Pop Culture Spin

‘Oz’ Characters Examined Part 14 – Chucky Pancamo

chuckypancamoOngoing for 25 total entries, I will be examining the best and most memorable figures from Oz. The prison show was HBO’s first venture into dramatic television, making the series a critical point of progress for the network. Many cast members went on to have bigger careers that partially spawned due to excellence on Oz. The majority of TV shows, past and current, don’t provide enough characters to justify a list of this length. 25 feels like an ideal total that should please fans of the show in addition to detailing a reasonable number of top notch personalities.

Subjective lists are inherently debatable as personal tastes and individual responses determine how a given character is viewed. In other words, disagreements/omissions will be a reality. The majority of days (weekends included) will feature either one or two articles from this list being published. Exceptions will be if I have an interview or otherwise important project to publish, in which case the Oz series may take a brief break. All prior entries will be linked at the bottom of every fresh article. If you’re a fan of the show and appreciate this project, please promote it widely and spread the word. Pop Culture Spin appreciates your efforts. Up next in the list, we have Chucky Pancamo, played by Chuck Zito.

In the physical intimidation category, Pancamo would be rated highly among his fellow Oz inmates. An enforcer with bulging muscles and slicked back hair, Pancamo was part of the “Wise Guys” group – an Italian portion of Oz with mafia ties. For the physicality and the criminal connections, this inmate wasn’t one you wanted to cross.

Pancamo’s character made his debut during Season 2, and he had a major impact on the series. When Oz finished, it was the Italians who controlled the prison drug trade. Through violence and a type of divide/conquer method, Pancamo and his running mates would eliminate certain important figures and intimidate others. Character bios don’t have Pancamo’s kill count as particularly high, but there was at least metaphorical blood on his hands in numerous instances even when it wasn’t literal.

One of the dynamics to any prison show – whether it’s a reality based one or something solely for entertainment purposes – is the sects and gangs that exist within its quarters. This was never more apparent than when watching Pancamo and his fellow “Wise Guys” conduct business. Perhaps no place outside of our nation’s capital has more politics than a prison, at least that’s how they’re portrayed on TV. In his own violent and distorted way, Pancamo was one of the many politicians, or at least politically motivated, members of Oz.

Published Entries of my Examining Oz Characters List
Part 1 – Simon Adebisi / Part 2 – Father Ray Mukada / Part 3 – Chris Keller
Part 4 – Diane Whittlesbey / Part 5 – Bob Rebadow / Part 6 – Augustus Hill
Part 7 – Jaz Hoyt / Part 8 – Ryan O’Reily / Part 9 – Arnold “Poet” Jackson
Part 10 – Sister Peter Marie Reimondo / Part 11 – Shirley Bellinger / Part 12 – Miguel Alvarez
Part 13 – Warden Leo Glynn / Part 14 – Chucky Pancamo / Part 15 – Gloria Nathan
Part 16 – Cyril O’Reily / Part 17 – Governor James Devlin / Part 18 – Kareem Said
Part 19 – Kenny Wangler / Part 20 – Vernon Schillinger / Part 21 – Agamemnon Busmalis
Part 22 – Tim McManus / Part 23 – Enrique Morales / Part 24 – Burr Redding / Part 25 – Tobias Beecher

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