• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Jul 12, 1997
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 26
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 26
  3. Negative: 0 out of 26

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  1. Nov 22, 2013
    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 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.
  2. Jan 3, 2013
    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 of the acting, the narrative got lost in a spiral of gritty violence and aparent permissiveness/chaos. Disapointing finale.
  3. Nov 26, 2012
    Oz is the show that started HBO, and it was a great preface to the television that would come. From the amazing opening theme to the ending credits, I guarantee that Oz will entertain you like no other TV show has. The tension of Breaking Bad, the scope and amazing characters of The Wire, and the smart writing of The Sopranos; and all years before any of those shows were being produced. While the show's influence is difficult to find in modern TV, it is definitely there. Here in the first season, we are introduced to some of the most realistic and best acted characters in TV history. Adebisi, Said, Beecher, Schillinger, Wheelchair Boy; all of these characters have their own outlooks on life, prison, and life in prison. They come together to make an interesting and thought provoking take on prison life and outside life in general. Who are the real criminals: the convicts or the guards? What about the death penalty? Do convicts deserve basic human rights? These are all questions that Oz poses through characters and events both just and unjust, and every minute of it is entertaining. Not to mention the camaraderie and humor among the prisoners and guards. Oz is a show that will leave you thinking and laughing at the same time, all while beating out the funky theme song on your favorite chair, breaking your remote in the process. On to Season 2 for me. Expand
  4. Jul 11, 2012
    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 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 14, 2010
    This 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
  6. Nov 7, 2010
    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 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

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Terry Kelleher
    Jun 26, 2013
    You won't escape easily from this drama's grip.
  2. Reviewed by: Lee Winfrey
    May 15, 2013
    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]
  3. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    May 15, 2013
    In a stifling summer of same-old, same-old on the tube, HBO's Oz is a shock of ice water in the face, a kick in the stomach, an exciting, exhausting, horrifying, mesmerizing trip to hell, operating as the Oswald Maximum Security Prison...For adults who choose to go to hell and (not quite) back, Oz is just about as powerful as TV drama gets. [10 July 1997]