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Mr. Prokosch
Feb 14, 2012

Behold My Magnificence!

Groovelord Neato posted:

what is this newspaper bullshit.

Season 5.txt

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Ainsley McTree
Feb 19, 2004


Groovelord Neato posted:

what is this newspaper bullshit.

Yeah...sorry

spog
Aug 7, 2004

It's your own bloody fault.
You have to consider the Dickensian aspect of it.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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

Fun Shoe
The newspaper storylines come into play a lot late in the season and there are some really good scenes in there but overall yea it's pretty weak.

pokeyman
Nov 26, 2006

That elephant ate my entire platoon.

I was on season five of my rewatch when saying earlier that I enjoy the cop toadies like Valchek. The newspaper toadies are just completely unlikeable and unenjoyable in comparison.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?

They're my major problem with that part of season 5. There is no nuance or depth to them whatsoever, they're just dumbshit stupid rear end in a top hat fuckups all the time. I'd like to think if Burns hadn't been off at the time prepping for Generation Kill he might have been able to pull Simon back in the same way Simon allegedly did for him in season 4 when they were writing the school administration stuff.

pokeyman
Nov 26, 2006

That elephant ate my entire platoon.

And for all I know itís an entirely accurate rendition of life at the Baltimore Sun city desk in 200X. Doesnít make it fun to watch.

Milo and POTUS
Sep 3, 2017

I will not shut up about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I talk about them all the time and work them into every conversation I have. I built a shrine in my room for the yellow one who died because sadly no one noticed because she died around 9/11. Wanna see it?
It's still pretty good it's just the weakest part of the show

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?

Oh yeah don't get me wrong, the "worst" season of The Wire is still up there with some of the best television ever made. It's just those particular sections are disappointing given how much better (and fairer) the depiction of the "bosses" in other seasons were.

kaworu
Jul 23, 2004

I think it's also very unfortunate that the objective worst season comes right after the objective best season. I hope I don't offend anyone by saying that - it's not that I think season 4 is OH MY GOD SO MUCH BETTER than the first three seasons. But I do think it's the best season, partially because of timing and execution, and partly because it still feels like such a masterstroke, in a way.

I mean, poo poo - if there was any kind of main focus to the show during the first three seasons, it absolutely was the exploration specifically of drug crime in Baltimore and the absurdly recursive and destructive game that both sides play, feeding the beast and all that. And if we have a major story arc that we keep coming back in the first three seasons, it is specifically the game going on between McNulty and Stringer, which of course turns absurd and becomes little more than a matter of pride for both men - it's very funny to me, because through it all both Stringer and McNulty want to beat the other go so bad and go forward with this
the ends justify the means!" bullshit. But they know it's bullshit, because it's never about ends and means, and in the end it barely matters who started it once blood is shed. I always remember the Kimmy scene and the speech that McNulty gets from Rawls - that's such a fascinating and great season 1 moment, it perfectly gets Rawls and the kind of guy he is.

I sometimes wonder, how did Dean Norris *not* play Rawls on this show? I think the only real reason was because this is an east coast show (legitimately filmed in bmore of course) and as such used mostly all actors based on the east coast to fill out the ensemble. That's why you see more guys from The Wire playing bit parts on Law & Order back in the day than most shows.

Groovelord Neato
Dec 6, 2014


i watched the whole show over the past week (first time viewing) and i don't know if i can rank the seasons apart from 5 being the worst. 2 i can see people taking issue with because it took away from the "main" plot but it was a good plot on its own and that effect is obviously lessened when you can go right into the next season.

zenguitarman
Apr 6, 2009

Come on, lemme see ya shake your tail feather


I agree that season five is the weakest, but I'm just finishing my first re-watch, and when Michael says good bye to bug, and then when dukie says goodbye to Michael, and when Bubbles walks up those loving stairs. Holy loving gently caress me man.

cosmically_cosmic
Dec 26, 2015

zenguitarman posted:

I agree that season five is the weakest... [Heartbreaking moments]

I've been thinking about this, and I think the reason for this is that season 5's sub-plot/theme is the most detached and meta compared to the subplots introduced after season 1.

Season 1 is very much directly about the drug game, with a drug gang storyline and a police crime task force.

Season 2 seems very scattered at first, not only continuing the original two plotlines (both in dissaray after the end of season 1 anyway) as well as adding union politics, dockworker life, prostitution and drug smuggling, but all of them are linked by the idea of the organisation of the under classes, prisoners, prostitutes (Who get the line "They need a union" to drive it home) the underemployed, and how they all feed into the system of crime (and in the end, drug crime). There's also the fact that the criminals in this season begin the Co-op, and start their own sort of union.

Season 3 gets a bit more blatant with the political plotline, and the hamsterdam story being very directly related to the drug game and the police and gangs.

Season 4 makes the unlikely school setting fit in seemlessly with the reality of Baltimore drug game we've seen so far, half of the characters have one foot in the game already, and the idea of 'escaping' the game also comes in here (Prez by becoming a teacher instead of a cop, to varying success, as well as Namond and to an extent Colvin with his hamsterdam project)

Then comes season 5 though, and the newspapers defining feature (from the mouth of David Simon himself) is that they FAIL to report on the drug game, or the reality of the situation in Baltimore. Like, the entire point was to show how they do not connect with the plots of seasons 1-4, and end up spinning their wheels and playing office politics while the city (at one point literally if I remember right) burns around them. Which, I think is a valid point and I can kind of see what he's going for, but I can't help but think having a Journalist start to interact seriously with the drug game and that either failing horribly or ending in tragedy for them (ala season 2) would have been more pleasing for the season that also ties together the whole series.

It's not that the story is really any worse written or unrealistic, it just doesn't mesh as well with the ongoing storylines in how it's presented. On their own the scenes are probably a decent miniseries, but when you're also haivng that intercut with The Wire, it feels like you're being pulled away from a story, to watch people who are failing to realise that they're also in that story.

Though if I remember right, there was originally a season 6 at some point, which (I may be wrong) was meant to be about mexican labour and crime, so who knows how that could have changed things.

cosmically_cosmic fucked around with this message at 02:48 on Apr 25, 2018

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?

I don't think it was so much a matter of deciding not to do season 6, but that if they had that opportunity (which they didn't get) then they could have done something about the Hispanic community and how it was shifting demographics in the city. But they figured out that they had absolutely no insight into that community and it would require a huge amount of research and consultants to get it right, and it was already pretty clear by that point that season 5 was going to be their last.

Milo and POTUS
Sep 3, 2017

I will not shut up about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I talk about them all the time and work them into every conversation I have. I built a shrine in my room for the yellow one who died because sadly no one noticed because she died around 9/11. Wanna see it?

zenguitarman posted:

I agree that season five is the weakest, but I'm just finishing my first re-watch, and when Michael says good bye to bug, and then when dukie says goodbye to Michael, and when Bubbles walks up those loving stairs. Holy loving gently caress me man.

It's like how RotJ is the weakest of the OT but it has some of the best moments in the entire series.

kaworu
Jul 23, 2004

I actually don't think it's the newspaper plotline that is the drag on Season 5 and makes it feel tedious - more than anything else it's the material with McNulty and his "serial killer". Part of it is that I have a particular visceral reaction of disgust at alcoholics, and his portrayal in season 5 is honestly one of the most convincing portraits of alcoholism I've ever seen, to a *frightening* degree. I hope it was just good acting, writing, and makeup, which it probably was. But really - he was obviously gaining weight over that season and had that slightly bloated facial appearance you see in aging male alcoholics. He also had the perfect amount of redness around his ears and neck that you also see in alcoholics. And there was that exact almost frightening randomness in his actions, too. It was seriously almost too real.

Given that he looks and acts pretty much normal by the end of season 5 it's not like I really think he was drinking heavily at the time, but who the hell really knows. The Wire's cast was kinda infamous for being fairly wild, and West is obviously someone who likely grew up having a pint at dinner from age 12 onwards like a good English lad and there are some legendary (albeit very boorish) stories of his nighttime exploits while doing The Wire. I figure it's more a matter of him knowing exact;y how to act and appear like a real alcoholic, probably from knowing quite a few in his time.

But anyway, my point is really that I found all of that stuff with him and Lester really kind of tedious, because it was fairly obvious how it would more or less play out. And the schtick with Bunk and McNulty felt really tired at time, it was just Bunk acting disgusted at McNulty's actions and making scathing comments and doing nothing. Something about the entire thing felt "off", even when they got "The Wire" up. At that point I felt like the whole initial concept of catching people on "The Wire" had been played out to its logical end in season 3, and it was clear that technology had changed too much from that point on. Something about it all just felt... Really "off" and a little contrived.

One of the great things about The Wire, I think we can all agree, was the show's ability to continually re-invent itself while still incorporating its most important characters into the forward-moving plotlines. Obviously this is most prominently exemplified in Seasons 2 and 4 (probably the two best seasons). I think Season 4 especially, though - one of the things I love about The Wire is that the final episodes of each and every season have certain similar traits, most notably the musical montage at the end but there are other parallels. I always assumed this is because the show was constantly on such a tight leash while airing they could never ever be sure of renewal. I always felt like Season 3 felt like it gave a great deal of finality to the entire series, in a way. Hamsterdam was kind of the logical endpoint of what I'd consider a sort of 'though experiment' on the part of David Simon. And the final scene with Colvin and Bubbles - in some ways it would have been just as good an ending for The Wire if it had ended as a three-season show as the ending we actually got.

I guess that's why Season 4 impresses me so much. The Barksdale plotline was wrapped up, the "Cops and Drug Dealers" plotline had reached its conclusion, the political stuff was still ongoing but definitely could not sustain the show going forward. There wasn't much narrative potential in revisiting characters from Season 2, and The Greek is far more effective the more mysterious he is. So the decision to COMPLETELY re-invent the show, casting 4 unknown child actors as the new leads - and they truly were the main characters! That is really ballsy and it's really amazing that they pulled it off so well. And it wasn't just the 4 of them, there were lots of other very young actors who did unbelievably good work in that season especially. Certain performances really stick in my mind - like the girl who was being flashed with the mirror and you could see her slowly smoldering in the background for minutes before she just explodes - that really stuck with me. That was based on a real moment in a class Ed Burns was teaching and apparently went down just like that, and I don't doubt it for a second.

The other wonderful part of season 4 was watching those 4 child actors turn into real actors. There was a real sense of honest legitimacy to the material that I just... deeply responded to. Normally I can't stand movies with kids playing main characters, because normally kids suck at acting. But when they do a good job, it can hit notes and go places that resonate VERY deeply, especially for those of us who had difficult childhoods and do not have children - you became very detached from that part of yourself, so seeing an accurate artistic portrayal of childhood/growing up can just be... well, very affecting to someone like me.

Escobarbarian
Jun 18, 2004


Grimey Drawer
British children donít have pints with dinner.

spog
Aug 7, 2004

It's your own bloody fault.

kaworu posted:

But anyway, my point is really that I found all of that stuff with him and Lester really kind of tedious, because it was fairly obvious how it would more or less play out. And the schtick with Bunk and McNulty felt really tired at time, it was just Bunk acting disgusted at McNulty's actions and making scathing comments and doing nothing. Something about the entire thing felt "off", even when they got "The Wire" up. At that point I felt like the whole initial concept of catching people on "The Wire" had been played out to its logical end in season 3, and it was clear that technology had changed too much from that point on. Something about it all just felt... Really "off" and a little contrived.

It felt a bit Scooby-Doo to me: Old Man McNulty pretends to be a ghost to scare the townspeople and would have gotten away with it if it weren't for those pesky kids

cosmically_cosmic
Dec 26, 2015

Escobarbarian posted:

British children donít have pints with dinner.

Yeah what was that bit about? Is that a thing Americans genuinely believe?

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?

Casting the kid actors (both the main 4 and all the supporting) really was an incredibly ballsy move and I still can't believe how they absolutely loving nailed it perfectly, not just in the performances but even the writing. It is REALLY easy to write children badly but everything was spot-on.

Jeffrey of YOSPOS
Dec 22, 2005

GET LOSE, YOU CAN'T COMPARE WITH MY POWERS

spog posted:

It felt a bit Scooby-Doo to me: Old Man McNulty pretends to be a ghost to scare the townspeople and would have gotten away with it if it weren't for those pesky kids
I'm imagining a scooby doo episode where they catch mcnulty in the first 3 minutes and he gets removed from his unit and sent to work on a boat where he gripes about bosses for the next ten minutes and eventually gives up his pension.

MrBling
Aug 21, 2003

Oozing machismo

Jerusalem posted:

Casting the kid actors (both the main 4 and all the supporting) really was an incredibly ballsy move and I still can't believe how they absolutely loving nailed it perfectly, not just in the performances but even the writing. It is REALLY easy to write children badly but everything was spot-on.

They had Prop Joe helping them, of course it was going to turn out great.

Ainsley McTree
Feb 19, 2004


I'm on episode 11 of season 2 on my rewatch....man, gently caress Valchek

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?

Ainsley McTree posted:

I'm on episode 11 of season 2 on my rewatch....man, gently caress Valchek


:negative:

Ainsley McTree
Feb 19, 2004



The first time I watched this show, I accidentally watched the episodes out of order and skipped straight ahead to the episode after this (the first scene of which is pulling Frank's body out of the harbor). Whoooops.

StashAugustine
Mar 24, 2013

Do not trust in hope- it will betray you! Only faith and hatred sustain.

Lol I did the same thing in season 5 where I skipped an episode and the opening line of the next was was Spiros saying "Joe will be missed"

Hasselblad
Dec 13, 2017

My dumbass opinions are only outweighed by my racism.

No one forgot that I exist to defend violent cops, champion chaining down immigrants, and have trash opinions on cooking.
Waterboy was on last night. D'Angelo was one of the players and was named Wallace. :tinfoil:
Also the Emmylou Harris tribute was on Axs a couple nights ago, and Bubble's sponsor was one of the performers. Never realized he was Steve Earle.

feedmegin
Jul 30, 2008

Escobarbarian posted:

British children donít have pints with dinner.

I'm British and I got a watered down glass of wine with Sunday lunch once I hit my teenaged years :britain:

awesmoe
Nov 30, 2005

Pillbug

feedmegin posted:

I'm British and I got a watered down glass of wine with Sunday lunch once I hit my teenaged years :britain:

so he's completely right, then

Strawman
Feb 9, 2008

Tortuga means turtle, and that's me. I take my time but I always win.


feedmegin posted:

I'm British and I got a watered down glass of wine with Sunday lunch once I hit my teenaged years :britain:

That's called church. More worldly British children drink cheap cider and alcopops in the park with their mates.

empty baggie
Oct 22, 2003

Hasselblad posted:

Waterboy was on last night. D'Angelo was one of the players and was named Wallace. :tinfoil:
Also the Emmylou Harris tribute was on Axs a couple nights ago, and Bubble's sponsor was one of the performers. Never realized he was Steve Earle.

He also performed Down In the Hole for the 5th season credit song.

th3t00t
Aug 14, 2007
my quarterback hates completions


McNulty's scene with D'Angleo's mom is so brutal. "Honestly? I was looking for someone who cared about the kid. I mean, like I said, you were the one who made him take the years right?" She's absolutely devastated by it.

whatever7
Jul 26, 2001

by LITERALLY AN ADMIN
If you like the city politic part (i.e. the Littlefinger part) of Wire, I think you should really check out Bosch. I finished s4 yesterday. I think its quality pick up from s3 and went back to the procedural root.

Both Daniels and Marlo are in Bosch. Also a Carmela Soprano impersonator.

whatever7 fucked around with this message at 14:56 on May 25, 2018

cosmically_cosmic
Dec 26, 2015

whatever7 posted:

If you like the city politic part (i.e. the Littlefinger part) of Wire, I think you should really check out Bosch. I finished s4 yesterday. I think its quality pick up from s3 and went back to the procedural root.

Both Daniels and Marlo are in Bosch. Also a Carmela Soprano impersonator.

Bosch is a little more pulpy than The Wire but I'd also say it's well worth watching. Great performances all around (and like mentioned many Wire alumni) the only downside is that at one point they bring out Evil Paul Blart as a villain and that kind of lost me.

Stairmaster
Jun 8, 2012

do you mean they actually got kevin james?

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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

Fun Shoe

th3t00t posted:

McNulty's scene with D'Angleo's mom is so brutal. "Honestly? I was looking for someone who cared about the kid. I mean, like I said, you were the one who made him take the years right?" She's absolutely devastated by it.

Yea that's one's right up there with Rust Cohle's "If you get the chance, you should probably kill yourself" as the most cold-blooded cop to perp lines in television.

algebra testes
Mar 5, 2011


Lipstick Apathy

cosmically_cosmic posted:

Bosch is a little more pulpy than The Wire but I'd also say it's well worth watching. Great performances all around (and like mentioned many Wire alumni) the only downside is that at one point they bring out Evil Paul Blart as a villain and that kind of lost me.

Evil Paul Blart season was the best season.

I really liked it. Show is super trashy in that every minor character is a dirty cop, co conspiritor, potential victim but it is fun.

Also then show struggles with Bosch developing as a character with the notion that he is Harry Bosch One Dimensional Paperback Star Who Is A Loose Canon Goddamnit But He Gets Results. Like he will show progress as a character then because He Is Bosch he will go completely rogue suddenly with no warning.

ShaneMacGowansTeeth
May 22, 2007



I think this is it... I think this is how it ends

Basebf555 posted:

Yea that's one's right up there with Rust Cohle's "If you get the chance, you should probably kill yourself" as the most cold-blooded cop to perp lines in television.

Someone's put the whole scene up on Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHuCn34NMl8

My lord, it's a whole lot of typical McNulty bullshit right up until he says "Honestly, I was looking for someone who cared about the kid" which is about as loving cold as you can get, and you know him saying that is designed to get that precise reaction

tino
Jun 4, 2018

by Smythe
I start listening to Bosch audiobooks after watching the show s1. I have listen to most of them, the Lincoln Lawyer books are my favirite. The serial killer ones are also very good even though Bosch acts like a super hard rear end in these books.

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ruddiger
Jun 3, 2004

ShaneMacGowansTeeth posted:

Someone's put the whole scene up on Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHuCn34NMl8

My lord, it's a whole lot of typical McNulty bullshit right up until he says "Honestly, I was looking for someone who cared about the kid" which is about as loving cold as you can get, and you know him saying that is designed to get that precise reaction

Is that the same season he used his kids to tail Stringer and ended up losing them in the crowd?

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