In this podcast, Geek Girls Amelia and Susan are joined by Chris to discuss their upcoming watch of HBOs' groundbreaking hour-long drama OZ. The network's first dramatic series aired 56 episodes from July 1997 to February 2003. Tom Fontana created this series after success on network television with St. Elsewhere and Homicide: Life on the Streets. Since OZ was filmed in New York and New Jersey, viewers will recognize many of the actors from Homicide, Law & Order, and other shows filmed nearby. After OZ, many actors went on to their own shows - Edie Falco (Sopranos, Nurse Jackie), Christopher Meloni (Law & Order SVU), JK Simmons (The Closer), and Dean Winters (Mayhem on the Allstate commercials).
Oz is the nickname for the Oswald State Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison, run by Leo Glynn. Most of the show centers around prisoners and staff in cell block 5, an experimental unit called Emerald City run by Tim McManus. He started the unit in an attempt to focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment. To help us on our journey through OZ, Fontana gives each episode a theme explained by the show's narrator Augustus Hill, played by Harold Perrineau (LOST fans will recognize him as Michael Dawson. Hill is usually seen in a revolving glass cell when presenting the audience with needed background information and words of wisdom.
You can catch the episodes on the HBOGO app or rent or borrow the DVDs. Join us in January as we begin our look at this HBO original series.