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inignot
Aug 31, 2003

WWBCD?

Check this out, there still David Simon articles on the Baltimore Sun site from when he was a police reporter. The police officers from the original Homicide book are in these articles, as are a lot of the street crimes that come up as plot elements in his various works.

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/19...-kincaid-victim
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/19...tment-baltimore
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/19...tives-informant
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/19...cide-detectives
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/19...e-christmas-day
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/19...sy-murphy-homes
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/19...e-investigators <-not attributed to David Simon, but certainly contains central points of the wire
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/19...d-rudy-williams <-David Simon post Homicide publication, gloriously over the top.

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Asbury
Mar 23, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 3689 days!


Hair Elf

Those are some great finds. Thanks.

Edit: That last one is loving hilarious. For a guy who hated The Wire being called Dickensian (and as a meta-commentary, had the head of the Sun use that phrase), Simon didn't mind trying a Shakespearean aspect.

Asbury fucked around with this message at 19:04 on Oct 18, 2014

frenton
Aug 15, 2005

devil soup


theCalamity posted:

Alan Sepinwall will be hosting The Wire cast reunion tonight at 7:15 PM Eastern. A livestream is provided in the link.

This is really cool. If you've got time definitely check it out.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


MrSlam posted:

Alright, I get what you're saying. Yes, I'm aware that The Office and Parks and Recreation aren't documentaries. They're filmed like them as part of the style choice. Even in the shows there's no mention of the documentaries being made, but even still the style wouldn't mesh with the drug dealers because who films documentaries where they interview street-level dealers and kingpins?

I never said a drat thing about recasting anyone. I was imagining a comedic situation involving John Doman in hot-pants. Regardless of the fact that The Wire treats Rawls's sexuality in a mature realistic respective manner that most other shows should aspire to, I stand by the fact that the idea of John Doman in hot-pants is hilarious. He is so serious and seething all the time and the idea of him cutting loose in a bizarre campy (albeit stereotypically gay) way yet retaining his normally serious gently caress-you-attitude is a thing I find funny. I guess that makes me immature and homophobic or something.

I want to state something here. The situation is entirely made-up. It will never happen. It is purely hypothetical. It is so drat hypothetical that it can only exist in the psychic mindspace of those who think about it. I promise you Hard Clumping, that if I ever get hired at NBC or any other channel and via magic or time travel or an act of god I'm given the rights to The Wire I will never produce a terrible sitcom version of it. You have my word.

The idea of The Wire being remade in an inferior cable channel primetime sitcom format is funny joke to me because The Wire is so drat good to begin with. You say Parks and Recreation and The Office aren't bad, but in my opinion they're good for what they are; there are less funny sitcoms out there. But another part of the joke is that The Wire is so good that even as a Parks and Recreation-style sitcom it wouldn't be that bad. It might actually be naturally superior to what it's lampooning. The characters are so well-written that they could be recast into any format and they'd still retain their identity. I'm trying to compliment The Wire with a series of bad jokes.

Hey I'm back from vacation! You are absolutely right, now that I re-read, that I misunderstood what you meant by "recast," (i believe you mean "reimagine;" "cast" is a very specific term) but even in that context my point still stands. Also, just because your idea is fake doesn't mean it's above scrutiny. I've been marathoning the various Stargate series the past several months but, although I am a huge fan of SG-1's masterful "bureaucrats try to shut down the Stargate program and the main characters ~go rogue~ to save what they think is important" episodes, I didn't consider it very clever or prudent to liken them to the Baltimore Sun's buyouts/Scott Templeton's false reporting. Well, see ya

fake e: another to the brooklyn nine nine comment

Hard Clumping fucked around with this message at 23:19 on Oct 22, 2014

The REAL Goobusters
Apr 25, 2008



So I rewatched The Wire season 1 and goddamn it is still loving fantastic. Definitely better on the rewatch since I already know the characters, but I guess I didn't pick up on the various corruption and just how hosed everything was for the unit. loving great and I hope I like season 2 more than I did on my first watch, since it was weird and kind of hard to follow.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


The REAL Goobusters posted:

So I rewatched The Wire season 1 and goddamn it is still loving fantastic. Definitely better on the rewatch since I already know the characters, but I guess I didn't pick up on the various corruption and just how hosed everything was for the unit. loving great and I hope I like season 2 more than I did on my first watch, since it was weird and kind of hard to follow.

The good news is that you're about to (re)watch the second best season of a television series ever made.

The bad news is:



Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 20:31 on Nov 17, 2014

Naylenas
Sep 11, 2003

I was out of my head so it was out of my hands

I've rewatched this show 5 times in as many years and, no matter what, I can't save him.

tweet my meat
Oct 2, 2013

yospos


As good as season 4 was, I still think season 2 tops it.

Ainsley McTree
Feb 19, 2004




The first time I watched Season 2, I accidentally watched it out of order and watched the episode where they pulled him out of the water before watching the episode before it.

I was a little surprised!

The REAL Goobusters
Apr 25, 2008



Jerusalem posted:

The good news is that you're about to (re)watch the second best season of a television series ever made.

The bad news is:





freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


Sergeant_Crunch posted:

As good as season 4 was, I still think season 2 tops it.

I watched it for the first time last year and now I'm watching it again because my girlfriend's never seen it, and I'm interested to see if my line-up changes. As it stands I'd rank the seasons (from best to least) as 3 > 1 > 2 > 4 > 5. With a fairly solid line between 2 and 4; I never really warmed to the last two seasons. I mean, they were great, better than 99% of any other TV, but they didn't quite reach the platinum standard of the first three seasons.

Dramatika
Aug 1, 2002

THE BANK IS OPEN

freebooter posted:

I watched it for the first time last year and now I'm watching it again because my girlfriend's never seen it, and I'm interested to see if my line-up changes. As it stands I'd rank the seasons (from best to least) as 3 > 1 > 2 > 4 > 5. With a fairly solid line between 2 and 4; I never really warmed to the last two seasons. I mean, they were great, better than 99% of any other TV, but they didn't quite reach the platinum standard of the first three seasons.

To each their own, but 4 was the probably the best season of anything I've ever seen. No show or movie since has gotten such an emotional reaction out of me.

grilldos
Mar 27, 2004

BUST A LOAF
IN THIS
YEAST CONFECTION


Grimey Drawer

Each season tries to focus in on a specific area of life, so it's only natural different people get more emotionally invested in different seasons. As someone who's worked in newsrooms, I'll defend season 5 despite its flaws.

TheRationalRedditor
Jul 17, 2000

WHO ABUSED HIM. WHO ABUSED THE BOY.


S4 is undoubtedly the consensus peak by longstanding general & critical sentiments, but after that it's a personal crapshoot. Except for S5, that is

Asbury
Mar 23, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 3689 days!


Hair Elf

Season one, which is already pretty great, improves even more after finishing the series. There are some tiny bits of character that go over first-time viewers' heads, but on a second viewing add a lot to the show's overall story.

On the other hand, there are some camera techniques (eg Avon's slow-mo walk through The Pit) and some character differences (eg Rawls storming out of his office and shouting "MCNULTY") that are out of sync with the remaining seasons, but those instances are very minor and really don't detract from anything. Every show evolves.

hhhmmm
Jan 1, 2006
...?

3Romeo posted:

Season one, which is already pretty great, improves even more after finishing the series. There are some tiny bits of character that go over first-time viewers' heads, but on a second viewing add a lot to the show's overall story.

On the other hand, there are some camera techniques (eg Avon's slow-mo walk through The Pit) and some character differences (eg Rawls storming out of his office and shouting "MCNULTY") that are out of sync with the remaining seasons, but those instances are very minor and really don't detract from anything. Every show evolves.

The slow mo walk is weird, it's also the only scene (that I'm aware of) with sound effects coming from outside of the scene in that season*. I think it's the DVD commentary(?) that mentions that they explicitly wanted to avoid using music to tell the listener what to feel. So that every sound had to be natural to the scene. Which I think is one of the things that makes the shooting of Kima so emotionally powerful. Without the "emotional" music that every other tv-show had at times like this, it feels like more real life and hits harder.

The slow mo walk kinda works though, in that it tells you something about the power of Avon. Especially when you watch it a second time, when you know it's Stinkum (I think) and Stringer following him. But it only works because they didn't use music anywhere else in the season. Not using music to set the mood was the right choice all along, and they hosed up in this scene. It's a storytelling problem for TV overall I guess - use a trick once and it's amazing, use it more than twice and gently caress You I'm bored (switching chanels).

*Based on the same DVD commentary and not noticing any other counterexample on my third rewatch or whatever

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


I like to think those little flourishes in season 1 were down to an increasingly frantic television executive begging with David Simon to please hold the audience's hand and dumb everything down as much as possible.

By season 2 the unique combination of low ratings, critical lauding, and HBO subscriber surveys* told them to just leave the show alone.

* I'm fairly certain I read somewhere that HBO discovered that The Wire's small audience were willing to subscribe to HBO purely to watch The Wire, and that if the show was canceled they'd just cancel their subscriptions because it was the only thing they were interested in.

UFOTacoMan
Sep 22, 2005





I think the slow-mo walk thing works, sure it's a bit heavy handed but I think it shows us how the rest of the dudes in the game view their leaders and how the leaders view themselves. It shows Avon as the king walking through his kingdom without fear or doubt.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

Jerusalem posted:


* I'm fairly certain I read somewhere that HBO discovered that The Wire's small audience were willing to subscribe to HBO purely to watch The Wire, and that if the show was canceled they'd just cancel their subscriptions because it was the only thing they were interested in.

I think at that time there were also at least a few higher ups at HBO that just really thought The Wire was an excellent show and championed it regardless of ratings.

Asbury
Mar 23, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 3689 days!


Hair Elf

UFOTofuTacoCat posted:

I think the slow-mo walk thing works, sure it's a bit heavy handed but I think it shows us how the rest of the dudes in the game view their leaders and how the leaders view themselves. It shows Avon as the king walking through his kingdom without fear or doubt.

It really does work in the context of the first season and the year that it aired.* The show had a lot to say its freshman year, but it didn't have any thematic coherence--the first season was about showing a realistic police case instead of showing eg the death of the working class or the meat grinder of the inner-city school system. There were small scenes that had some resonance, like the chess game or Wallace trying to show that girl how to do a word problem, but that first season was a cop show--more nuanced than anything similar for sure, but still a cop show. Avon walking tall through The Pit, if atonal to later work, wasn't exactly terrible. I've bitched about those scenes in this thread before (they have a lack of subtlety compared to what came later in the show), but on its own merits, and not measured by anything that followed, that first season was pretty loving outstanding.

If those two scenes I linked make you go back and watch the first season again, I don't apologize.








*I'm gonna continue to rock the footnotes here and add: not to make you feel old or anything, but it was 2002.

Asbury fucked around with this message at 01:00 on Nov 20, 2014

gingerberger
Jun 20, 2014

Gotta love my Squirtle Swag


Ainsley McTree posted:

The first time I watched Season 2, I accidentally watched it out of order and watched the episode where they pulled him out of the water before watching the episode before it.

I was a little surprised!

gently caress


Sergeant_Crunch posted:

As good as season 4 was, I still think season 2 tops it.

Season 2 was my least favorite the first time watching, I think because it's not as tied up in the drug game on the streets and the docks were just a little less sexy. After a couple rewatches though I think Id say 3>4=1=2>>5. I flip flop on which of 1, 2, 4 I like a ton.

I also think the slomo walk is super bad rear end.

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


Slo-mo walk is the best scene. Played completely straight, and it cracks me up every time.

stev
Jan 22, 2013

Please be excited.





I've only seen each season once, but I find it impossible to put series 2 next to the others and compare/evaluate it. It's such a different beast. In a lot of ways it feels like the main plot was filler to take up the time Avon spent in prison, but it was still a great plot in its own right. It definitely has the slowest, most gruelling start to any of the seasons though.

UFOTacoMan
Sep 22, 2005





I highly recommend that you go through the series again if you ever have a chance.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

Steve2911 posted:

I've only seen each season once, but I find it impossible to put series 2 next to the others and compare/evaluate it. It's such a different beast. In a lot of ways it feels like the main plot was filler to take up the time Avon spent in prison, but it was still a great plot in its own right. It definitely has the slowest, most gruelling start to any of the seasons though.

I think most people in the thread would totally understand why you felt that way, but there is a very good chance that if you watch it again you'll feel a lot differently about it.

MrBling
Aug 21, 2003

Oozing machismo

Season 2 is secretly the best season.

pokeyman
Nov 26, 2006

That elephant ate my entire platoon.


No secret about it, it's just not readily apparent the first time around.

Asbury
Mar 23, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 3689 days!


Hair Elf

I dig 2 more than 4, but that's because I'm a white dude who grew up in a lower-middle-class blue-collar household. Easier for me to empathize since I don't have any real experience teaching (or being a student) at an inner-city school.

So I think 2's the best, but the strange thing is, 3 is my favorite. I enjoy watching it more than any of the other seasons. I think that's probably because there's so much Avon and Stringer.

Not to go on about it, but there are scenes in 2 that hew so close to the truth of a working class life that they're painful for me to watch. Nick's dad playing the bets, it reminded me of my old man and his dreams of winning the lottery. Or the guys in the union, like Horse, they could've fit right in the Teamsters Local 20, which I was a part of for a while. These days I'm an over-educated guy working a white-collar job and doing pretty well for myself, and watching season 2 really reminds me of the way poo poo used to be. I'm glad I got out of it, but it still kinda hurts to watch. I know a lot of people that still live lives like that.

Asbury fucked around with this message at 00:24 on Nov 21, 2014

gingerberger
Jun 20, 2014

Gotta love my Squirtle Swag


3Romeo posted:

but the strange thing is, 3 is my favorite. I enjoy watching it more than any of the other seasons. I think that's probably because there's so much Avon and Stringer.


This a thousand times. I don't know if I'm just too enamored with Stringer/Avon or if it's actually as awesome as I think, but I think the dynamics and eventual breakdown between those too is just sooo good. I feel like 3 is actually the hardest season for me to give a synopsis of because in my mind it's just the Stringer/Avon season. Every other season I could give you a 5 minute plot synopsis without thinking, season 3 I could remember if I tried, but on instinct I'd say it's Stringer/Avon with a legalizing drugs B story even though I know that's not true.

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


I agree with that, but no way are the drug zones a B-story. I also think 3 is the best and it's mostly because it charts this fantastic, escalating story of a police captain actually trying something novel and new (probably the only time that happens anywhere in the show) to tackle the slow decay of Baltimore. Bunny Colvin is my favourite character in the series based on this one season.

Which is not to detract from the implosion of the Barksdale organisation, which pays off a lot of storylines that had been developing since season 3. As with any series - TV, movies, books, whatever - the later editions can have something of an advantage over the earlier ones, because you've spent so much time with and become so invested in these characters. I know when I first watched season 1 - and I think a lot of people think this - I thought Stringer was way more capable and commanding than Avon and I was baffled to why Avon was in charge, until you find out he inherited it. It's satisfying to see that finally come to a head in season 3, especially as you realise that Avon is smarter than he seems and Stringer isn't as smart as he seems.

Brasseye
Feb 13, 2009



TheRationalRedditor posted:

S4 is undoubtedly the consensus peak by longstanding general & critical sentiments, but after that it's a personal crapshoot. Except for S5, that is

Yeah basically. For me season 4 stands above the rest by quite a long way. The law enforcement & newspaper room sides of season 5 are pretty terrible for the most part but the conclusions of kids from S4 and bubbles' storylines make it worth watching.

frenton
Aug 15, 2005

devil soup


The scene where Avon and Stringer reminisce on the balcony for the last time is one of my favorites of the entire series. They both pretend they're just being nostalgic when they both know they are really secretly saying goodbye. It's just so perfect.

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


I immediately liked season 2 after being sort of underwhelmed by season 1. The other seasons were fine television, but 2 was where the show peaked for me. I feel like Baltimore itself became a character in that season and it made the whole thing feel a lot more epic and visceral, which is impressive given that we were dealing with working class Joe's.

DarkCrawler
Apr 6, 2009



grilldos posted:

Each season tries to focus in on a specific area of life, so it's only natural different people get more emotionally invested in different seasons. As someone who's worked in newsrooms, I'll defend season 5 despite its flaws.

I mean "flaws" are just relative. Season 5 is still amazing TV better then the vast majority of TV, and I don't think it needs defending all that much. I was never bothered by anything except some aspects of the newsroom plot.

Gargamel Gibson
Apr 24, 2014


Randy's last name is Wagstaff. Was it ever explained if he was related to Cheese (and Prop Joe)?


Another dumb question:
Why do the homicide detectives have to wear suits while the others don't?

UFOTacoMan
Sep 22, 2005





Gargamel Gibson posted:

Randy's last name is Wagstaff. Was it ever explained if he was related to Cheese (and Prop Joe)?


Another dumb question:
Why do the homicide detectives have to wear suits while the others don't?

Nice catch on Randy's last name. I've never noticed a relation to Cheese or Prop Joe and the Wire Wiki has this to say:

quote:

Although he shares the same last name as "Cheese" Wagstaff, it is unclear if he is related to the older Lieutenant. By following that family tree he would then be related to "Prop Joe" who although is often frustrated by his family, seems to take care of them throughout the series.
http://thewire.wikia.com/wiki/Randy_Wagstaff

As for homicide wearing suites, my amateur research tells me that the detective dress code is usually classified as "plain clothes" so they could wear a polo shirt or a suit and tie. A suit would command more respect and look more professional so it would seem to be advantageous to look awesome in a suit. I would assume the others don't wear suits because the their dress code let's them try to blend in for undercover work or because it's a special detail?

Diabolik900
Mar 28, 2007



According to David Simon, he was going to be Cheese's son, but it never actually made it into the show.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sho...wire-david.html

bentacos
Oct 9, 2012


Gargamel Gibson posted:

Why do the homicide detectives have to wear suits while the others don't?

Well, The Bunk is strictly a suit and tie motherfucker, so maybe everyone else is just trying to keep up.

grilldos
Mar 27, 2004

BUST A LOAF
IN THIS
YEAST CONFECTION


Grimey Drawer

Murder police demand respect of both street poo poo and the fed. The suit is the first step.

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freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


bentacos posted:

Well, The Bunk is strictly a suit and tie motherfucker, so maybe everyone else is just trying to keep up.

IIRC Bunk starts wearing track pants and his old lacrosse team hoody the minute he gets briefly assigned to the detail in Season 2.

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