TIMES HERALD RECORD | February 23, 2019 | Kevin Gleason
Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld,” “Boardwalk Empire”) brings his usual intensity to “O.G.” (10 p.m., HBO, TV-MA) as Louis, a gang leader and prison old-timer on the cusp of parole.
Beneath his taciturn facade, he’s apprehensive about returning to “normal” life after nearly a quarter-century of institutionalization.
So when he takes a sudden interest in a new prison arrival being pressured to join the gang life, you wonder if his motivation is empathy, or something more self-sabotaging.
The film was shot in an active maximum-security prison and features several guards and inmates in their acting debuts.
The setting is also a “star.” The hodgepodge of ugly architecture - factory meets grammar school by way of airplane hangar - is as oppressive as the din of inmates wailing and near-endless obscenity.
In a place like this, Louis’ quiet desperation takes on a dreadful power.