Submit Your
Comedy
List
The deadline for the Top Comedies of All Time list is coming up! Submit your ballot now, or read about it here

The Wire

Tools    





Finished here. It's been fun.
When I began watching this behemoth of a show at first I was a bit disappointed, but by the time I reached season 3 or so I was completely sold. This show is complex,rich with numerous sociopolitical themes and is a realistic portrayal of crime in modern America. I still prefer a few shows over this such as The Sopranos and Breaking Bad, but it's hard to deny this show's greatness and depth.

Season 4 is my personal favorite of the series, as it made everything come full circle. It shows the errors and flaws of the school system and shows how criminals and druggies become what they are.Brilliant.




Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
I tried to watch this in high school and got up to Season 3 before I gave up; I guess I was just too young for it and didn't really get what it was trying to do.


But since I finished high school and had a bit of time on my hands until university starts for me, I gave this another go a couple of weeks ago. I'm over halfway through Season 4 at the moment and I will echo everyone else's thoughts: this really is absolutely brilliant stuff. It slowly sucked me in until, before I knew it, I was averaging about 4 episodes a day (and I'm very slow with TV series). I was a bit disappointed with Season 3, only really seemed to be completely alive in the last episodes, but everything else has been superb.
__________________
"George, this is a little too much for me. Escaped convicts, fugitive sex... I've got a cockfight to focus on."



The Adventure Starts Here!
Okay, I have tried twice to get into this show. Both times it just didn't click, but every time someone says what a great show it is (well, someone whose opinion I trust), I feel as if I should try again. Now may be that time. I was reading a solid rating of the Top 50 (yes, 50) TV shows on HBO, and all of my favorites were on the list, in decently correct order.

But of course, guess which show they listed as #1? (sigh) Yeah, yeah, I'll watch it. I'll watch it...

https://www.pastemagazine.com/tv/hbo...124#1-the-wire



CringeFest's Avatar
Duplicate Account (locked)
Okay, I have tried twice to get into this show. Both times it just didn't click, but every time someone says what a great show it is (well, someone whose opinion I trust), I feel as if I should try again. Now may be that time. I was reading a solid rating of the Top 50 (yes, 50) TV shows on HBO, and all of my favorites were on the list, in decently correct order.

But of course, guess which show they listed as #1? (sigh) Yeah, yeah, I'll watch it. I'll watch it...

https://www.pastemagazine.com/tv/hbo...124#1-the-wire

the Baltimore slang and smooth not-so-obvious dialogue (in terms of what they're talking about) may be the reason you don't like it, it doesn't hurt to look at the episode description before watching it. Without understanding everything that went on, i still really enjoyed watching it the first time.



That elusive hide-and-seek cow is at it again
Okay, I have tried twice to get into this show. Both times it just didn't click, but every time someone says what a great show it is (well, someone whose opinion I trust), I feel as if I should try again. Now may be that time. I was reading a solid rating of the Top 50 (yes, 50) TV shows on HBO, and all of my favorites were on the list, in decently correct order.

But of course, guess which show they listed as #1? (sigh) Yeah, yeah, I'll watch it. I'll watch it...

https://www.pastemagazine.com/tv/hbo...124#1-the-wire
I kinda get you. Going back to watch some shows out of context of the time's standard can be off. Oz is that for me. I loved the show when it aired. About a year or so ago I decided to revisit the convicts and just couldn't get back into it. The 4:3 format was a huge distraction, but I think mostly I just had a hard time seeing J.K. Simmons as a white power gangster after his voice work in Portal 2.

But yeah, sometimes they're just not as shiny out of context or after so many other shows that followed.

OZ flex:



Cave Johnson (Portal 2):


One more! Check this kat out!
__________________
"My Dionne Warwick understanding of your dream indicates that you are ambivalent on how you want life to eventually screw you." - Joel

"Ever try to forcibly pin down a house cat? It's not easy." - Captain Steel

"I just can't get pass sticking a finger up a dog's butt." - John Dumbear



The Adventure Starts Here!
Oh, I tried watching The Wire while it was still airing. Got about nine or ten episodes in and realized nobody was gelling for me and I couldn't remember what the heck was going on in any of the subplots. That told me I wasn't paying proper attention.

FWIW, this has happened to me with a bunch of series I ultimately ended up adoring. I'd have issues getting into the series but would follow through because friends had said it was worth it. Battlestar Galactica, The Expanse, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Game of Thrones, Lost, Veep. I had issues with the initial episodes of each one but stuck it out and was happy I did. None of them took ten episodes to get there for me, though. (And I notice that most of those are actually HBO series, which is why I read that article above in the first place today.)

I'll give it another shot. A few shows I like are on hiatus between seasons anyway, so the timing is right to give this my attention.



CringeFest's Avatar
Duplicate Account (locked)
Oh, I tried watching The Wire while it was still airing. Got about nine or ten episodes in and realized nobody was gelling for me and I couldn't remember what the heck was going on in any of the subplots. That told me I wasn't paying proper attention.

FWIW, this has happened to me with a bunch of series I ultimately ended up adoring. I'd have issues getting into the series but would follow through because friends had said it was worth it. Battlestar Galactica, The Expanse, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Game of Thrones, Lost, Veep. I had issues with the initial episodes of each one but stuck it out and was happy I did. None of them took ten episodes to get there for me, though. (And I notice that most of those are actually HBO series, which is why I read that article above in the first place today.)

I'll give it another shot. A few shows I like are on hiatus between seasons anyway, so the timing is right to give this my attention.

I like shows with interwoven plots because they have rewatch value, sopranos is similar to the wire in this respect, except the wire is especially complex.


I didn't see any of that kind of thing in 6 feet under though, it shows the lives of the characters in a very direct way imo, it's also more of a silly comedy that the other two. I remember one time I watched six feet under stoned and I had trouble processing anything that was going on...you're certainly not alone in terms of "getting things". My dad was pretty impressive in terms of deciphering shows, yet one time we read a section of a book together, and he totally misconstrued what the author was saying.



The Adventure Starts Here!
Well, clearly my list of shows indicates quite a wide range of genres. (I forgot to add two other HBO series I loved, Carnivale and Rome. That just adds to the weird spread of genres, really.)

I just watched the very first two episodes this evening. They made more sense to me this time, and so far I'm fairly engaged. We'll see if that continues, but... so far, so good.



Oh, I tried watching The Wire while it was still airing. Got about nine or ten episodes in and realized nobody was gelling for me and I couldn't remember what the heck was going on in any of the subplots. That told me I wasn't paying proper attention.

FWIW, this has happened to me with a bunch of series I ultimately ended up adoring. I'd have issues getting into the series but would follow through because friends had said it was worth it. Battlestar Galactica, The Expanse, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Game of Thrones, Lost, Veep. I had issues with the initial episodes of each one but stuck it out and was happy I did. None of them took ten episodes to get there for me, though. (And I notice that most of those are actually HBO series, which is why I read that article above in the first place today.)

I'll give it another shot. A few shows I like are on hiatus between seasons anyway, so the timing is right to give this my attention.
My fave show ever is The Sopranos. Loved it from the opening credits.

Second fave show is The Wire, which I consider to be a masterpiece. Seen it many times.

Six Feet Under I’ve watched at least 3 times.
__________________
I’m here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. That’s why I’m here now.



A system of cells interlinked
I'm up to season one, episode nine now and I think THIS time it'll stick. Third time's a charm!
I had this issue with the show, as well. Starts off as an above average police show, but by the time you finish all the seasons, you wonder how you got to where you are, and the genius of the entire thing becomes clear.

Lastly...

Omar comin!
__________________
"There’s absolutely no doubt you can be slightly better tomorrow than you are today." - JBP



I had this issue with the show, as well. Starts off as an above average police show, but by the time you finish all the seasons, you wonder how you got to where you are, and the genius of the entire thing becomes clear.

Lastly...

Omar comin!

It took me three attempts to make it past Season 1 as well. And it obviously pays off in spades. It's on my very short list of the greatest things humanity has ever done. Not just on television, but anywhere.


It is also the perfect example of how storytelling can be employed in a way that isn't predictable, doesn't simplify emotions messages or themes, and can not only be well-crafted but rendered with the purity of the highest artform. As you hint at, there is almost some kind of mysterious alchemy how it takes us from one plot point to the next, one season to the next, until we can't believe this enormous view it has given us of this city and all of the people living/trapped in it. All beginning with the murder of a kid named Snot.



It's a show that goes beyond all expectations. A masterpiece. It embarasses me that it took me so long to believe in it.



CringeFest's Avatar
Duplicate Account (locked)
The next time I watch it, I'm going to use that "the players" special on my DVD set to see if I can catch even more about the characters, as they don't make their roles in the show incredibly explicit.



It took me three attempts to make it past Season 1 as well. And it obviously pays off in spades. It's on my very short list of the greatest things humanity has ever done. Not just on television, but anywhere.
Season 2 down at the docks is by far my favorite season. Amazing story-telling in this season.



Season 2 down at the docks is by far my favorite season. Amazing story-telling in this season.

It might be my favorite as well. And Frank Subotnik (I think that's his name) is one of my favorite characters. Although, I do kind of love most of the seasons fairly equally (the last season being the weakest....but still good...just needed to be longer in order the flesh things out better)



@Austruck, for what it's worth, first time I gave it a shot, I got until Episode 2 or 3 and gave up on it. However, got back to it after a month or two and pushed through the first few episodes and then it kinda stuck. I warmed up to the characters, the tone, the scope, etc... and yet, I would say it wasn't until Season 3 or 4 that I truly felt like "Whoa, this is a masterpiece". It's currently my #2 show.
__________________
Check out my podcast: The Movie Loot!



A system of cells interlinked
As you hint at, there is almost some kind of mysterious alchemy how it takes us from one plot point to the next, one season to the next, until we can't believe this enormous view it has given us of this city and all of the people living/trapped in it..
I think one of the components of the potion is how the show constantly subverts the viewers expectations by setting itself up as one thing or another, and then pulling the rug out over and over again. We should have been on to its tricks by the third season, but I know I sure wasn't.



Well, while I do feel that The Wire was an ambitious, well-written show on the whole, it was still never a favorite of mine due to it being kind of low energy in general, and I felt that all the hyperbolic praise that it's been showered with over the years has lead some to turn a blind eye to its missteps, like the way that the out of place "This is America" line in its very first scene feels like bit of forced, grandiose, Nolan-esque "themespeak", which was pretty odd for a show that tended to avoid that otherwise.



Well, while I do feel that The Wire was an ambitious, well-written show on the whole, it was still never a favorite of mine due to it being kind of low energy in general, and I felt that all the hyperbolic praise that it's been showered with over the years has lead some to turn a blind eye to its missteps, like the way that the out of place "This is America" line in its very first scene feels like bit of forced, grandiose, Nolan-esque "themespeak", which was pretty odd for a show that tended to avoid that otherwise.

That's one of the missteps you think needs more attention? The first one that comes to mind? More criticism for this perfectly articulated moment, between cop and kid on the street, that in a few lines immediately grants us access to the cynical heart of the show? Acts as a snapshot of the tragedy and humor and deceit and the futile pointlessness that lives at the heart of The American Dream? That carves out the divide between the police force and the people they police. It's a misstep to open the show this way?



Yes, it's on the nose, but not in any kind of grandiose or forced way. The story is told with the exact kind of naturalism that the entire show is known for. Just look at the kids completely baffled reaction when McNulty asks the completely obvious question (from his perspective) of why they always let the kid in the game. It's like McNulty is the one who somehow never heard of this place called America, and all of the opportunities it offers. Coming from a kid whose clearly only been shit on by this particular countries dream. It's a perfect bit of miscommunication. Cop not understanding kid. Kid not understanding country. Both sitting on a stoop, pondering the fate of another dead kid called Snot Boogie.



This opening is a sad little anecdote for us to chew on before the opening credits. For a show that is notorious for taking its time for its stories to reveal themselves, it is good to have some kind of grounding insight into what we are about to see before we are dropped right into the centre of its narrative maelstrom. I think it might even be sort of necessary to begin with a kind of declaration of the shows intent and tone. Otherwise we might be completely lost within the first few episodes filled with its walls of dense jargon, and yet to be defined relationships between characters. That brief moment acts as a guiding light. It gives emotional and thematic context so the rest of the show can take its time getting to what it specifically wants to say, with these specific characters and this specific story. It reduces our need for distracting exposition. I don't think it is the shows greatest moment or anything, but this is simply the before dinner appertif. Just let it do its job of opening your palette, Stu. Prepare you for all that low energy that is to come.



So this is the first thing you think of when you think people are overlooking the shows missteps? Interesting. Now where is that Larry David looking confused gif when you need it?