The Wire...*sigh... Does anything else make you look forward to television like The Wire? Is there a better show on TV? Not only is Baltimore itself starting to bubble and fizz with new art and new money, The Wire will undoubtedly throw a wrinkle into any injustice this city seems to somehow, and usually unintentionally, shade us from.
The Wire itself is based on other every day cop dramas in lieu of one major aspect. You end up rooting for the character with the good character and not necessarily the side that may be there to impugn what we may think is correct justice. You love Omar just as much as you love McNulty. You hate Herk for stealing from the criminals just as much as you dislike Stringer Bell for so coldly pouring drugs and crime onto the streets. You respect the new Mayor for his honesty and actual desire to change things and you hate him for his philandering and desire to cheat out certain institutions. You can compare the Mayor to Avon Barskdale. He is the drug kingpin that orders killings of young boys and sells drugs but in the end you can somehow honor his character because he follows a certain code and is never flashy or lacking of the indigenous qualities of his neighborhood.
The Wire allows you to really identify with the game itself and see that it is just that; a game.
There are two sides to this chessboard of a drama and neither the white pieces nor the black get rooted for more than the other.
One of the most compelling characters of the series is Omar. Omar is a hard core murdering criminal, but his character is made clear, as is much of Baltimore made clear on the subject, he doesn't kill citizens. And to be honest, with every semi-hard Baltimore thug that I've ever met this is also the credo on the street. "If you kill a tax-payer. They'll find you." Omar only robs from the dealers, and he only kills those who have wronged him (for what we see). He has Tupac's ego in him somewhere, and his words carry with them weight and honor. Did I happen to mention that besides being the hardest mofo I've ever seen on television...he's also gay. I tell you...the Wire doesn't even know where to stop most of the time.
Here are some of my favorite Omar clips:
He shoots Webay:
Another day on the job:
By far the best moment is the standoff in the street with Brother Mouzone:
The Wire even manages to relieve itself from the pulpit when it comes to preaching. Somehow it comes off as unpretentious and as raw as the characters it hopes to portray. Much of this is due to the director and executives that hail from the Baltimore Police department and have no problem poking fun at the hypocrisy of everything that we find to be worthy of evening news. These men behind the camera and behind the pen aren't what you would call your usual "out for the gold" team just here to make a series. They somehow manage to bleed themselves onto the screen and the characters through truth and information. And again, this is what the show's true reward is to the viewer. The lack of judgment that allows the viewer to lift their own veil of ignorance is refreshing.
The Wire has gone beyond entertainment and into a new realm of education.
Here are a couple of my favorite scenes:
The "fuck" scene where McNulty and Bunk actually say "fuck" like 47 times without using any other dialogue besides a "fuck" appendage such as "mother" or "...me".
Marlo lends out a hand to the kids:
The Trump brothers:
"Only The Strong Survive, Weak Hearts Gotta Go"
Enjoy the Wire for everything that everything else on television isn't. It is on OnDemand until the premier of Season 5...the apparent final season...January 08.