Thursday, June 08, 2006

Are you on The Wire?

(The realest shit I ever saw.)

I just finished watching Season 3 of The Wire and I am in awe.

While The Shield still remains the greatest television show ever, Season 3 of The Wire is most perfectly constructed season of the television I have ever seen.
And I have seen a fair amount of television.

For those who don't know The Wire is an HBO police drama that follows a large cast of characters, all of whom are involved with the case being investigated that season. The show is so layered and complex that if you blink too much or watch an episode out of order you will not know what is going on. This is not The Simpsons, where you can miss a whole season and still enjoy the show. Everything matters.
The show is so inter-connected that I will go as far as to say that the individual episodes would be boring and pointless without the context of the season. Most shows are not written like that.

Peep the mentality of the shows' creator David Simon,

  • "The best crime shows were essentially about good and evil. Justice, revenge, betrayal, redemption. The Wire, by contrast, has ambitions elsewhere. Specifically: We are bored with good and evil. We renounce the theme."

    "I can only add that we are not selling hope, or audience gratification, or cheap victories with this show. The Wire is making an argument about what institutions—bureaucracies, criminal enterprises, the cultures of addiction, raw capitalism even—do to individuals. It is not designed purely as an entertainment. It is, I'm afraid, a somewhat angry show."

Damn homie.

You get the street level dealers, their bosses, the cops and their bosses, a few junkies, some stick up kids and the politicians that fuck it up for all of them.
All the characters are fleshed out and their lives connect in truly resonant and realistic ways.
This is not some "Crash" type bullshit where the cops who rapes your wife ends up saving her life and has a sick father that is supposed to make you feel sorry for him.

With its obvious greatness, The Wire gets some of the most gushing reviews from TV critics, but little love from viewers or the white people that hand out little statues.
And after finishing Season 3 , I figured out why.
The Wire is the blackest show on telelvision.

Not happy black in the way Bill Cosby dreams about or extra coonish in the manner that keeps UPN on the air. Just the real type of blackness that you would see from the people trapped in the hell of Inner City, America. As an abandoned urban nightmare of a city, Baltimore ends up being the most unlikely and greatest place to base a TV show at the same time.

Season 1 starts off slow because the characters are still new and you have no idea who is what, but it ends up being the most fascinating polemic on the American "War on Drugs" I have ever seen.

Season 2 changes tone somewhat and focuses on the death of the American worker and union. Pretty damn relevant considering the Wal-Martification of America.

Season 3 goes back to the drugs and focuses more on the political angle hinted at in Season 1. The quality of the writing will make you burn anything you ever attempted.

The Wire is the great American novel.
You just watch it on HBO.


- In other TV goodness, the television gods have bestowed a 7th and final season of The Shield.
That means that The Shield will end its run with 88 episodes. (More than The Sopranos, 6Ft Under or any of the great cable shows.)
The time you spend watching those 88 episodes of the Shield will be more enjoyable than most of the relationships you have in your life.
I guarantee.

- Call me an HBO whore, but when I read about truly bizarre deaths in the news, I picture them in the intro to Six Feet Under.

A woman came out of the shower after hearing a scream, to find her husband had jumped off a building and previously thrown their two children, 4 and 8, off of the 15th floor hotel they were at.

All of this was on their 10 year anniversary.
Why would you bring you children to your 10 year anniversary hotel room?
And what the fuck was this guy's secret?

If this guy saw the season finale of The Shield he would not have killed his family until at least the middle of 2007.
There is no way you could end your life without knowing what happens to the Strike Team.

- Finally, who posted this?

  • strike team > your life said...

    "Now why did you have to go and get me started watching the shield? Because of one of your posts (yes I'm impressionable like that) I went out and got the first two seasons... WTF??? this shit plays on TV? In the US of A? All I can say is thank you - I stayed up all night last night completing the second season and I can't wait to get caught up all the way to season 5. The Shield is better than anything that has ever been on TV. Period."

Don't post shit like that anonymously. Anyone who watches The Shield is a potential new friend.


  1. I hear you on The Shield front. My friend got me hooked and after staying up all night watching season 1 on dvd I ended up calling in sick to work the next day so that I could stay home and watch season 2.

  2. I am with you on The Shield AND The Wire. I cannot wait until they come to DVD (here in bumfuck egypt). Vic is my man and I cannot get enough of either program!

  3. As a resident I find that even though it's good it means that we're now known for Barksdale, STD's and Crabs (the ones you eat). The good thing is some of the events in the show really happened so at least I can feel like I know something.

  4. Not up on either one, but I will definitely check them out on your recommendation.

    But, I would just like to add: What about "The Corner", son? Everyone forgets that was the original "For real for real" black show.

  5. - Missing work for The Shield is something I approve of wholeheartedly.

    - How often do these DVDs get released in Egypt? I feel for your wait. Although I didnt quite watch the Wire on HBO or DVD if you get my drift...

    - Yea, every city has to be known for something. What events in the Wire are true?

    - I am fighting to see the Corner. I either need to hit up Amazon or Netflix. I heard that show was great, but it was the precursor for the Wire. So if they are at all similar it has to be good.

  6. the corner is a lot simmilar to the wire. i think the corner was the first show to really get me into HBO dramatic series.

  7. i know what my next netflix order'll be.

    great post.

  8. this was an excellent post. i love to read your reviews of entertainment.

  9. Whoever does watch it, let me know what you think.

  10. [quote] I just finished watching Season 3 of The Wire [/quote]

    No disrespect but you should be ashamed of yourself. You just finished season 3 ?
    Seriously ?

  11. I had no HBo or anyone to put me on.
    At least I got on it...