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The Wire (spoiler free)


Anyone else into this show?

I'm up to season 3 (season 4 is currently on TV), so please, no spoilers.

I'm not usually into cop shows- never got into NYPD Blue or any such, just 'cause I never thought to watch it. I watched the first 3 seaons of Law & Order on DVD and it got repetitive and predictable (I can't even imagine what the hell they did with the next 98 seasons and spinoffs).

The whole "procedural" thing bores me (I tried CSI and after 5 minutes was bored out of my skull- wow she's cleaning a mattress with a brush, thrilling!)

But The Wire manages to intertwine the procedural aspect with plot and story and character drama. The obvious difference is that in The Wire they're dealing with the same crooks for a whole season (and more). It's this complex web of relationships between drug dealers, cops, politicians, beaurocrats, etc.

At first I was turned off by some of the stereotypes of the characters: the self-destructive but passionate cop (McNulty), etc. And the various perspectives and awkward rhythm of the show at the very beginning was a little off-putting, but I heard so many good things that I stuck with it and half-way into season 1 I was really into it.

In season 2 the addition of the dock union made the story more compelling and I was totally hooked.

Now I'm upto the 4th or 5th ep of season 3, where the political aspect is given a bit more attention with the introduction of an ambitious city council member who sees lowering crime as a tool for personal political gain, which is an interesting intersection of politics and actually serving the public.

And then there's Omar- a character designed to be strangely likeable and it works. He's also extremely improbable- I can't imagine someone stealing from drug dealers and surviving for so long.

The other interesting story line I'm at now is the guy who just got out of jail. It shows how hard it is for someone to try to stay straight. The last episode I watched ended with him being drawn back into the world of crime.

Yeah everything in this show is pretty bleak- seasons 1 and 2 end with "successful" cases that do nothing to improve the city or lower crime or drug use. Season 3 does a great job so far of dealing with the consequences of that.
This is TV at it's finest. It is a police show, but not a procedural at all. It shows that the good and bad guys aren't who you think. When was the last time you saw a show where the two most likeable characters were a crackfiend (Bubs) and a shotgun-totting homothug (Omar, in his own words)? I think my favorite scenes are Omar testifying in season 2 and Bunk and McNulty examining the apartment in season1 where the only word spoken for like 5 minutes is fuck.

Yeah everything in this show is pretty bleak- seasons 1 and 2 end with "successful" cases that do nothing to improve the city or lower crime or drug use. Season 3 does a great job so far of dealing with the consequences of that.

Yeah, that's the whole pont that the show runners are trying to get across. David Simon, the creator, has said that the show was conceived as a way to talk about the failure of drug policy in the country and how it has marginalized and left behind entire segments of the country. The only way things will change is if there is if someone did take a chance on a radically different approach, ala Bunny Colvin. I don't know. It'll be interesting to see what you think when the season is over. There's a bit of personal growth and reflection, but mostly the same type of 'success' you've already noticed. No happy endings.
Yes, of course Omar's testifying scene was awesome! Man that lawyer he slammed is just the biggest scumbag.

I also laughed at the predictable conclusion to the scene where McNulty infiltrates a brothel... and then having to write that report about it and the reaction to it by the prosecutor chick he was having an affair with (though this whole thing with her and Daniels better go somewhere beyond bullshit soap opera. I already hate that he left his wife.. why, because she didn't like his career choice? pfft, so much for marriage.)

Bunny made me think of a movie I love that no one else seems to- Bulworth. The scene at the community meeting where the one cop is using these charts to explain away the crime problem that the people in the audience are just shouting down, and he takes the podium and just flat-out tells 'em it's bullshit... fantastic.

The impression I get from the show is not so much a failure of "policy" but more from the political and selfish motivations of those at the top. It's implied that the whole Barksdale empire could have been taken down in season 1 had the detail simply been allowed to complete its investigation thoroughly.

Another momentous scene for me was, I think in season 1 but maybe 2, when the detail is trying to get a wiretap, and they're going through all this red tape and fulfilling all these requirements and paperwork and biching about how hard it is- it occured to me that most people would probably see this and complain about how "cops can't do their jobs" and so forth, but it actually kind of made me proud that the law to some degree protects civil liberties. Yes it was a pain to get the wire, but they did get it, so it's a fair compromise.
Stayed up 'till 4 am finishing season 3 last night...

.. holy shit! Just... wow.

This show is now to be ranked with my favorites of all time, along with Star Trek TOS, B5, and Deadwood.


Stringer Bell murdered... what can I say. He and Avon racing to betray each other first... awesome. I wonder how long Avon is in jail for now.

When Stringer was talking to Bunny, for a moment I thought it would be revealed that they're related for some reason. :)

So McNulty is a beat cop now and they decided to throw him with the dock cop chick from season 2.. ok.. eh.

Keema getting it on with some chick... HOT!!!!

Bunny's plan and the consequences therein was possibly the most compelling TV I've ever seen. I'm still processing it all in my brain (even though I'll start season 4 today).
That church guy friend of his was claiming that, with the needle exchanges and outreach programs they might've actually been able to get a lot of people off drugs. This claim was accented by the death of Bubble's friend, who was an unrepentent hardcore dope fiend who had no interest in getting clean. So the show's theory is that grouping all the dopers into one area would allow for outreach, the unreachable cases would die off, and the other areas remain clean.

And what's a story like this without the sleezy politicians who I LOVE to watch? The white guy running for mayor seemed actually convinced by Bunny's method but sacrificed it for political gain. And Clay Davis... "shi-i-it"... playing Stringer like a chump... fantastic.

I did figure that the (very cute and sexy) girl who hooked up with Avon's rival drug dealer Marlo was working for Avon.
Lucky. I'm going to have to wait until the DVDs come out to see season 4. I don't get HBO. Well, really, I don't even have cable.

So what do you think? Do you think somebody would actually try Colvin's solution? It's not a clean answer, by any means. But it wold be interesting to see how it would play out.
In real life?- no I can't see anyone trying it. Quite simply, there's a reason he kept it quiet for as long as he could. And there is a serious moral problem with such a solution- it's the equivalent of sweeping the problem under the rug.

I'm in the middle of season 4 now. I downloaded the whole season (even though it's still being aired). I'll won't say anything about season 4 yet.
Awesome. I just started getting into the show this past season. I've been able to catch a few episodes On Demand. I swear I think the only thing HBO is good for are its series.
I swear I think the only thing HBO is good for are its series.

Too bad they don't agree. I read they want to cut back on their original series. What a shame, considering the first 2 or 3 seasons of The Sopranos, all of Deadwood and The Wire, and the unrealised potential of Carnival.
I've enjoyed all of Deadwood, The Sopranos although it hasn't been what it used to be, Enterouge, and Rome. I tried watching an episode or two of Carnivale and Curb You Enthusiasm, but just couldn't get into them. And the Band of Brothers miniseries was spectacular. And I'll even admit to kind of liking Big Love.
Even Entouragte and Big Love aren't my thing, the one is really popular and the other is ambitious and unique and it's cool that they were made. Even something like Sex & the City, which I absolutely loathe, was a landmark show. I never got into Curb but I think I'd like it if I gave it a shot, and Band was pretty good.

Rome was the only HBO series I was really interested in that fell flat for me. While it had respectible ratings and reviews, I think HBO was banking on it to be an absolute sensation, and when that didn't happen, they started giving up on new series. Rome was extremely expensive.

Didn't HBO also do the min-series about the Apollo program, produced by Spielberg and Hanks? That was pretty sweet, too.

I don't know if The Wire is expensive or not, but it doesn't look it (as compared to the period trappings of Rome or Deadwood).

One new series HBO is working on is John From Cincinatti, with David Milch (NYPD Blue, creator and head writer of Deadwood), billed as a "surfer-noir," whatever the hell that means. Looks like they're banking on Milch's reputation.

Bringing this back The Wire, season 4 ended in a way that begs for another season. It's not a cliffhanger or anything, just that there's a lot of room for some more great stories.

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