Bloody buggery sodomy! This Monday is the final episode of Queer As Folk, which means the end of foreplayless rogering and hysterical drug-acting. What could possibly take its place?

Brace yourselves, punters (as the actress said to the congregation). SBS TV has bought the rights to Oz. At last.

Oz -“ for those who haven’t already Googled a cellblock-full of the show’s dickpacked JPEGs (a.k.a. dickpegs) -“ is a men’s prison drama that first aired on cable six years ago. It’s so old it was cancelled this year -“ but we’re not complaining.

It’s Prisoner and Bad Girls, but with Men. This is the show that saw Chris Meloni (Law And Order: SVU) shower full-frontal. Here is a drama so trashy it stars Trivial-Pursuit-question-regular Ernie Hudson (answer: the forgotten Ghostbuster) and Rita Moreno as Sister Pete, the psychiatrist in charge of prison conjugals.

Expectations were astral, thanks to televisual cousins The Sopranos and Sex And The City, cable shows which scandalously ignored boundaries. Oz also lasted a lot longer than the Australian attempt to boy up Cell Block H, the 1981 bomb Punishment.

The verdict? The first two episodes are goddamn awful, but with any luck it will get even worse.

Here’s a taste. The cast includes neo-Nazi Vernon Schillinger; newbie WASP Tobias Beecher (Schillinger’s bitch); and wheelchair user Augustus Hill, a prisoner who (of course) has no dramatic function but to narrate.

In the first five minutes, the administrator actually refers to someone as a petty drug dealer. A nurse says: He’s a violent animal, a thug born to kill. He’ll never change. Hill says They call it the penal system, but it’s really the penis system. It’s about how big, it’s about how long, it’s about how hard.

Platinum stuff. The gay content is also very strange indeed, with fag convicts seen applying makeup and chatting on the communal phone like valley girls. And don’t get too carried away by the title, which refers to the prison’s name -“ the Oswald Penitentiary.

Like most addictive substances, Oz is probably very, very bad for you. But if you liked Queer As Folk (drum roll please) -¦ you can’t be that picky.

Info Oz screens from Monday 3 May on SBS TV at 10pm.

For a more serious perspective catch the documentary Turned Out: Sexual Assault Behind Bars Friday 23 April on SBS TV at 10pm..

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