003777Reviews & Counting
Oz (S2)
DVD disk
10.07.2004 By: The Shootin Surgeon
Oz (S2) order

Ernie Hudson
Terry Kinney
Edie Falco


star Printer-Friendly version
The second season picks up where the first one left off: Oz is engulfed in the aftermath of a deadly riot and on full lockdown. The Governor (Zeljco Ivanek) is up everyone's ass and the inmates are still looking to divide the meager pie the way they see best...all for themselves.
People usually compare things that get better with time to a bottle of fine wine and even though OZ keeps cementing its place as the best thing television has to offer, it's hardly a bottle of vintage Bordeaux. You see, wine ages slowly and once ready, becomes a delicate subtle pleasure...but OZ? OZ is not like that. OZ gets better week after week instead of year after year and the finished product, instead of being subtle and delicate, is tantamount to chewing on a fistful of gravel while a hundred people around you bang their tin cups against iron bars. OZ is like that old guy you see every morning on your way to work, sleeping on a bench in the subway, stinking of cheap liquor and muttering to himself while wearing plastic bags over his feet. You feel bad and you'd like to give him a hand and yet you can't bring yourself to ever look him in the eye. And if someone offered for you to take his place in order for him and a hundred like him to find their salvation, your good wishes would disappear and you'd run like the wind.

OZ creates an atmosphere around its cast of utter discomfort. You watch it hoping that the writers went over the top and you shudder at the thought of spending even one minute of your life in this hellhole, let alone the rest of your days. There are no fancy sets in OZ (in fact, there's only one set) and there are no pretty girls and teenage stars with capped teeth. OZ is made up of a fantastic ensemble cast containing mostly actors you've never heard of before. In this second season, you find the old mainstays, the glue that holds this ship all together: Dean Winters, J.K. Simmons, Lee Tergesen, Kirk Acevedo, Eamonn Walker, Adewalle Akinnuoye-Agnaje and Tim Kinney in their respective roles as prisoners Ryan O'Reilly, Vern Schillinger, Tobias Beecher, Miguel Alvarez, Kareem Said, the loathsome Simon Adebisi and Cell Block Manager Tim McManus. Around these men, most of the stories revolve and most of the prison power play gravitate. With the help of some more familiar guest stars such as LL Cool J and Luis Guzman, this season delves a bit more into the inner workings of their minds than did the first one and allows them to appear a bit more human, if not more likeable. The same goes for the prison employees: the warden (Ernie Hudson), the Chaplain (BD Wong), the Nun/Psychiatrist (Rita Moreno). They all form a part of an unlikely family who along with the inmates, try to survive in the jungle of prison.

OZ is not an easy show to watch and it's definitely not my idea of "light entertainment". OZ is the kind of show you want to show to your buddy who's been driving after a few too many drinks. It's the kind of show you want to show your neighbor's kid who stole a bike the week before. It's the kind of show you want to show that guy in high school who was selling his little dime-bags of weed. It makes you think. It makes you appreciate the things you have before they were taken away. Am I going too far? Is it just a TV show? Maybe and yes, but in this day and age of idiotic reality shows, where half the programming consists of bachelors and bachelorettes trying to score a quick lay or of 24-hour newscasts trying to make any stupid thing look like the Watergate scandal so they can slap on a fancy little title and sell some ads, OZ stands out as one of the few remaining shows that one can call intelligent, original and meaningful.
Not much to write your sweetheart about here. We begin with a pretty decent set of cast & crew bios containing specs for pretty much all the main cast members, as well as the various directors and writers. It's worthy of note that Kathy Bates directed one of the episodes ("Family Bizness") in this season. Following that is a four-minute long featurette with some comments from cast and crew members. Not much you can say in four minutes so you pretty much get a narrator who talks about how great the show is and the actors who confirm it.

The next (and last) offering has a bit more meat in which to sink your teeth. It's a twenty-minute long roundtable discussion conducted by the Museum of Television and Radio featuring many members of the cast and crew including OZ creator Tom Fontana who leads and moderates the chatter. If you want a comparison, think "Inside The Actors Studio" without the pompous-ass host and instead, with Fontana hosting and quite frankly, being all-around hilarious and entertaining. The discussion is actually pretty light-hearted with most sharing little anecdotes about the shooting schedule and location and Fontana himself focusing on the creation of the show. Pretty satisfying although brief.
What can I say? I love this show (it's the only non-sports thing I still use cable for) and heavily recommend it to all. If you chose to rent it, know that the 8 episodes can be watched in a very short time since they're so involving, but that they can be watched several times and still enjoyed. I would rather watch one episode a week though and have a chance to truly enjoy each and every one rather than cramming them into one session (although I unfortunately had to do so, to write this) so I would recommend a purchase for this set since you can find it for around $50 bucks and get each penny's worth.
Not registered? Sign-up!

Best Selling

| September 2016 More Best Selling
  • 1
    X-Men: Apocalypse
  • 2
    Beauty and the Beast (25th Ann)
  • 3
    Captain America: Civil War
  • 4
    Star Trek Beyond
  • 5
    The Walking Dead (S6)

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week