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The Wire Is Down

March 10, 2008

I have to admit, I didn’t start watching The Wire until about a year ago. Caroline and I sat together and watched the first episode on DVD, she patiently explaining things to me that I missed (note to average viewer: The Wire is way smarter than you. Be at peace with that). It was a solid first episode, nothing too special, but good. Possibly what made it not seem all that fantastic was that it felt real. There was no convenient story arc that tied up neatly at the end. There were no characters that appeared just in time to do something important. There was no supernatural detective who could figure out any mystery just by thinking about it for a few minutes.

In short, not much happened. It was just a little slice of life in Baltimore.

But after the second episode, the same elements that made that first episode seem kind of dull—in particular, the realness of it all—started to unveil this world that we had never seen before. Two worlds, really—the ghetto and the inside of a police station—and the overlap between the two. Sure, we’ve seen those worlds in real life and on television before, but does driving through the ghetto mean that you know what the ghetto is like? Have you ever even driven through a real ghetto? I haven’t. I’ve driven through poor areas where a lot of drug trafficking probably takes place, but those are main streets, not the back alleys and courtyards where the ghetto is alive.

And police stations…how many of us have the Law and Order vision of police stations in our heads? Dimly lit, detectives brooding and moping about, everyone working on the same case? You know, I don’t know how it actually is in real life, but cops watch two shows: Cops, and The Wire. I can’t watch Law and Order anymore because it feels like plastic surgery.

Anyway, The Wire ended yesterday after five seasons. I’m going to say perfect seasons. I can honestly say that I don’t think there has ever been or ever will be a drama as good as The Wire. Now, I must preface that by saying that I have not watched The Sopranos. I’ve only seen a few episodes, and I fully acknowledge that it’s a great show. It has a similar feel to The Wire, in that nothing ever neatly wraps up in a single episode. But the Sopranos doesn’t even compare.

There are some shows you can put off watching. In fact, most shows you can never watch and you won’t be the worse for it. I’m not saying The Wire will make you a better person, but I will say that it will give you the rare opportunity to watch a slice of the world that we overlook and ignore every day, not because it’s not interesting, but because we’re ashamed of it.

I can’t wait for you to meet Omar.

Microsoft format painter beat out chapstick with mirrors, and the Grid System backscratching system won over RSS Feeds

Today’s Matchups:

Pirates classes: To give another option to people who don’t like pilates

Vs.

Maggie-Moo style ice-cream vending machine: Serving fresh ice cream without the hassle of going to an ice-cream parlor

Reversible baby clothes for both genders: One side is blue, the other pink–that way you can buy baby clothes even if you don’t want to know your unborn child’s gender:

Vs.

Doubletree Inn fresh chocolate chip cookies: This hotel chain serves guests warm, fresh chocolate chip cookies when they check in

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. aquavator permalink
    March 11, 2008 3:27 pm

    Do you have HBO now?

    Anyway, I started watching The Wire in January and halfway through season four now. It is truly brilliant. And Omar might be my favorite television character of all time, up there with Special Agent Dale Cooper, Al Swearingen, and Gob Bluth.

  2. Bob permalink
    March 11, 2008 9:48 pm

    This may be an annoying wait for Season 5 on DVD. HBO wasn’t too quick with the previous seasons.

    Pirates to the Final Four!

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