So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

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Izawwlgood
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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:51 am UTC

My roommate liked season three more than the previous two, and watched all the way through ranting and raving about how awesome it was. My understanding is that seasons one and two are more about the wire, and particularly the antics and nuances of being on both sides of it, whereas everything that comes later is predominately politics involving organizations above those who are actually dealing with the wire (on both sides).

I didn't really care about the politics, and got bored pretty quick.
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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby dubsola » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:11 pm UTC

Season 3's best aspect was Hamsterdam. There were so many surreal moments surrounding it, my favourite being the COMSTAT where Bunny Colvin finally admits what he did.

meatyochre wrote:I rely on people with good taste and broader interests to refer things to me, and nobody I know has ever mentioned this show!

It didn't make much of a splash when it came out, it's quite dry, it relies on the viewer having watched and absorbed every preceeding episode, and also, it can be quite difficult to understand what people are saying. For all that, I think it is awesome. Huge show. I agree that it will take a few episodes to draw you in, I was not impressed at all with the first episode, but by the time the police make the first bust in episode 5 I think I was on the edge of my seat.

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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby pooteeweet » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:10 am UTC

Megatriorchis wrote:I'm halfway through season 2 and I love this show. I've heard people say that it's depressing, but they are just wusses who can't handle the truth.


If you're only halfway through season 2 then you don't know from sad. Just wait, this show will destroy you (if not, you're a robot).

dubsola wrote: it can be quite difficult to understand what people are saying


I highly recommend getting a hold of actual physical discs so you can turn the captions on. I would have been completely lost without this; I suck at deciphering accents.

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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby dubsola » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:08 pm UTC

Baltimore police commissioner slams The Wire, David Simon slams Baltimore police commissioner

Excellent reading:
Baltimore’s Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld, it seems, just wishes [The Wire] had been more like CSI: Miami: Asked to comment on the show during last week’s Amplify Baltimore event, Bealefeld called The Wire a “smear on this city that will take decades to overcome,” saying, “You know what Miami gets in their crime show? They get detectives that look like models, and they drive around in sports cars. And you know what New York gets? They get these incredibly tough prosecutors, competent cops that solve the most crazy, complicated cases.” Yet on The Wire, Bealefeld says, “What Baltimore gets is this reinforced notion that it's a city full of hopelessness, despair and dysfunction. There was very little effort—beyond self-serving—to highlight the great and wonderful things happening here, and to indict the whole population, the criminal justice system, the school system.”
...
[David Simon said] "Publicly, let me state that The Wire owes no apologies—at least not for its depiction of those portions of Baltimore where we set our story, for its address of economic and political priorities and urban poverty, for its discussion of the drug war and the damage done from that misguided prohibition, or for its attention to the cover-your-ass institutional dynamic that leads, say, big-city police commissioners to perceive a fictional narrative, rather than actual, complex urban problems as a cause for righteous concern. As citizens using a fictional narrative as a means of arguing different priorities or policies, those who created and worked on The Wire have dissented."

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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby mercuryseven » Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:59 am UTC

I'm up to Season 3 now - I was surprised to find out Idris Elba (Stringer Bell) is actually British! It was surreal when I watched Rock 'n Rolla, a Guy Ritchie movie with "Stringer" speaks in a British accent...

I don't know why, watching McNulty being an asshole always makes my day...

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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby greengiant » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:46 pm UTC

Did you realise McNulty was British too? He doesn't seem to fit the image of an old Etonian either, probably some lesson about stereotyping to be learnt there.

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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby mercuryseven » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:23 pm UTC

McNulty too? awesome... anyway I don't see how is this related to stereotyping. Is there a 'Baltimore stereotype' I don't now about?

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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby McCaber » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:08 pm UTC

I just finished season 1 of this. And holy shit is it fucking awesome.
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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby greengiant » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:23 pm UTC

mercuryseven wrote:McNulty too? awesome... anyway I don't see how is this related to stereotyping. Is there a 'Baltimore stereotype' I don't now about?


Nah, I just meant he (or I suppose more accurately, his character) doesn't fit the stereotype of an English public schooler.

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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby mercuryseven » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:31 am UTC

greengiant wrote:
mercuryseven wrote:McNulty too? awesome... anyway I don't see how is this related to stereotyping. Is there a 'Baltimore stereotype' I don't now about?


Nah, I just meant he (or I suppose more accurately, his character) doesn't fit the stereotype of an English public schooler.


I see :wink: Great actors, these guys... I love them

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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby TGARCH-M » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:59 am UTC

It's definitely the best show ever made. Viewing it should be a requirement for becoming an adult.

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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby Save Point » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:24 am UTC

I actually only just started watching it last week. I finished episode 5. It's not bad so far. I'm assuming it picks up a bit later on, yeah?

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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby Amarantha » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:08 am UTC

I watched the first five or six episodes and was hugely impressed but not hooked. I trailled off for a while. When I picked it back up I became hooked pretty damn quick and finished all five series inna short time. I also regretted wasting that intermediate time, because I'd forgotten some things by the time I came back to it. I say give it a few more episodes and see how you go.
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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby WarDaft » Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:51 am UTC

I've seen people say it takes a few episodes to get hooked... is this because it gets better, or because I'm supposedly going to start liking its style at some point? Because if it's the latter, it looks like I've got some new Frisbees.
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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby el_loco_avs » Mon May 02, 2011 10:30 pm UTC

WarDaft wrote:I've seen people say it takes a few episodes to get hooked... is this because it gets better, or because I'm supposedly going to start liking its style at some point? Because if it's the latter, it looks like I've got some new Frisbees.


I'm not sure why... but once you get to know the characters a little things get interesting quickly. I'm not sure if the writing is better later on.
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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby novax6 » Tue May 03, 2011 3:28 am UTC

I think it's because The Wire is really told as one big story, rather then the usual episodic-style story that the vast majority of shows use. Also it can be very confusing at the onset, with so many characters you barely know at first and no clear 'main' plot. I think it's comparable to 5 really long (really amazing) movies, rather than individual episodes.

It's not until you get about 3 or 4 episodes in that you really start to see the underlying main story and conflict, along with getting a feel for who everyone is and what role they each play. After that it just gets better and better, and that includes re-watching it all too.

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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby WarDaft » Sat May 07, 2011 5:19 am UTC

I'm quite happy with things that are one huge story arc (I've read the Unity Saga) have an absurdly large character cast (I've read Pandora's Star), or aren't particularly considerate with explaining what's going on (Primer wasn't enough to confuse me.) That's why I want to know if the later episodes are actually any different. House and SG-1 for example, got a lot better later, and you'd never understand liking either if you only watched the first little bit of each. I wouldn't want to dismiss a great series because of a bad start, but if it's not actually a bad start and just the style of the show, I don't want to waste time with it.
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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby Malice » Sat May 07, 2011 7:36 pm UTC

WarDaft wrote:I'm quite happy with things that are one huge story arc (I've read the Unity Saga) have an absurdly large character cast (I've read Pandora's Star), or aren't particularly considerate with explaining what's going on (Primer wasn't enough to confuse me.) That's why I want to know if the later episodes are actually any different. House and SG-1 for example, got a lot better later, and you'd never understand liking either if you only watched the first little bit of each. I wouldn't want to dismiss a great series because of a bad start, but if it's not actually a bad start and just the style of the show, I don't want to waste time with it.


What exactly is bothering you about it? Like most shows, The Wire gets better, probably hitting its peak in Season 4. Whether it gets appreciably different depends on what aspect you're talking about. The narratives get more complex and more character based, the themes drawn with greater subtlety, they stop using non-diagetic moments (the brief flashback at the end of episode one, the few times in the first season where they use music on the soundtrack)...
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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby Dream » Sun May 08, 2011 12:28 am UTC

Malice wrote:The Wire gets better, probably hitting its peak in Season 4.

I think the Wire is the opposite of the usual. It started out with depth in character and plot, and successively shed more and more of bot has the seasons went on. Characters like Wallace, D'Angelo, Ziggy and so on had ten times the back story and development of the likes of Carcetti, Marlo or any of the journalists. The same went for plot points like McNulty and that political adviser sleeping together, they just stopped interacting with the rest of the show and started going nowhere. Season Two was the pinnacle, where they kept all the police and dealers from the first season, expanded the scope of the drugs plots while squeezing them into less screen time, and added the entire stevedore narrative without anything feeling like an afterthought. I honestly thing that if you've watched the first season or two of the Wire, and you're not a firm fan, nothing after that is going to get better.
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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby Malice » Sun May 08, 2011 5:29 am UTC

Totally disagree with your assessment. Characters in the first few seasons had to have more backstory in order to work; later seasons built on what we had actually seen, resulting in enormously satisfying arcs for McNulty, Carver, Bunny, the kids, Bubbles, Avon and Stringer Bell, D'Angelo, Omar, and so on.

Also, a lot of people don't like Season 2 because it's an outlier (the stevedore plotline is way different from any other major storyline) and because it has the controversial character of Ziggy.
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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun May 08, 2011 5:32 am UTC

I personally liked season one and two very much, and found season three to be so boring I stopped watching about 5 episodes in.
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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby Dream » Sun May 08, 2011 11:16 am UTC

Malice wrote:Totally disagree with your assessment. Characters in the first few seasons had to have more backstory in order to work; later seasons built on what we had actually seen, resulting in enormously satisfying arcs for McNulty, Carver, Bunny, the kids, Bubbles, Avon and Stringer Bell, D'Angelo, Omar, and so on.

Also, a lot of people don't like Season 2 because it's an outlier (the stevedore plotline is way different from any other major storyline) and because it has the controversial character of Ziggy.

I'll absolutely give you Bunny and the kids, but every other character you mention there started in Season One and had very significant back story and plot even within that single Season. It wasn't because they'd been around longer at that point, it was that they had more time put into development. The same time was given to the stevedores, and even in a lesser way to the Greeks. That worked really well. Later introductions like the journalists or Carver's detectives just weren't fleshed out as well. I think the best distinction is between the journalists and the stevedores. If you make time for something like Ziggy's duck, you get characters of real depth. If you dispense with a man's burning desire to work at the most important newspaper in the world in a single scene, you don't.

By the way, what was controversial about the Ziggy character? I"m struggling to think of anything.
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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby Malice » Sat May 14, 2011 3:11 pm UTC

IMO, Dream, Season 3 has the best plot (everything just tightens beautifully, it's like a Swiss watch), Season 4 has the best characters (largely due to the kids, not to mention Cutty) and scope (since it is the least "cop show" and most "the protagonist of this story is, uh, Baltimore" season of all), and Season 5 has the best dialogue writing (and is the funniest season overall). In other words, they all have their strengths, and Season 5's strength was by no means the journalist characters. Simon didn't seem to be interested in them as people outside of their job, and their purpose was to comment on everything else that was happening (often by not commenting on it). I never really had a problem with that, since Season 5 had less time overall, and had to conclude the storyline of virtually every major and minor character. Anyway, the stevedores aren't characterized deeply as a whole, outside of Frank, Ziggy, and Nick.

Season 2, I think, also suffers from having to divide its focus--while the cops are all working on the docks case, we get a season's worth of what is essentially set-up for the Barksdale plotline in Season 3. Necessary, sure, and much of it is very good (particularly D'Angelo), but because it's so isolated from everything else going on in the main storyline, it harms the cohesiveness of the season as a whole.

Ziggy isn't controversial in a political sense; it's just that the viewership seems to be fairly divided between people who find him annoying as hell and wish for his violent, violent death and people who find him funny and tragic. He's not a terribly sympathetic character, given that he's a dick, a moron, and the author of most of his troubles. He's a fuck-up, and only rarely an endearing fuck-up, and he spends the entire storyline making messes that his cousin then has to clean up.
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Re: So you're allowed to like The Wire on this board right?

Postby Pandorly » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:25 am UTC

Sorry to resurrect a thread like this but I am so devastated that there are never going to be any more episodes of this. Everybody I know who has watched it agrees that when you finish Season 5, there is a gaping hole in your life which no other series can fill. The characters are so gripping, whether you fucking love them or hate them. Moreover, it really deals with issues in contemporary society which are dumbed down or overlooked by many other TV shows. But hey, if you're reading this thread you probably already know that.

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dubsola wrote: it can be quite difficult to understand what people are saying


I highly recommend getting a hold of actual physical discs so you can turn the captions on. I would have been completely lost without this; I suck at deciphering accents.

I'm not even from America and I picked up the language unbelievably quickly without captions (was watching it online). Personally I thought it was really cool to be able to distinguish west/east Baltimore accents and their nuances. It was tricky for the first four episodes and then it was basically simple.

Obviously, you don't need captions on to understand the cops anyway... :)
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