Sunday, January 18, 2009

"The Game is the Game" - The Wire

I have been thinking alot about the HBO show THE WIRE which ended its five year run this year. Weird for me to do but I watched season five before watching any season before that and I will argue that it was the right thing to do. Knowing the final fate of Omar and McNaulty and Bubbles somehow makes their journey all the more satifying for me now that I am watching episodes from the beginning. But I also feel that THE WIRE has spoiled me for anything else on TV. Was it the fact that it has swearing and graphic depictions of street violence and drug use or is it something else? I still love my LAW and ORDERS and NCIS and the MENTALIST and of course my cartoons and reality shows but network tv just seems like spoon fed pablum after the realism (and sheer acting and writing beauty) of THE WIRE. Any ten minutes of THE WIRE has more layers and depth and meaning that a whole hour of most serialized dramas. Oh that HEROES could aspire to that. We see the world of Baltimore crime and punishment where the line is blury and everyone is on the game (even the schools, the politicians and the media). What is right is never clear and what is wrong can often be a noble choice where survival is knowing who to trust. You come to love the characters (good and bad) and there are enough gut tightning moments to show what truly breakthrough television could and should be. When did you feel as exilerated as you did seeing Omar and Bow Tie team up? Or Soldier's attempt to start his boxing gym? We all know that there is no way that LOST or FRINGE will ever pay off as satifying as the last episode of THE WIRE did. Spoiled like the Bush twins thats what I am. And what is out there to replace it in two weeks when I run out of THE WIRE episodes? Nothing I can see coming down the pipe especially when Fox is developing a show called BITCHES which they claim is like SEX AND THE CITY with WEREWOLVES! ARGHHHH. Only ten more episodes of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA to go. Saw the first one tonight and it shows promise even though the arrival at Earth turned into one big bust. Once that is gone the itch will start again...and I got nothing to scratch. Time to start writing my own stuff but who would ever read it? I would never have introduced a duck to the dock workers bar who drank himself to death. Even the water fowl in Baltimore are tragic figures. Anyway you call it that is GOOD writing.

"No one has captured the essence of what it is to be trapped by time, race, circumstance, class, or employ with the dignity and grace with which David Simon and his host of talented scribes did on a weekly basis with this show. Truly spectacular. This was a show that refused to be what anyone expected. Just when you though it couldn't get better the next episode would air and you would remember all over again why you loved it. The grand scale of such intimate moments allowed us to care about characters because they became people. There have been great shows before this and there will be great shows after this but The Wire stands, with it's protagonists, with its feet firmly on the ground staring its fans and its detractors right in the eyes. This was a call to arms for those out there who knew that TV didn't have to be Two and A Half Men." -

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