Yes really. There's always some beef somewhere between a couple guys, different gangs vying for power, a new prisoner on the block, McManus (McMahon) pulling moves. The shit is like wrestling but with more themes.
And no, it isn't quite realistic. It is visceral in that it shows alot of gully shit that goes down, but its far from realistic. Even the shows creators and the people who advised them said they took some of the realities and processes of prison and magnified them so the drama could work. I mean really, look at all the shit that happens on that show and tell me that any prison would have as much zany shit going down and not be seriously overhauled.
Oz is about the prison system, the people inside, the human condition, sure, but the Wire is much more complex in that it took each aspect of society, crime, education, policing, politics, media, and wove them into a dramatic plot with believable characters. Its much more 'realistic' than OZ in this way, I mean, its not even comparable, at the base the Wire simply had better production values. And as I said before it had a precise motive and objective to what it wanted to portray and did so brilliantly. Oz just had the directive of 'prison drama' and tried to keep things interesting.
In the end they are different types of shows, the Wire I think was more about showing social structure accurately, and the people as examples caught within it, while OZ had an aspect of structure but was more interested in individual human drama period, the difference is the Wire executed its themes much more effectively while OZ got lost in its own games.
That was a short, crummy list of what you think Oz is all about. I know you don't think this way, you're just arguing for the Wire..so you feel you need to downgrade Oz by limiting it to a few short plots.
I agree with everything you said about The Wire and the diversities...however, I already made a list of Oz's diversities and they far exceed The Wire. You mention education, crime, society, media, Oz has them all as well..and better.
Okay, I will grant you The Wire had better production values. Big deal, Transformers had better production values then Clerks and Clerks is 8 times the film.
And that's the interesting thing about Oz, it takes place in a prison the entire time, but there are so many side stories and characters that makes for new stories all the time. Sure there's always the plotting against one another and one guy wanting to kill another guy, but EVERY show has repeating themes..every show.
Oz was never lost, in many ways, each season was more intensified then the last..and the last season is simply brilliant..probably the best series finale of any television show.