Diary of a Binge Watcher: OZ

Hi, I’m Rosie, and I am a MAJOR binge TV watcher.

If you are a true HBO fanatic like me, Oz is ground zero for true HBO dramas. Starting in 1997, HBO was in its infancy, and OZ was its first hour-long drama. Think about what Oz made way for! Six Feet Under, True Blood, Newsroom, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Big Love, Deadwood, The Wire, The Sopranos… just to name a few!

My latest binge venture has been Oz on HBOGO. I warn you, my fellow binge watchers: Oz is not for the faint of heart; I almost gave up quite a few times. But I am as serious as a heart attack when I say I actually think I was meant to keep watching. The morning after I watched a seriously depressing episode that kept me awake into the night (I had tweeted that night about possibly being defeated by a show), I was driving down a busy LA thoroughfare and right in front of me, lo and behold, a truck that was a monolith of a vehicle. OZ MOVING COMPANY. If that wasn’t a sign, then I don’t know what is!

I had always heard about Oz, and I remember when I was much younger seeing it fly by on the guide. When has an HBO show ever been a waste of time? I gave it a shot. I watched the pilot MONTHS ago and was intrigued, but slightly disturbed. So as soon as I set up my HBOGO on my Apple TV, Oz was my first binge watch venture.

It took a month. Yes, for a binge watcher that may seem like a lifetime, but there are limits when it comes to watching Oz. First of all, episodes are a full hour. To ensure it didn’t consume my entire life, I limited myself to two episodes per night. Second of all, it is so intense and depressing, I really couldn’t handle more than two at a time.

So here’s the rundown: Oz is an experimental unit of a maximum security prison – a unit filled with the worst criminals, all of whom have committed the most heinous acts; a unit which is meant to rehabilitate them but also punish them and takes more from these men than anyone could possibly imagine. Not to mention the amount of full-frontal male nudity rivals that of an urologist’s office. Ever felt like you didn’t see quite enough of Elliot Stabler? Well, here is Christopher Meloni. ALL of Christopher Meloni. Yes, the stories and characters are captivating, but the violence is unparalleled by anything else on TV. It is brutal. A brutal, soul-crushing show.

The emotional connections I felt to the characters is also one that surprised me. You begin to care so damn much about these people who continue to destroy themselves and others! But don’t hold your breath; more likely than not, your favorite character won’t make it to the end. Sorry to say, but you deserve a warning. Tears will be shed.

Seasons: 6
Episodes per season: 8
Years: 1997-2003
Farmiliar Faces: Edie Falco, Ernie Hudson, David Zayas, Lauren Valez, Christopher Meloni, Dean Winters, Rita Moreno, Harold Perrineau, BD Wong, Zeljko Ivanek, Rick Fox, Luke Perry, and many others
How to watch: HBOGO
How long it took me: about 1 month

Images Courtesy Of ShutterStock and FanPop

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