Jump to content


Photo

The Wire (2002-2008)

David Simon HBO

  • Please log in to reply
139 replies to this topic

#21 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,706 posts

Posted 03 March 2008 - 10:57 AM

What did you think of it, Alan? I started watching the first season again with some friends, and I'll now admit — the show took half a season to find its place. The acting was spotty early on, and there's flashback that HBO forced Simon to include....blah.

#22 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,706 posts

Posted 03 March 2008 - 12:08 PM

The first season was rushed in the end, but I think intentionally — it sort of reflects what happens the clashing street rips / 'go for Avon' ideals.

Here's a link about the flashback (there's only ONE in the entire show, and Simon wasn't a fan of it). My comments about the acting were in reference to how over-the-top Omar initially is (a vigilante! with a code! who is gay! and doesn't cuss!), and how 'stiff' some of the acting comes off, especially some of the supporting cast.

#23 Lance McLain

Lance McLain

    Member

  • Member
  • 137 posts

Posted 06 March 2008 - 09:17 PM

The Wire's War on the Drug War
By Ed Burns, Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos, Richard Price, David Simon

http://www.time.com/...1719872,00.html

I have to say that I agree with this editorial and their approach.

#24 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,706 posts

Posted 07 March 2008 - 03:20 PM

Awesome article, Thoreau. I think I'm on their side, too. I think their opinion has come across loud and clear on the show (Hamsterdam, anyone?).

#25 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,706 posts

Posted 08 March 2008 - 12:27 PM

Fans of the Wire: if you haven't had a chance to watch the two short documentaries ("The Wire: the Last Word" and "The Wire Odyssey"), they're up on HBO's website.

They're FILLED with spoilers, so avoid if you haven't caught up to the fifth season. But they are ever so worth it.

#26 smith_chip

smith_chip

    Member

  • Member
  • 93 posts

Posted 09 March 2008 - 01:01 PM

Before watching the final episode of the series tonight, Alan Sepinwall's column would be a great read. It details a few of the great scenes, with their sometimes years long setup, of The Wire. There are spoilers1.gif in the part of his column that I quote below.

QUOTE
At the end of last week's episode of "The Wire" -- arguably the greatest episode of inarguably the greatest drama in TV history -- two 15-year-old boys, Dukie (Jermaine Crawford) and Michael (Tristan Wilds) sat in a car together, their lives in ruins. Michael was a killer several times over and now a hunted man by the drug crew that made him so. Dukie, born into then abandoned by a family of junkies, was about to go live with junkies again, his other options for residence and guardians seemingly exhausted. As the two boys contemplated their awful futures, Dukie smiled and brought up a silly story from the previous summer, when they and their friends decided to fight back against neighborhood bullies by throwing urine-filled balloons at them.

"That was a day," Dukie said, trying to hold onto his childhood for one more moment. "You bought me ice cream off the truck. You remember, Mike?"

Michael, his childhood long since abandoned, closed his eyes in pain and said, "I don't."

But we did.


<a href="http://" target="_blank"></a> What made that scene so powerful -- what makes so many "Wire" scenes so moving -- was how it built on things that had happened before, sometimes long before. We saw the balloon fight that Dukie describes, we saw how young and innocent the boys and their friends were and the long chain of terrible events that led them to this moment where Dukie desperately wants to cling to that memory and Michael is so far gone he can't even remember it. (Or doesn't want to.)

Edited by smith_chip, 09 March 2008 - 01:02 PM.


#27 Michael Todd

Michael Todd

    Registered Nurse, Amateur Historian, and Future Theologian

  • Member
  • 680 posts

Posted 09 March 2008 - 02:46 PM

I just watched the first season over the past two weeks. It is an exceptional program. I have read some that the creators are trying to show that all institutions are dysfunctional, something I firmly believe. Alas, most of my criticism of institutions is aimed at the Church.

I look forward to completing the series. Thanks to those who have recommended it.

#28 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,706 posts

Posted 09 March 2008 - 10:04 PM

And the series finale just aired.

I think it was a damn good cap on the series. Not one of the storyline wrap-ups felt fake, and I was satisfied with all of them, even though some were more 'real' than I would have wished. (I almost cried over the final shot of Dukie preparing the syringe.) And it never seemed too fake or cheery, with some tiny triumphs — Bubbles being allowed to come upstairs freely, Carver being promoted again — being most joy-covered than than some of the bigger ones.

#29 Michael Todd

Michael Todd

    Registered Nurse, Amateur Historian, and Future Theologian

  • Member
  • 680 posts

Posted 21 March 2008 - 08:23 PM

Alright, I am on season three, and I must say... this show is ruining TV for me. It is too well written. I can't deal with other shows until time and love has passed for this series. It is like going out with a woman who is a 10 out of a 10. No matter what else I watch, even if it is really good, it isn't a 10, and I have experienced a 10.

#30 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,706 posts

Posted 22 March 2008 - 12:09 AM

QUOTE (Michael Todd @ Mar 21 2008, 09:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Alright, I am on season three, and I must say... this show is ruining TV for me. It is too well written. I can't deal with other shows until time and love has passed for this series. It is like going out with a woman who is a 10 out of a 10. No matter what else I watch, even if it is really good, it isn't a 10, and I have experienced a 10.


I feel the same way. As much as I love Lost, I sometimes find myself thinking things like, "That dialogue would've been better on the Wire."


#31 Michael Todd

Michael Todd

    Registered Nurse, Amateur Historian, and Future Theologian

  • Member
  • 680 posts

Posted 22 March 2008 - 02:45 PM

QUOTE (Jason Panella @ Mar 22 2008, 12:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I sometimes find myself thinking things like, "That dialogue would've been better on the Wire."


I'm totally with you on that statement. Here is how far I go.

I am watching the episodes which have commentary, and I even love the commentary. First off, the episodes I have watched, the writers have done the commentary. Secondly, the commentary is sparse, but what he says is really something to chew on. Thirdly, the writer explains his process, but is not chatty the whole episode. You have no idea how much it unnerves me to watch a commentary and hear the director, producer, actor, writer, or whoever talk about how good a particular actor looks, or just sit and pat each other on the back the whole way through. It is like hearing a sermon and then listening to the preacher sit back and say, "I really made a good point there." Self-congratulation and nonsensical chatter are the worst things about commentaries.

Even the episode commentaries are ten times better than any other commentaries I have watched.

Ahem, I just thought about that, and Criterion's commentary of Ikiru is fantastic, and it is by far the standard bearer in my book of good DVD commentary, but The Wire is definitely in the mix.



#32 Michael Todd

Michael Todd

    Registered Nurse, Amateur Historian, and Future Theologian

  • Member
  • 680 posts

Posted 24 April 2008 - 02:03 AM

Well... as I write, I finished episode three of the last season tonight. What amazes me about how the show is arranged, is how I react to things. For example, the scene where Burrell and Rawls come in with cooked stats and Carcetti knows it. Carcetti says that Rawls will likely call and tell him that he tried to talk Burrell out of cooking the stats. It never shows Rawls calling. I have no idea whether he calls or not, but the scene set me up to expect it, and when I think about it later and realize that they do not put a scene like that in there, it makes me smile.

Also, I was rolling in laughter at Jimmy corrupting the crime scenes. It was the nervous laugher of thinking, "I cannot believe what I am seeing." Bunk's expressions remind me very much of watching Capra films where a passive character reacts to the outrageous words or actions of an active character. For example, the guy who overhears George and Clarence talk about suicide and heaven in It's a Wonderful Life.



#33 smith_chip

smith_chip

    Member

  • Member
  • 93 posts

Posted 16 June 2008 - 11:09 PM

For anyone thinking about starting to watch the greatest television show in history, or wanting to rewatch it, you should know that TV critic Alan Sepinwall is doing a weekly commentary on Season 1 at his blog this summer. He is doing two versions, one for newbies and one for veterans. Here's his description:
QUOTE
As discussed frequently, it's time to start revisiting the first season of the best drama in TV history, "The Wire." Because I know some readers will be starting the series for the first time, while others will be "Wire" die-hards not ready to let the show go just yet, I'm going to post two slightly different versions of each review: one for the newbies, with minimal discussion of what happens in later episodes (and seasons); one for the veterans, with a section at the end discussing ways that each episode ties into things that happened further down the line. The newbie edition will always be posted about a minute before the veteran one. Please confine any comments that would spoil later developments to the veteran post; anything too spoiler-y in the newbies comments will be deleted by me.


He is up to week 3, and will post a new commentary each Friday. The discussion in the comments section is also enlightening. Even though I've watched all seasons but the last one several times, rewatching while reading his blog has helped me to see things that I had missed before. All the pieces matter.

#34 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,706 posts

Posted 16 June 2008 - 11:34 PM

Chip, thanks for the links. Just reading through some of the Veterans' Edition posts left me stunned — there's a lot of good insight here. I'm planning on watching the first season again soon, and will have this blog at my side.

#35 Lance McLain

Lance McLain

    Member

  • Member
  • 137 posts

Posted 17 July 2008 - 10:56 PM

Looks like a snub by the Emmys.
http://blogs.reuters...-wire-whats-up/


#36 Christian

Christian

    Member

  • Moderator
  • 10,882 posts

Posted 02 October 2008 - 01:49 PM

I just picked up the first five episodes of Season One on DVD at the library, and am in line for the next set of discs, assuming I can get through these episodes before they’re due back seven days hence. I’ll try to knock out most of the episodes this weekend.

#37 Nick Alexander

Nick Alexander

    White Knight

  • Member
  • 1,855 posts

Posted 02 October 2008 - 03:11 PM

QUOTE (Christian @ Oct 2 2008, 02:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I just picked up the first five episodes of Season One on DVD at the library, and am in line for the next set of discs, assuming I can get through these episodes before they’re due back seven days hence. I’ll try to knock out most of the episodes this weekend.
I just watched the first four or so episodes, DVRing them from late night BET, but I can't keep up with it. I don't doubt it's worth every accolade it's getting, and some of the characters on the show are memorable and admirable. But being that I used to live in New York City, and am familiar with the surroundings of the inner city, I find a ton of the dialogue to be tv-writer-speak. And I don't think that Baltimore residents have that tv-writer-speak gene.


#38 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,706 posts

Posted 02 October 2008 - 04:23 PM

QUOTE (Nick Alexander @ Oct 2 2008, 04:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I just watched the first four or so episodes, DVRing them from late night BET, but I can't keep up with it. I don't doubt it's worth every accolade it's getting, and some of the characters on the show are memorable and admirable. But being that I used to live in New York City, and am familiar with the surroundings of the inner city, I find a ton of the dialogue to be tv-writer-speak. And I don't think that Baltimore residents have that tv-writer-speak gene.


To a degree, yes. I feel like the show really changed a bit starting with the second season, in a good way. As the show goes on, it gets tightened. But considered WHO is doing the writing, in some cases (Ed Burns, Baltimore cop for decades, and David Simon, Baltimore crime reporter...not to mention the very 'with it' Richard Price), I'm sure some is close to home. Or at least more so than Law and Order.

Also, BET significantly edited the episodes, from what I understand. But mostly just for sexual / over-the-top language stuff, I think.

#39 Nick Alexander

Nick Alexander

    White Knight

  • Member
  • 1,855 posts

Posted 02 October 2008 - 07:19 PM

QUOTE (Jason Panella @ Oct 2 2008, 05:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I feel like the show really changed a bit starting with the second season, in a good way. As the show goes on, it gets tightened. But considered WHO is doing the writing, in some cases (Ed Burns, Baltimore cop for decades, and David Simon, Baltimore crime reporter...not to mention the very 'with it' Richard Price), I'm sure some is close to home. Or at least more so than Law and Order.
Thanks for the tip. I'll be on the lookout for season 2, then.

QUOTE
Also, BET significantly edited the episodes, from what I understand. But mostly just for sexual / over-the-top language stuff, I think.
Yep. In the absence of "CleanFlix" or any equivalent, it's the version I prefer. That said, they still allow s-words at 2am, and the nudity is blurred. In fact, I think the commercials at 2am are worse than the actual show...

#40 Russ

Russ

    Member

  • Member
  • 1,095 posts

Posted 03 October 2008 - 04:44 PM

QUOTE (Nick Alexander @ Oct 2 2008, 08:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Jason Panella @ Oct 2 2008, 05:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I feel like the show really changed a bit starting with the second season, in a good way. As the show goes on, it gets tightened. But considered WHO is doing the writing, in some cases (Ed Burns, Baltimore cop for decades, and David Simon, Baltimore crime reporter...not to mention the very 'with it' Richard Price), I'm sure some is close to home. Or at least more so than Law and Order.
Thanks for the tip. I'll be on the lookout for season 2, then.

QUOTE
Also, BET significantly edited the episodes, from what I understand. But mostly just for sexual / over-the-top language stuff, I think.
Yep. In the absence of "CleanFlix" or any equivalent, it's the version I prefer. That said, they still allow s-words at 2am, and the nudity is blurred. In fact, I think the commercials at 2am are worse than the actual show...


Nick, I can understand your hesitancy, but the show really stands apart from the other HBO/cable shows with regard to that sort of thing. There's none of that nudity-as-set-dressing that people came to expect from THE SOPRANOS, and somewhere in the third season the show's sporadic nude scenes pretty much go away altogether. As far as violence goes, there are way, way more violent acts, and more graphically depicted, in a typical episode of those forensic shows. Yes, there's quite a bit of profanity, but I honestly don't feel that any of it is soul-deadening. And I think people talk like that. Before I was able to get the DVDs from my local library, I tried to catch a few episodes on BET, too. While I'm grateful they tried to syndicate the show, it was absolutely awful in that format, so I'm not surprised you hated it. One of the aesthetic and narrative upsides to the show running on HBO as I see it is the ability to avoid the choppy act-structure breaks necessitated by commercials and the unnecessary establishing shot throat-clearing coming out of commercial breaks, so the show isn't built to be hacked up like that. And apart from Simon and Burns, the show has employed people to read the scripts to make sure the black characters aren't speaking middle-aged white guy.

Give it another shot on DVD.

Edited by Russ, 03 October 2008 - 04:46 PM.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: David Simon, HBO