Oz : Season 1

  • Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Jul 12, 1997
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 40 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Oz is the name on the street for the Oswald State Penitentiary. Our wheelchair-bound narrator Augustus Hill (Harold Perrineau Jr.) takes us through the wacky world of Emerald City, the experimental unit started by Tim McManus (Terry Kinney). There's shankin' and lovin' and cussin' andOz is the name on the street for the Oswald State Penitentiary. Our wheelchair-bound narrator Augustus Hill (Harold Perrineau Jr.) takes us through the wacky world of Emerald City, the experimental unit started by Tim McManus (Terry Kinney). There's shankin' and lovin' and cussin' and fightin' but in the end, HBO makes a damn fine prison drama. It's gritty. And there you have it. Expand
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Lee Winfrey
    May 15, 2013
    100
    The first new drama series ever produced by Home Box Office, Oz, is a powerhouse. It will probably push the quality standards for television drama as far as HBO's masterful Larry Sanders Show has expanded the parameters of TV comedy series. [9 July 1997, p.C01]
  2. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    May 15, 2013
    100
    For the most part, Oz is an awesome achievement - an alternately crude and elegant attempt to expand the boundaries of the one-hour drama. If it can avoid an over reliance on prison movie clichs, stay focused on the redemption theme and give its powerhouse cast more room to breathe, it could be one of the most important works ever aired on American television. [12 July 1997, p.29]
  3. Reviewed by: Terry Kelleher
    Jun 26, 2013
    83
    You won't escape easily from this drama's grip.
  4. Reviewed by: Manuel Mendoza
    May 15, 2013
    80
    Beyond the cursing, nudity and brutish behavior, Mr. Fontana makes the most of his opportunity by pushing TV's visual and storytelling limits.[12 July 1997, p.1C]
  5. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    May 15, 2013
    63
    If Fontana's goal is stark realism, it's undercut by the overly theatrical device of a funky narrator, an inmate who uses a wheelchair (Harold Perrineau) and who barks his thoughts into the camera. A sample commentary: "People kill to stay alive. That's as true in prison as out. But I'm wondering why in here we fight so hard to stay alive." [11 July 1997, p.3D]
  6. Reviewed by: Howard Rosenberg
    May 15, 2013
    60
    Its uniqueness and arresting style don't earn it an unqualified endorsement here, for its first two Fontana-written episodes are absolute downers--there's no light at the end of a tunnel, nor even a tunnel--that offer no central characters to like or pull for...Be forewarned, too, that Oz is flat-out the most violent and graphically sexual series on TV. By contrast, it makes ABC's "NYPD Blue" look and sound like dancing Barney. [12 July 1997, p.F2]
  7. Reviewed by: Frederic M. Biddle
    May 15, 2013
    30
    A pretentious exercise in cheap thrills, by great talents who've been allowed to run amok. [11 July 1997, p.D1]

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. Jun 26, 2015
    10
    Kesinlikle ve kesinlikle tarihin en iyi dizisi ve en iyi sezonlarından biri.Adebisi gibi karakterleri özlemiş olsakta bu sezonda Omar WhiteKesinlikle ve kesinlikle tarihin en iyi dizisi ve en iyi sezonlarından biri.Adebisi gibi karakterleri özlemiş olsakta bu sezonda Omar White yerini kapatıyor. Expand
  2. Nov 7, 2010
    10
    The best prison show of all time.Has a great cast with amazing actors and a very well put together story line.the only reason I didn't give aThe best prison show of all time.Has a great cast with amazing actors and a very well put together story line.the only reason I didn't give a 10 is because my computer is acting funny.If you haven't checked out this show yet, you should.Great drama and you will get hooked the first episode.One of the most under appretiated television shows of all time.Oz and The Wire at the two most under appretiated series of all time. Expand
  3. Nov 14, 2010
    9
    This show pushed the envelope for the time period in which it was on air. The subject matter delved into the deep, dark, and sadisticThis show pushed the envelope for the time period in which it was on air. The subject matter delved into the deep, dark, and sadistic underworld of a maximum security prison. Prison Break this is NOT! There are some gruesome scenes of gore and sexual violence which may be distasteful to some but is never over the top or extraneous. In regards to the quality of the acting, just take a look at how many talented men and women have moved on and branched out to star or co-star in major primetime hits on network channels. I highly recommend. Expand
  4. Jul 11, 2012
    9
    Oz shows every angle of prison, everything from when a new prisoner walks in, to the children of those prisoners. It also has what might beOz shows every angle of prison, everything from when a new prisoner walks in, to the children of those prisoners. It also has what might be the best first episode of a TV series, The Wire is possibly the greatest but honestly takes a few episodes to get into, but with Oz, the very first episode puts one into such an awe that they have to watch the following episode. This is known to be HBO's first ever 1 hour dramatic series along with also being "Anything Goes," attitude and surely it doesn't disappoint. If the story isn't enough for one to get into the cast should DEFINITELY get one into the show. A combination of plenty of guys from "The Wire" (before it aired obviously) and others really put together an incredibly series. The reason it doesn't get a 10 is because although personally i loved this series and every bit of it, some people may not have the stomach for this show. Oz shows the real story behind prison: gangs, murders, rapes, and corruption, so there aren't many moments of accomplishments on this series; what i mean is, you won't be saying "YAY!" too often, and when you do it'll be quiet and often that "YAY" becomes a "DAMN" later. But nonetheless, this series is a roller coaster and only a fool couldn't get into it. Expand
  5. Nov 22, 2013
    9
    There is no doubt, after reading many reviews, that the critics are not as qualified to write them than the fans are. Anyone that gives thisThere is no doubt, after reading many reviews, that the critics are not as qualified to write them than the fans are. Anyone that gives this show a 60 or below doesn't really understand great television and should resign. Walking Dead Season 2 is also highly underrated on here. To give The Sopranos lower scores than Homeland is downright despicable. You should be thrown in prison. Expand
  6. Jan 3, 2013
    8
    Great TV series on the darkest of the human spirit. Went all surreal and to the absurd towards the end of the series. Despite the quality ofGreat TV series on the darkest of the human spirit. Went all surreal and to the absurd towards the end of the series. Despite the quality of the acting, the narrative got lost in a spiral of gritty violence and aparent permissiveness/chaos. Disapointing finale. Expand
  7. Feb 23, 2015
    3
    Oz really does not hold up well at all, from its incredibly unrealistic take on prison to it mediocre acting in the first season. The actingOz really does not hold up well at all, from its incredibly unrealistic take on prison to it mediocre acting in the first season. The acting feels like a low budget off Broadway play, even though there are some great actors on the show. The plot in the majority of these episodes is more absurd then Days of Our Lives from ghost priests to the lottery this show is just silly. I will say however this show paved the way for some great tv that followed. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews

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