Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Remembering - Oz

It was one of televisions finest hours, served as the launching pad for dozens of careers and most importantly it made sociopaths fun.

Of course we're talking about Oz, which aired it's final episode eight years ago today.

So today we chose not to mourn the loss of a great show, but rather to celebrate it's numerous accomplishments.

Oz was a groundbreaking show for a couple of reasons.  First, it was HBO's first foray into the realm of scripted hourlong drama.  Second it was sort of a masculine soap opera.

Oh and there is the fact that Oz was the first show to take place inside a maximum security prison. Oz was set inside of fictional Oswald State Correctional Facility, with of the action taking place in its experimental unit of Emerald City.

Much like the dynamic of an actual prison, Oz served as a home with a revolving door for actors based on the East Coast.  And because of the subject matter, Oz provided tons of work to minority actors and actresses.

For established actors, such as Rita Moreno, Earnie Hudson, B.D. Wong and Lauren Velez it provided a steady gig in a challenging role.

For character actors like Reg E. Cathey, John Doman, Luis Guzman and J.K. Simmons Oz gave them a chance to play a character and develop them.

It's because of these guys that we stayed out of jail.

And for some young actors like Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kirk Acevedo, Harold Perrineau Jr., J.D. WIlliams and Rick Fox it offered up a chance for them to make a names for themselves.

in fact some of these roles were so indelible that, to this day, we still refer to the actors by the names of the characters they played on Oz. Alvarez, Glynn, Adebisi, McManus, Schillinger, Beecher and Ryan & Cyril O'Reily will forever be known by their Oz names.

 Naturally we have our favorite moments from the show.  For instance we loved when Vern made Toby ask for permission to enjoy some quality time with his wife.

Any time Adebisi was on screen we were riveted, but especially when he was talking to Kenny. "Hello Kenny" still gives us chills.

Worst. Roomate. Ever.

Any revenge scene between Vern and Toby is pretty much gold.

Oh and that one time Jerry Seinfeld was on Oz was also pretty killer.

Seinfeld in Oz from Nerdy Justin on Vimeo.

In fact, if Oz had any faults it's that it welcomed too many rappers to appear on the show.  Method Man, Lord Jamar, Master P, LL Cool J and Treach all popped up on show. That's right, it lead credence to Method Man, Master P and LL Cool J as actors and could probably be directly blamed for NCIS: Los Angelos.

So, thank you Oz for all of the good times.

And the sodomy.  All that gratuitous sodomy.

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