Loving: Oz

You can tell when I have major work to do - I seem to discover some amazing new distraction for "study breaks".

I've been watching Oz, a dark, gritty prison drama for a while now but I've just finished the 4th season and it really is getting better and better. (At times it seems to be going a little over the top with the melodrama and the speed with which worlds of crap seem to poor down on the heads of everyone - but shit man, it's Oz and it's ok.)

Oz is set in Emerald City, the experimental unit of Oswald State Correctional Facility, which means that rather than bars everywhere, the prisoners live in a more open plan kind of place, with the cells closed off by some kind of plexiglass. From a tv perspective this makes a lot of sense as you have a much clearer view of the whole goings on.

Being an HBO show (home of The Sopranos, Sex and the City, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Wire, Deadwood, Six Feet Under - basically anything good from America that's been on tv in the last 10 years - except The West Wing), you get the full in-your-face gamut of language, sex, violence, drug use and other adult content. If you don't have a couple of people being brutally shanked (stabbed), beaten or otherwise killed in an episode, it's a slow week in the prison.

Episodes are tied together by some kind of overarching theme, provided by the shows narrator (of sorts), wheelchair bound Augustus Hill. These are often philosophical in nature and have ranged from the wide variety of home-made knives you find in a prison to famous people who have been prisoners (Galileo etc) and broader reflections on family or revenge.

I started searching the YouTube videos for something to show you but hit one spoiler and don't want to know any more. The link will give you an idea anyways.

Here's a clip I've put up previously that shows what happens when Seinfeld comes to visit Oz. (This came about because Seinfeld's cousin plays a thug biker in the show and apparently Jerry visits the set from time to time)