Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Welcome to My Blog

I had decided a while back that it might be time for me to start a blog about my all-time favorite television show, The Wire. You see, the way I see it, I practically spend enough time talking about it that people think I am some sort of top secret sales executive trying to "turn people on" to the otherwise unhyped show.

Let me start by explaining why I feel the need to talk about this show so much. It's really hard to pin point the exact moment I realized this show was not just another good cops bad guys show. I explicitly remember the teaser promos that HBO started running before season one even started and thinking, "that looks pretty cool, I'll watch it since I lived in Baltimore for a couple of years and the show seems gritty." I recall watching episode one and when it was over looking to my family and saying, "it was okay. I'll keep watching cause nothing else is on at this time on Sunday's anyhow."

It took about three or four more episodes to get me hooked like a junkie. Whether it was D'Angelo correlating the drug game with chess, or explaining how the man who thought up chicken mcnuggets was just some low level worker not reaping the benefits of its success, I knew the writing on this show was going to drive it. And when in one of the most emotional scenes ever on the show, Poot and Bodie shooting Wallace, came to and end I remember thinking that not only was the writing going to be real, but the portrayel of the game and its environment was not going to alter much from real life. David Simon, the shows creator and producer, was not going to be scared to kill off main characters. Even drug runners that we as an audience came to love.

I had seen some of the main actors in minor roles in the past. Being a long time HBO drama fan, I had seen Daniels, Carver, and Bodie on OZ. I recognized Lester Freamon from another David Simon produced HBO mini-series The Corner. While McNulty might be the "leading man" on the show, when season 4 came and went without McNulty playing a major role and not even appearing in some episodes, and I realized I didn't really miss his storyline, I knew that this entire cast was responsible for how great this show is.

But what ultimately gets me going with The Wire is one basic thing: realism. In the past, successful cop shows such as NYPD Blue or Hill Street Blues had a loyal following because of what seemed to be a realistic portrayel of "life on the streets." Not until The Wire came along did we as viewers realize that we were being jipped the entire time. Those shows were good but far from realistic. The good guys aren't always good and the bad guys aren't always bad. The Wire shows us that in the real world, cases dont get wrapped up in 55 minutes.

The Wire challenges its audience. This show will not blow you away in the first 30 minutes. This show will not tie up all the loose ends at the one hour mark. This show is not written to be watched on a per episode basis. This show is a book, to be read from cover to cover. A full album to be listened to in it's entirety. Trust me, if you are a smart viewer of this show it will reward you time and time again with little bits of dialogue and humor. Who can forget during Season 3 when Brother Mouzone was looking for Omar in the gay clubs of Balitmore. If you had turned your head for one second you would have missed the quick shot of Rawls drinking away in the corner. Simon rewards those that pay attention.

I have heard all the usual complaints about The Wire: its too slow, too many characters, it's too "black" (more on that another time), I don't understand the slang. I am proud to say I didn't know what a "re up" was before I watched this show. Or that "WMD", "Bin Laden", and "Greenhouse Gas" were street terms for drugs. I simply paid attention to the talk of the crews and the talk of the cops (who use just as much jargon as that streets do). It lends itself to some humorous realizations and actually enables viewers to get a better, and more real, understanding of the war of drugs.

So in conclusion, I will say that I am looking foward to finally starting my own blog to discuss this show with all my friends and online tough guys. My plan is to post after each episode of Season 5 and start a dialogue with all of you other fans of the show.

January 6, 2008. Season 5. It's on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks jaded, I've bookmarked you and I'll be back when the season starts. Just one week until season 4 is out on dvd.