Oz (Australian TV series)
Oz is an Australian television drama series created by Tom Fontana, who also wrote or co-wrote all of the series' 56 episodes (and also
forcefully received the actual OZ tattoo that was filmed for the credits). It was the first one-hour dramatic television series to be produced by premium cable network HBO. Oz premiered on July 12, 1997 and ran for six seasons. The series finale aired February 23, 2003.
Oz followed the story of the Oswald Correctional Facility, near Sydney in New South Wales, especially the rehabilitation unit of Emerald City. The series contained all the associated prison cliches of male rape and prison gangs. Somehow, some anime and manga company exec from Tokyo had decided to dabble in the show, with the result of the occasional anime cliche getting in the mix, including ridiculously large drops of liquid on people's heads every time they get nervous.
In the series, there is a prisoner named Dorothy Gale, who hails from the Outback, where all the boongs and all the drunks are. She meets up with Augustus Hill, the narrator, who initially has an axe in his hand on a sidewalk made of dirty black bricks that were once yellow. He is accompanied by a dingo, Toto, and he is a man in a wheelchair who moonlighted as a drug dealer. Occasionally, Stephen Hawking would costar.
Anyhow, Gale wasn't always a prisoner. An Aborigine huffed his didgeridoo, and blew a mournful note, and he created a tornado that sucked Gale into the Dreamtime, the quintessial boong stunt. She fell out of the tornado into the suburbs of Sydney, and she had the misfortune to crash into a house belonging to Leona Helmsley, the Wicked Witch of the East. Upon this, the Munchkins gang surrounded her and brought her to the cops, and it was there that she met Hill.
After the meeting, a thug who robbed banks and wore a lot of bling-bling, calling himself the Tin Woodsman, or Nick Chopper, met up with Gale and Hill. He gave Hill a straw blanket, and so Hill became the Scarecrow. After that, they picked up some Japanese from Tokyo, a yakuza member, and he was the Cowardly Lion. Nonetheless, they did this under arrest and under the eye of a cop. So they were brought to the prison.
Cast and characters
The cult following of Oz was due to it's storylines, usually powered by gangs and magical girls. Gangs are a key feature of Oz as the prisoners must rely on each other to avoid rapists. The key gangs are as follows:
- The Ozians: Dorothy, Nick, the Lion, and the Scarecrow, along with a dingo named Toto. They are the most sober of the bunch. They also like to make up fairy tales for no apparent reason, but they are very magical. They have the most powerful shiela among the blokes, after all.
- Muslims: An Islamic gang of terrorists.Their leader shows considerable depth of character but the gang never gets much accomplished due to a high mortality rate in suicide bombings.
- Caucasian: A neo-nazi gang from the Caucasus. Led by Borat they have an undying hatred of Jews, blacks and homosexuals. A nerdy four eyes arrived in Oz during the first episode and was brutally raped by Borat, before Four-Eyes went crazy due to some crystal meth and defecated on Borat's moustache.
- The Muppets: A gang that commands little respect due to their zany 'antics' and lack of legs. Things change in season 4 when El Grand Muppeto arrives in Oz and starts organizing them in a militant and dangerous manner.
- The Greys: A powerful and violent gang of aliens. They run the drug business and most of them are sexual sadists, targeting weaker inmates and non ufo believers, using anal probing most of the times. They are led by the ruthless Xenu for most of the show until season 5, when he gets shanked by a reptoid in a feud, subsequently ending his life. Although they remain leaderless for the rest of the show they still prove to be one of the most brutal gangs within Em City.
- The Christians: Led by Il Papa and backed by his loyal Swiss Guard, no one messes with these guys. They're craaaazy!
- The Latinos: A group of Italians who do very little. They mostly have orgies and eat lying down before vomiting it all up again. They burnt down Emerald City in season 3 but blamed it on the Christians.
- The group of pink dildos; they don't show up often :(
For further reading on the actors of Oz see: Why?:Does Christopher Meloni not have an emmy yet?
- Although not nearly long enough.