cheek by jowl

The Land of Oz vs. Oz the Prison From Oz

This weekend’s release of Oz the Great and Powerful (read David Edelstein’s review here) marks culture’s return to the wonderfully vivid world of Oz. We’ve been away from the Emerald City for a long time, but luckily in the interim we had another Oz to spend some time in: Oswald State Correctional Facility — better known as the jail on HBO’s nineties insanely violent and wacko prison drama Oz. We felt there was no better time to compare these two Ozs and see their similarities and differences. (Spoiler alert: There were a lot of differences.)


Name Land of Oz. Oswald State Correctional Facility.
Location Mysterious, unnamed locale accessible by tornado. Mysterious, unnamed locale accessible by murder conviction.
Neighborhoods Munchkinland, Winkie Country, Gillikin Country, Quadling Country, and Emerald City. A bunch of numbered and lettered cell blocks, death row, solitary confinement, and Emerald City.
Idealistic and Ultimately Powerless Overseer The Wizard of Oz. Unit Manager Tim McManus.
Quickest Way to See Him Follow the yellow brick road. Violently beat someone so you're thrown into solitary and he comes to yell at you.
Inhabitants Witches, munchkins, flying monkeys, a plethora of talking animals and normally inanimate humanoids, fairies and other mythical creatures. The Latinos, the Homeboys, the Muslims, the Aryans, the Irish, and other rapists and murders with no affiliation.
Water Dangers Can melt witches. Showers are most popular gang-rape location.
Negative Broom Associations Wicked witch vehicle. Broom closet is second or third most popular gang-rape location.
Entertainment Singing munchkins. When they put on Macbeth, someone "accidentally" gets murdered during the play.
Ways to Kill Someone Land a house on them. Put ground glass in his food in successive meals, slice their neck with sharpened fingernails, crucifixion, to name but a few.
What Happens to the Mentally Challenged? They get a diploma. Despite appeals, they still get the death penalty.
What Happens to the Cowardly? They get a courage medal. They get: raped; branded with a swastika; addicted to drugs; have their heart, legs, and arms broken; have their family killed; and eventually become insane murderers who bite people's penises off.
Does any inhabitant ever beat then shit on his former Aryan rapist? No. Yes.
The Land of Oz vs. Oz the Prison From Oz