees who map and tour the real-life locales of his books. And all of the above authors had their work serialized in newspapers, Maupin's in the San Francisco Chronicle. Now, which way to 28 Barbary Lane?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best show on HBO September 11, 2004
From Homicide: Life on the Street creator Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson, Oz is one of the most compulsively violent and addicting shows to hit HBO. While the Sopranos garnered most of the attention from HBO viewers, the primal nature and sheer unpredictability of Oz made the series the definition of must see TV. Taking place in the Oswald Correctional Facility (known to the inmates as Oz) these eight episodes revolve around Emerald City: a cellblock overseen by prison reform advocate Tim McManus (Terry Kinney) and the warden Leo Glynn (Ernie Hudson) who is desperately trying to keep the peace among the inmates as the governor bans privlages including smoking and conjugal visits. We are introduced to a cast of compelling characters whom be both pity and despise, including meek lawyer Tobias Beecher (Lee Tergesen) whose transformation from frightened new convict to drug raddled madman must be seen to be believed, white supremicist leader Vern Schillinger (J.K. Simmons), backstabbing and double dealing Ryan O'Reilly (Dean Winters), the cocky and self loathing Miguel Alvarez (Kirk Acevedo), wheelchair bound narrator Augustus Hill (Harold Perrineau), and Muslim activist Kareem Said (Eamonn Walker) whose extreme policy of non-violence explodes in the season ending riot that sets the stage for season two. The rest of the cast, including Rita Moreno, the Sopranos' Edie Falco, and John Seda (even though he only appears in the first episode) does brilliant work, all of whom help make Oz unforgettable. If you've never seen Oz, you should definitely check it out and see for yourself one of the best and underrated shows on HBO and maybe even TV history, but do be warned, this series is not for the squeamish.
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74 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OZ--The Heat Is Just Getting Started! March 9, 2003
OZ--The Prison Drama that aired on HBO--Home Box Office from 1997-2003. If you have never seen OZ, THIS IS FOR ADULTS ONLY. The episodes contain male full frontal nudity, sexual situations, violence and mature themes. The acting is incredible. The situations, the dialogue and the sets are realistic. This drama is gritty. A plus to the cast is Academy Award Winner Rita Moreno as "Sister Peter Marie Reimondo" and BD Wong as "Father Ray Mukada".
Christopher Meloni got his big break doing OZ and at the same time was in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit from 1999-2011. BD Wong also moved on to Law & Order:SVU in 2001-present.
If these episodes in the Season One collection don't get your heart startled. It's only the beginning. Get involved in the storyline. Watch every episode in proper order. And after you are finished with all eight episodes of Season One. Buy Season Two and get ready for a more mature hard-hitting season. Their are 6 Seasons. And remember, ADULTS ONLY!
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first season, the best season February 18, 2002
Oz is decidedly not for the faint of heart. That said, the first (and best) season's episodes were beautifully constructed, exceptionally well-written, and wonderfully cast. The inside/outside viewpoints offered by the wheelchair-bound narrator provide not only the backgrounds of the inmates but also the philosophical point of each episode. There is much graphic violence, moments of such painful truth (Tergesen in paricular turns in an award-winning performance throughout) and such horror, that one is utterly drained by the emotional turbulence. Next to Six Feet Under, HBO's other brave and clever award-winning show, Oz is one of the best examples of what television can be when the targeted audience is more than eight years old. Most highly recommended.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome To Oz, Bitch. May 22, 2005
The first season of 'Oz' introduces the viewer to a prison filled with low-life thugs, criminals, rapists, and all around nasty men. Throw in some full frontal nudity, man rape, tons of cursing, double-cross upon double-cross and what do you get? One of the grittest, most realistic, and most satisfying shows on television.

Everyone is represented in Oz: the Aryans, the Italians, the Muslims, the Gangstas, the Latinos...pretty much every facet of a prison population. The cast of characters is huge so get prepared to pay attention to who's who and who's doing what and why. Don't be deterred though...just pay attention and you will reap the rewards of this fine show. Every episode focuses on numerous different characters but most of the main ten or so receive about equal time.

The first season is excellent: Tobias Beecher(Lee Tergeson)is a mild-mannered lawyer, sent to Oz on an involuntary manslaughter charge, who is befriended in a not-so-nice way by Aryan leader Shillinger(JK Simmons)who has a beef with the Gangstas who have a beef with the Italians who are all scared of the weird guy who ate his parents...and on and on and on. The season is filled with layer upon layer of conflict and gives a very real sense of what life in a maximum security prison must be like. And there's not only the prisoners, there are the employees of the prison: numerous guards(including a pre-'Sopranos' Edie Falco), the warden(Ernie Hudson), priest(BD Wong), etc. who all deal with not only the prisoners' issues but their own as well. Through the myriad of conflict over the course of the season, the tension builds up to a massive riot taking over the prison.
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The Season 1 has NO subtitles. Neither English nor Spanish.
May 28, 2011 by stdaku |  See all 4 posts
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