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Old 06-02-2012, 12:00 AM   #1
Malcontent
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"The Wire" - Premiered 10 years ago

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertain...-thing/257910/

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The Wire's first episode aired on June 2, 2002, 10 years ago this week. A decade has now passed since HBO took a chance on showrunner David Simon's grim vision of a decaying, desperate Baltimore and nearly half a decade since the iconic series ended and was enshrined as the Greatest TV Show Ever, taught at Harvard and Duke.
Great, great television.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:18 AM   #2
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NYPD Blue was cutting edge for its time.
Hill Street Blues was cutting edge before that.
How is The Wire so different from other cop shows? I haven't seen it -- yet.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:42 AM   #3
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How is The Wire so different from other cop shows? I haven't seen it -- yet.
You'll know it when you see it.

Honestly, it's not a cop show, it's so much more than that.
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:37 PM   #4
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I actually just finished watching the series last week. Amazing show.

getreal, it's not about the show being cutting edge. It's just about how intricate and realistic and moving it is. The show deals with the idea that various established institutions are failing (police department, unions, government, schools, newspapers), and this is leading to the decay of the American city.

If/when you do watch, I highly recommend reading Alan Sepinwall's episode deconstructions on sepinwall.blogspot.com and on http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching. Those really helped me understand everything that was going on and appreciate how detailed everything is.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getreal View Post
I haven't seen it -- yet.
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Originally Posted by TheMerk View Post
You'll know it when you see it.
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Originally Posted by DevdogAZ View Post
If/when you do watch, I highly recommend reading Alan Sepinwall's episode deconstructions on sepinwall.blogspot.com and on http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching. Those really helped me understand everything that was going on and appreciate how detailed everything is.
I disagree about reading Sepinwall's analysis. At least, don't read it after the first few episodes. Wait until after you're watched the first season. IMO... YMMV.

My word of advice which I give everyone who is about to start watching The Wire... give it at least three episodes go get going. Maybe even 4 or 5. There are MANY layers of details that are established in the first few episodes and it takes a while for them to fall together into the intricate tapestry which is The Wire. But once it all comes together and you start to see how the pieces play off each other, it is magical.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:42 PM   #6
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I agree with jradosh, give it at least 4-5 episodes.

I'd recommend reading Tim Goodman after each episode/season.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:49 PM   #7
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I disagree about reading Sepinwall's analysis. At least, don't read it after the first few episodes. Wait until after you're watched the first season. IMO... YMMV.
Just out of curiosity, why would you stay away from Sepinwall's reviews until after the first season? I found them immensely helpful.

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My word of advice which I give everyone who is about to start watching The Wire... give it at least three episodes go get going. Maybe even 4 or 5. There are MANY layers of details that are established in the first few episodes and it takes a while for them to fall together into the intricate tapestry which is The Wire. But once it all comes together and you start to see how the pieces play off each other, it is magical.
Totally agree with this. Unlike most TV series, The Wire doesn't start out with an episode that's 90% exposition like most network TV series. It just drops you into this world that's been ongoing and expects you to catch up. It takes a few episodes to get up to speed on characters, mannerisms, lingo, etc. But once you do, it's very worth it.
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:05 PM   #8
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What I found most enjoyable about The Wire was watching it the second time. So, so, so many intricacies to understand and appreciate upon repeat viewings.
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Old 06-03-2012, 04:03 AM   #9
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Just out of curiosity, why would you stay away from Sepinwall's reviews until after the first season? I found them immensely helpful.
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What I found most enjoyable about The Wire was watching it the second time. So, so, so many intricacies to understand and appreciate upon repeat viewings.
The first viewing should be 100% dedicated to just watching and absorbing the show. Throw in too much analysis the first time and it slows down the flow. It's like if you're having a conversation with someone and you stop to analyze each sentence.... it just kills the flow of the conversation.

Like ClutchBrake implies... no matter how much prep or research you do before/after each episode, the simple fact is that the series is much more enjoyable on second (or third or fourth) viewing. There's simply that much detail and nuance! I think you should save the episode analysis for the second viewing.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:29 AM   #10
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Watching while reading Sepinwall is kind of like reading Moby Dick while also reading the Cliff Notes at the same time. There is definitely a value that it helps you identify the characters and themes, but it also could interrupt your flow.

I watched while reading the recaps. I don't think it ruined my enjoyment, and it certainly helped me pick up on things I never would have during a first run viewing.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:33 AM   #11
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The Wire isn't the most entertaining program, but it's important, dramatic, and interesting.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:53 AM   #12
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I think I only gave it one episode (or maybe two) and it didn't grab me. I should try it again.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:25 AM   #13
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I think I only gave it one episode (or maybe two) and it didn't grab me. I should try it again.
I had to try it twice before I finally got into the rhythm. It's a very dry production.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:30 AM   #14
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This is one of the greatest television series ever.

The writing, the acting, the characters, the themes explored - everything about it is simply excellent.

I agree with those who say to give it a few episodes...the character development is so intricate and fully fleshed out that it takes time for everyone to get established. This is NOT a cop show. The star of this show is the city of Baltimore, and the series puts a magnifying glass upon it. The five seasons are written like individual novels - each tells its own tale - while the series arc involves several main characters. But the central theme is the city itself.

Beyond brilliant.
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:44 AM   #15
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CC helps too especially during some of the urban scenes with Baltimore specific lingo.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:06 AM   #16
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This thread has been great, thanks!
I have tried to watch The Wire and could not follow the dialogue.
i know it is all me, I have a short attention span.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:12 AM   #17
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I seem to recall Sepinwall having two separate blogs about this show. One was for first time viewers that didn't spoil upcoming episodes and the other contained information that related to future events so that you could see how well thought out it was. Keep that in mind if you plan on seeking them out.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:58 PM   #18
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NYPD Blue was cutting edge for its time.
Hill Street Blues was cutting edge before that.
How is The Wire so different from other cop shows? I haven't seen it -- yet.
I consider myself someone who doesn't like cop shows. But The Wire (and also The Shield) are two of my favorite shows. They're incredibly well done and draw you into the world on the show. They are not standard cop shows by any means. With The Shield, watching the pilot episode should tell you whether it's a show for you, whereas for The Wire, I think you need to watch a few episodes to get a feel for it.
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:47 PM   #19
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What I found most enjoyable about The Wire was watching it the second time. So, so, so many intricacies to understand and appreciate upon repeat viewings.
I watched it for the first time 2 years ago, JUST finished watching it w/ my Wife a month ago.

REALLY loved it the 2nd time (seeing characters early on after knowing their whole story) and it's just a great show.


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I had to try it twice before I finally got into the rhythm. It's a very dry production.
I was going to say that it was a slow moving show while at the same time a LOT happening.

I think saying that it's a dry production is perfectly put!
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:16 PM   #20
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The Wire: The Musical with Michael Kenneth Williams

Omar's coming! Omar's coming!

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/414...nneth-williams

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Michael Kenneth Williams stars alongside Sonja Sohn, Larry Gillard Jr., Andre Royo & Felicia "Snoop" Pearson from The Wire in The Wire: The Musical where they will allow you to experience America's failing drug war through the magic of song!

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Old 01-31-2013, 11:05 PM   #21
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My word of advice which I give everyone who is about to start watching The Wire... give it at least three episodes go get going. Maybe even 4 or 5. There are MANY layers of details that are established in the first few episodes and it takes a while for them to fall together into the intricate tapestry which is The Wire. But once it all comes together and you start to see how the pieces play off each other, it is magical.
I am glad I did a forum search and read this.

I started watching it tonight. I live in Baltimore. I drive thru some of those streets and remember seeing what is shown there.

I watched the pilot and was like "yeah, a cop show". On the advice of TCF I will give it a few more episodes and see if I get into it. I hope so. I have heard nothing but good things about this show and want to like it.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:07 AM   #22
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Just remember that it's not a shoot 'em up, action-y cop show. It takes a while for things to get going and it deals more with people, not events. The Wire has some of the most memorable characters I've ever encountered and almost all of them could be real people.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:39 AM   #23
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I don't really even think The Wire is a cop show... at least not in the way most TV watchers think of "cop show". Once the season gets further along it's almost more about the neighborhoods than about the po-lice.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:51 AM   #24
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I don't really even think The Wire is a cop show... at least not in the way most TV watchers think of "cop show". Once the season gets further along it's almost more about the neighborhoods than about the po-lice.
That's what has me interested.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:56 AM   #25
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Timely thread for me! I just started watching a couple of weeks ago. Not ready to jump on the best-series-ever bandwagon yet; definitely up there though.

BUT...

I finished season one and was looking forward to season two. I'm two episodes in and NOT feeling it. I don't find the huge new 'docks' cast and stories compelling (really? - stained glass window is a plot point?) and my favs from the season one seem to just be drifting on the periphery.

Now, I know enough of the bio's of some of the actors in S1 to know they'll be back, but can someone offer encouragement/assurance that it picks up soon? Was S2 the weakest season? Just a slow simmer to start? Is it just me?
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:14 AM   #26
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Timely thread for me! I just started watching a couple of weeks ago. Not ready to jump on the best-series-ever bandwagon yet; definitely up there though.

BUT...

I finished season one and was looking forward to season two. I'm two episodes in and NOT feeling it. I don't find the huge new 'docks' cast and stories compelling (really? - stained glass window is a plot point?) and my favs from the season one seem to just be drifting on the periphery.

Now, I know enough of the bio's of some of the actors in S1 to know they'll be back, but can someone offer encouragement/assurance that it picks up soon? Was S2 the weakest season? Just a slow simmer to start? Is it just me?
I like season 2. As a matter of fact, I watched season 2 before I watched season 1. It's not the best season but it has some memorable characters and moments. Season 3 gets back to the season 1 story lines. Season 4 is the best thing I've ever seen on tv.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:58 PM   #27
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I'll just say that I can't think of a single show besides The Wire where there are so many characters that I feel like I know so much about, care about, root for, root against across 5 seasons than anything else.

Not like there are a half dozen good characters, there are dozens and dozens, it's insane.
Almost like there are no throwaway characters.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:35 PM   #28
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I'll just say that I can't think of a single show besides The Wire where there are so many characters that I feel like I know so much about, care about, root for, root against across 5 seasons than anything else.

Not like there are a half dozen good characters, there are dozens and dozens, it's insane.
Almost like there are no throwaway characters.
Very well put. I saw "Bunk" in Suits the other day and immediately flashed back to the classic scene with him and McNulty. And it took me a whole season of Fringe before I could get past seeing Lance Reddick as Broyles instead of Daniels. I could go on and on. I really miss this show.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:07 PM   #29
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I just got thru the first three episodes and am very intrigued. I wish I could stream this instead of having to wait for a disc. Sigh.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:40 PM   #30
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I just got thru the first three episodes and am very intrigued. I wish I could stream this instead of having to wait for a disc. Sigh.
If you have HBO, it can be streamed via HBOGO
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