The End of HBO's OZ

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…Oz was a place of foreboding where middle-of-the-road television viewers would rarely tread. But the humanity on display… – the characters, the conflicts, the wit – offer some of our culture’s best serialized storytelling.
– David Simon on Tom Fontana

I saw the last episode of OZ last night, finally. It left me with a sense of emotional loss that I didn’t think I would feel. I know, you’re asking, how can a tv show affect me in such a silly way. Why can’t I just get a life and experience real emotional loss (or gain, without needing to sound pessimistic)? Well, that’s the loss I feel with the show, a certain emotional, intellectual, even spiritual guidance the show had provided by it’s writers and actors. I don’t watch OZ to escape reality, heavens know. Mind you the show is a hardcore prison drama that is explicit in its themes and imagery of violence, language, rape, and… redemption. That’s the power of good art, without the having to be punished for the consequences, but achieving an understanding of those consequences. Although, I will sorely miss OZ. I will forever value what I had gained.