The Wire - no spoilers!

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Yassim, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. Yassim

    Yassim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I just bought the complete series The Wire on DVD, on the recommendation of many many internet sites.

    I've finished disc 1, season 1, and it's intriguing, but not yet "the best thing ever shown on TV". What did you think of the show? Does it take a little while to take off? It seems to be setting things up in lots of directions - does it get hard to follow?

    I bought it on eBay, and I'm not sure if I got bootlegs or not. There's a single, odd typo on the box, and the cases don't have the plastic inserts in the centre that hold the DVD in place - each DVD came in a little paper sleeve. Did I get bootlegs?
     
  2. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    It's a great show and a great ride that's absolutely worth the investment in time it makes you put in. That being said, it is perhaps the slowest developing show ever. Every season seems to take forever to get started (the first is possibly the fastest). It's relatively easy to follow, but you do have to pay attention (it doesn't cater to you and repeat things).

    As for whether or not you got a bootleg, I have no idea.
     
  3. Roger Wilco

    Roger Wilco Admiral Admiral

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    Season 1 wasn't my favourite, but imo it starts off fairly quickly. And yes, it is the best tv-show of all time.
     
  4. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Each season takes 3 or 4 episodes to get going, but once it gets going it is incredibly engaging. The Wire isn't like a normal TV show with a normal TV format, there isn't really an arc to each episode as there is in most shows, the arc spreads out over a season. In a normal episodic show the first 15 minutes is used to set up the plot that plays out in the other 45 minutes. In The Wire, that first 15 minutes takes several episodes. That can be frustrating when you come off the high of a season finale, put in the next disc and you spend the next hour thinking "nothing is happening". :lol:

    From what I remember, I didn't connect with the show until the bar scene between McNulty and Freamon, which I think was in the fourth episode. I don't know why it was that scene that hooked me, I just remember watching it when I was really tired and my body wanted to go to sleep but my brain thought "No, this is really good, I can't stop now".

    Has Omar showed up yet?
     
  5. The Habs Fan

    The Habs Fan Commodore Commodore

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    I also want to start watching this series on DVD, though I kind of want to watch Homicide first. I just finished watching the complete series of The Shield which I think is one of the best shows ever made.
     
  6. joVuNik

    joVuNik Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    What an awesome show, one of the best for sure!
    Posters above have pretty much laid out the details of the shows format, and things do ramp up to a point where you just want to watch the next episode right away!
    Well worth it.

    Don't know if it is bootlegged, but a typo? might lead me to think it is...:(
     
  7. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I will just echo what has been said before: terrific show, but a slow burn, worth the investment of time and patience, yadda yadda.

    I envy you. I wish I could watch The Wire for the first time again.
     
  8. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Premium Member

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    I sometimes found it hard to keep all the various characters straight. It's not that bad in the first season though.
     
  9. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Absolutely one of the best shows I've ever seen.

    The "best show on TV" is really a cumulative thing...there's no one show that screams "this is the best hour of TV you've ever seen," but week after week, season after season, the world they created and the characters they populated it with are just fantastic.

    I didn't find it hard to follow, but as other posters say, you have to pay attention. In any given show, there are 3+ storylines going on, so there's a lot to keep track of.

    You've got no idea how much I'd love to sit down and watch an episode and not know what Landsman's next wisecrack is going to be. Enjoy it!
     
  10. mimic

    mimic Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's a fantastic show. Well written, well acted, and surprisingly funny. If anyone asks me who my favorite character is, I invariably list 7-8 people before realizing I should probably stop. Initially, though, my reaction was "what's the big deal about this show?"
     
  11. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    It's a terrific show that demonstrates some of the very best writing and direction on television in the past ten years. Not sure if you have a bootleg or not--I have the season sets, not the complete series box set.
     
  12. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I feel that way, only I've just finished the final disc of season 3. I like the show, but I find myself respecting its narrative clarity far more then actually enjoying the thing (while, say, The Sopranos was a blast from start to finish.)

    Ultimately, it's pretty much what I expected it to be, which is why I delayed so long in watching it. It's a police procedural. I hate police procedurals. While it may be an arced police procedural with an understanding of the messy realities of politics is still a police procedural and that stuff's liable to put me to bed - not that the series has ever quite caught me napping. Sure, Dexter has elements of that, but Dexter is about a character far more then it is about the police. The Wire is always about its story rather than its characters; the characters are a broad ensemble moved across the board where needed and then maybe milked for some drama.

    I don't think I'm spoling a lot when I say the show is at its best when it's at it's at it's most operatic
    the murder of Stringer Bell, complete with pigeons fluttering everywhere and two of the show's most entertainingly outsized characters there to put a cap in his career.
    It's mostly low-key, slow-burn stuff the whole way through.

    On the other hand it's had some misspent moments, such as well, the main plot of the second season.
    The biggest failure here is Ziggy. He lacks anything likeable to make him really tragic - there's really no reason at all I should feel anything other than contempt for him, practically everything single scene of this season drives home how absolutely feckless, idoitic, impulsive, obnoxious and short sighted he is. I spent most of the discs patiently waiting for him to get a horrific comeuppance. And while his desperate if belaboured attempt to get a break and prove himself makes sense, I was pretty dry eyed during the whole conclusion with him and his family falling apart, with the father more than a little pissant consistently and the son/cousin never really clicking, the performance probably - season 1 got far more mileage out of Wallace alone, which in turn was really about Larry Gillard Jr.'s D'Angelo. 'Where's Wallace at?' That's a priceless moment.

    Creating a repulsive character like Ziggy is fine, inviting us to care about him or about how his family feels about him is a serious misstep.
    Ah well, the third season was very much a return to form.

    The show also has plenty of characters who are basically carried by their performance. Daniels is probably the most obvious example; on the page he rarely seems interesting and Lance Reddick's smouldering charisma is mostly what seems to keep him going.

    But I disgress. Two seasons to go, and I'm out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  13. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    It's a great show but I do think it's a tad overrated. I'd place The Shield and Breaking Bad above it quality wise.
     
  14. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The first season is not a slow burn in my opinion. The very first episode grapples with the politics behind investigations and the mechanics of getting wiretaps and takes off from there. Yes, that's police procedural. The Wire is the procedural that did one thing ER did, namely, bother getting it so much righter than anybody else did before. (At least, till fifth season.)

    The Wire has some operatic characters. But events and the world generally are not just the sum of some heroic characters to-ing and fro-ing in their petty personal struggles. And at some level, entertaining though the operatic characters may be, they just don't connect to anyone we know, or to our world. For that reason, they just don't matter, don't touch something inside beyond wishful thinking or gee whizzery.
     
  15. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's just not a lot of fun or very interesting at that point (again, I say this as not a fan of the genre). The Sopranos, Dexter, those shows walloped me over the head with their pilot episodes, made me sit up and pay attention. The Wire was a show which if I saw the pilot episode in isolation from any knowledge of the series... I'd pass on the show. It's not until the end of the third episode the show makes me sit up a little and enjoy it.

    If ER is an example of a medical drama done right (in a realism sense, you mean), lord forgive me for wondering what on earth what done wrong means.

    Hey, maybe for you. Me? I'd watch a spinoff show about Brother Mouzone in a heartbeat.

    But you're right, though; they're flavour. Omar Little might be a fun side character but it's the likes of D'Angelo Barksdale I made a real connection with as a viewer.
     
  16. Ethros

    Ethros Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I recently borrowed Season 1 from a friend. It's ok and watchable enough, but once I got to around episode 8 or 9 ish I kinda realised nothing was actually going to really happen in this show.
    After the first Season I can't say I'm overly bothered about investing any more time in it. If someone lends me Season 2 I might watch it, but I certainly wouldn't buy it myself. And there's a tonne of other shows I'd rather watch instead
     
  17. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They may not have gotten around to it for some of the newer doctors towards the end, but on ER for years every doctor killed somebody. I'm surprised how few people noticed it didn't work like that on other medical shows, or, sadly, real life.

    My experiences working in a hospital was more like ER than any other medical show. They talked like medical people at work. I found the codes in particular realistic, they even had people running around looking for stuff sometimes.

    In reality there was nudity and the patient's family was not allowed in the room for emo, so no one can or should confuse ER with reality. Also, doctors were generally moe like Kelso than Green.
     
  18. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I must admit your criticism perplexes me, Ethros. If nothing else, stuff happens on The Wire. The show really leans it's focus on stuff happening, really.

    This was sort of what I'm driving at. ER? Not the most plausible doctor show.
     
  19. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I wish it were true that doctors didn't kill patients as they ascended their learning curve, or on bad days.
     
  20. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    and they're all called Stringer Bell ;)