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BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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I just blazed through all 6 episodes of The Corner and thought it was really great. I'd never heard of it before this thread. HBO has it on OnDemand right now.

In a lot of ways, I liked it better than The Wire just because it was tighter and more concise and focused. Fewer characters and not quite so...I don't know...panoramic, spread out and layered. I could remember everyone's name and each episode featured all of the main characters every time so I never got hosed and confused about what was what by having to wait 2 or 3 episodes for a story to be touched on again. It was like reading The Hobbit after trying to follow Lord of the Rings. Easier I guess. I had to watch The Wire twice just to soak up everything that was really going on.

It was crazy seeing all of the same actors but in entirely different roles too. The guys that played Freeman and Daniels especially. Sort of like watching Treme and noticing all the same actors but doing different poo poo. The Gary character kept reminding me of Wesley Snipes in White Men Can't Jump. Maybe it was the hat. I've seen him somewhere before though.

I highly recommend watching it if you dig The Wire.

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BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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gileadexile posted:

So after trying to get into this show on goon recommendations years back and deciding to wait until my wife was into a watch as well, I'm starting a watchthrough. Just wanted to make a post thanking every goon who made a recommend or had some sort of in joke or reference that made me want to watch.

Can't wait to go back to page 8 and read back through to current and see how my thoughts have changed.

Thanks goons.

If you're digging The Wire you should also check out The Corner. A lot of the same cast and only 6 episodes long. Last I checked it was on You Tube

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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I was reading a deep dive on this show somewhere that claimed that the hit on Bodie was shot as a chess sequence where he is the pawn. He can't move far, attacks diagonally and his killers approach like (I think) rooks, bishops and knights. I can't find it to link but it's an interesting idea.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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escape artist posted:

where the hell can one legally watch The Corner? Do I gotta buy a DVD?

I have Amazon Prime with HBO and it's not on there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Paz0ajIxzI

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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Thread is pretty much dead but I stumbled on a really good Wire podcast if anyone's interested

https://www.theringer.com/way-down-in-the-hole

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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Jerusalem posted:

Oh sweet, from the episode descriptions this sounds great.

They're really good and the YouTube version has clips/video of the show playing in certain spots. The hosts genuinely get the show and often point out stuff I hadn't thought of or noticed

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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My own "I love this show but" thing is:

Brother Mouzone

I think the only reason he works is in context to where his laid back bad assery finds a space to operate and he's just Not Quite Like Everyone Else.

That 22 showdown with Omar standoff where they chill and have a lecturing conversation that everyone seems to love or that speech about having one in the chamber when the second bullet is a custom made hollow point blah blah blah felt a little unrealistic. His whole demeanor and character was one of the few things in the show that rang a little false for me but was still cool enough to let slide. Some of Omar's poo poo brushed up against the same levels of realism for me but the show never broke the "oh the come the gently caress on" barrier and it's a credit to the writers and the actors really.

Glad you guys like the podacst.

Reminds me of just how RICH this show is with its depth and its writing. Hard pressed to think of a series with this much thought and real depth behind it that opens itself up for so many re-watches and analysis. I love how it assumes the intelligence of its audience and never talks down to us.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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God Hole posted:

in terms of gangsters, brother mouzone existing in the wire's baltimore is a bit like seeing a wooly mammoth walking around and grazing as if the previous 4000 years of history hadn't happened. guys like him definitely existed and commanded the kind of clout you see exemplified by avon's deference to him, but not since like the 60's. there's no way brother mouzone could walk around scolding everybody like that out in the open without catching a bullet in the modern context.

the wire takes place in the 00's, but it's important to remember that simon was an embedded journalist with the BPD in the 80's/90's, and the street changes fast. so when you're watching the wire, you're getting a delayed snapshot of up to 10+ years with a few modern trappings stapled on top.

Yeah I get all that. Just the whole "they chill...they have a clever conversation...talk about bullets" and all that occasionally felt a little forced but the scenes still came off cool and somehow the show pulled it off. I even like the character but every once in a while BM and Omar brushed up a little too close being Super Cool and Badass that flew in the face of realism.

I Like This Show But...and all that.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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pokeyman posted:

"Stringer Bell: Fuckboy" is definitely my favorite segment.

The segment I don't get is "who won this episode?". Did they get that from another tv recap podcast or something? It doesn't make any sense. Sometimes they make it work anyway, but that's because they're good hosts.

I think it's just a way of reviewing "who had the biggest moment/best lines/greatest impact" and using at as a jumping off point to generate more episode discussion that cover things they may have glossed over. Like a recap. I never took at as "who WON" in terms of "who best furthered their own aims, goals and ambitions" so much as maybe who was the most right/correct or made the proper decisions but, overall, I take it mainly as "which actor owned the gently caress out of their scenes".

Where does everyone come out on the Stringer "gently caress Boy" vs. Avon vs. Marlo vs. Prop Joe as far as who is right most often and makes the smartest calls? I'd say Stringer is right as much as he's wrong ("you're taking notes on motherfucking criminal conspiracy?!?"), even if his decision making is sometimes misguided or naive. I GET why he was trying to do what he did and he made a TON of smart/wise decisions.

I think Prop Joe was the smartest and most diplomatic out of all of them; All about business, negotiation, respect, keeping the peace and, most important, loving laying LOW. Of course, he got got at the end because Marlo is just loving that ruthless and doesn't even really give a gently caress about the money as much as the power.

They all had their weaknesses:

Marlo: Putting the crown above all else. Power for the sake of power and His Name
Avon: Old school street battles and violence that won out over bringing down heat or appearing "weak"
Stringer: Thinking he could turn The Towers and The Corners into a legit business run like a real company using real company methods. Except he's not wrong though. The Italian mafia managed this to a certain degree.
Prop Joe: Missing the fact that some people are in it more for the crown/power far more than the money.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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Alhazred posted:

Arguably Stringer Bell's biggest mistake was thinking that he could outsmart Clay Davis on his own.

Definitely.

He was completely in over his head on that and quite a few other things. Perfect example though.

But I get what he was trying to do. To Stringer, as long as the money came in, the product was good and the heat was low, that's all that mattered. Well, that and laundering the money legit which, still, was not a dumb idea. He wanted less street drama over corners, a much lower profile for the business, far less heat, fewer bodies and a basic sense of legitimacy. Seems like a smart enough goal.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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Alhazred posted:

Arguably the only ones that comes out on top are the greeks (if they even are greeks), there's not a single time when the cops are close to shutting down or even interrupting their operations.

Good call.

I guess I inadvertently just grouped all the street level/black characters together and was looking at it like that, which I should know better but didn't.

I love that poo poo at the end of season two when they have The Greek dead to rights and just completely ignore/look past him until Nick points him out later when he agrees to flip. I think the only reason S2 catches so much poo poo is part of this. People got invested in the corners, the towers and street dealers without realizing that Simon was telling a story about an entire city. I remember feeling that way initially but warmed up to it as it progressed and now S2 is up there with my favorites.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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General Battuta posted:

I hate the Greek so much. Not as a character or a part of the show, just as a person. I hate his weird little face and his weird little expressions and the way he gets away with everything. I hate his twee diner and his sipping. I hate him

It's all in the game

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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Unrelated to anything, anyone else find Lester's heel turn in S5 by going along with McNulty on the fake serial thing a little jarring and out of character? Just didn't seem like something he would go along but I guess they needed a co-conspirator for the plot and had to pick somebody. Not sure who else you could really use with Herc gone and Carver having matured/moved on.

Speaking of great scenes with little or no dialogue (and Lester) I LOVE that scene of him standing in that empty lot and slowly having it dawn on him where all the bodies are being stacked. It could have been ridiculously over played but as it was filmed is spot on and really effective in showing Lester's intelligence. It's a little similar to S1 where Lester has an "aha", puts together the Golden Gloves/Avon connection, comes up with a photo by ripping an old poster off the wall of the gym and then just plopping it down on the desk without comment.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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pokeyman posted:


But it does feel like bending the rules a bit too far. I can see Lester finding out and not snitching, and I can see Lester not quite following the letter of the law if he thinks the case requires it. Actively goading and helping McNutty is too much though, I agree.

That's sort of where I came down it.

Had Herc still been in the unit I can totally see him going for it and even actively rooting it on. I know Lester had some "gently caress you" poo poo going on with being busted down to pawn shop detail but I never saw him break (or even really bend) the rules EVER. Maybe I'm forgetting something but all they had to do was have a bit where Lester got hosed with somehow - maybe had his pension cut or got disciplined/reassigned for some bullshit but nothing he ever did suggest to me "liar" or "crooked cop". Or, for that matter, any particular fondness for or allegiance to McNulty.

That whole Red Ribbon Killer arc fell a little flat to me, tbh, and seemed a little hamfisted/hokey even though I don't count myself among the fans who hated the newspaper stuff it bled over into. Going through the podcasts and recaps and stuff, I think S5 is my least favorite even though I still dig it a lot.

S2 gets way too much hate.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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escape artist posted:

He had enough clout that he got Avon to kill Stringer, by threatening to sever his business connections with New York.

*ahem*

Avatar/post combo



TBH, Brother Mouzone was another character/part of the show that often brushed up against the realm of suspending disbelief, and sometimes Omar too. I think I've posted similar sentiments before. Some of the poo poo those characters pulled off (as much as I love them both) and the way they went about it danced dangerously close to "this is a TV show" in ways that strained my ability to take the story seriously on occasion, and every once in a while felt out of place with their mutual over the top bad assery, fun as they were. Neither of their portrayals went entirely over the edge enough to take me out of the show completely but I think the way they were written sometimes came the closest to doing so, so i'll say that anyway.

People love that standoff between Omar and BM in the alley but, to me, some of the exchanges like that pushed real close to the edge of some some Clint Eastwood poo poo, even as well as the show somehow still pulled it off.

BiggerBoat fucked around with this message at 23:44 on Sep 3, 2020

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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General Battuta posted:

I get this complaint but on the other hand real life is loving weird. They had to tone down some of Omar's feats from the irl guy he was based on.

Brother Mouzone is a weird and possibly anachronistic guy but I like the way the show gives him a plausible reason to be such an effective street enforcer. He's from the guys in New York, anyone looking to get him is going to learn that and understand that loving with Mouzone is borrowing trouble.

Omar is, uh, tactically capable, in that he's intimidating and has enough friends to avoid being pinned down and killed, but because his only power is in his physical personage he's doomed in the long run. Anybody who can be destroyed simply by being shot isn't going to last long in the game.

Truth and I dug both those characters a lot. But the standoff in the alley reminded me a little of this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfWc47SEPA0

Dirty Larry time stamped at 3:20:

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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General Battuta posted:

Any character embedded in a power structure which will retaliate for their death. For example, you can't just go kill Clay Davis without massive blowback. Even the dealers are backed up by their organizations; if you get got, someone will take revenge.

I think he meant among the street players but I get your point.

Still...there was some loose talk surrounding Stringer floating the idea of even whacking Clay Davis.

Thing with Omar (and, yeah, occasionally it got into some unbelievable wild west poo poo) was that he had no allegiance to any crew. Territories and gangs weren't specifically defined with him and how he operated. Even if his portrayal was a little bit over the top sometimes, he WAS based on a real person who went about poo poo exactly as was portrayed for the most part. I've heard it said they even dialed him down a notch or two because no one would believe it it they wrote him how he was.

For all the money he stole, we never saw him driving a sleek ride or living in a lush crib so that allowed him to fly under the radar too.

To tell you the truth, and now that I think on it, where the gently caress DID Omar keep all his money? AFIK we're never really shown that unless booking it off the Bahamas counts?

EDIT:

Also, Stringer wanted to hit Clay for ripping him off. Not for street poo poo. It was central to his character, where he thought that he could run the game like a real business and poo poo. Then when he found out that wasn't possible, all of a sudden he wanted to go street with it again once he got taken by The Big Boys. It was pretty central to Stringer's arc - being really loving smart but sometimes too smart and often very naive.

The whole show is ultimately about power and the systematic ways people use it or fall victim.

BiggerBoat fucked around with this message at 23:20 on Sep 10, 2020

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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Yeah, that makes sense. He was always just shown living in a normal row house and never really flashed a lot of cash. I forgot about Butchie.

GOd drat I wish this thread had more action because I keep listening to podcasts, watching recaps and delving more into it and there's always another layer to it or things I missed. SO loving good.

I've grown to liking it more than The Sopranos over time just for its sheer depth. I still think the holy triumvirate of great TV is The WIre, Breaking Bad and The Sopranos but my ranking has shifted. The key to all 3 I think is how there are no perfect characters or well defined heroes. Everyone is flawed but their motivations are clear. They also all are really good at show don't tell.

And while I'm thinking about it, I never hear Simon's Treme brought up here, which I liked a lot and has a lot of the same actors. It didn't have much of a following but I thought it was pretty great. Maybe a little slow at times but very cool. Anyone watch that?

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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Ainsley McTree posted:


"How do you sleep at night?"

"I drink :shrug:"

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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I think Treme was very similar to The WIre in the sense that it's really the CITY that is the central main character.

Treme just didn't have quite as many dramatic, dark and violent hooks to bait enough viewers into watching it I don't think. A show about struggling musicians, working class restaurant chefs, day laborers, a few cops, people struggling with relationships and some artists in the wake of a devastating hurricane doesn't quite have the gravitas of dope dealers and fiends ripping and running as cops chase them around. Plus, we never got to SEE the storm, just the aftermath. What I mean is, the sort of titillating and gratuitous elements that are pretty central to capturing a TV audience weren't really there for Treme and a lot of people found it boring, and in my opinion missied the point.

I didn't. But it still hooked me pretty good and subverted my expectations, which is always fun. Like The Wire, the acting, the writing and the characters were loving fantastic and nothing was rote. For instance, Goodman's suicide was totally out of loving nowhere when everyone reasonably expects him to be The Star moving forward. I think it would have done better in the ratings had they shown Katrina hitting and added some of the darker elements of the Superdome shelter and poo poo like that but I much prefer the way Simon portrayed everything, showing characters DEALING with it all.

...

Speaking of out of nowhere and subverting expectations, I was catching up with The RInger: Down in the Hole podcast and they brought up Rawls being seen in the gay bar near the end of S3, which I absolutely love and had totally forgotten about. Everyone did. It's NEVER touched on again or ever becomes central to the character in any way. It's never explained. He's just THERE for like 4 seconds. In any other show (a lesser show), they would have felt compelled to either explore his sexuality or otherwise introduce some side plot where he was investigating the club for some reason and go into why he was there in an attempt to explain it (see: Vito in The Sopranos). The Wire just goes "Rawls was in the background at a gay bar. Yeah...so what?" and leaves it at that.

The dude on the podcast put it well and said something like "some things in life are just never resolved" and that hit pretty well home for me.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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Jeffrey of YOSPOS posted:

Avon gives Cutty the money for his gym - I think it counts. It's not for influence or a show of power or anything either, he doesn't want it to be known.

Avon also chuckled when Cutty hit him with the figure he had in mind that he was real nervous about even bringing up.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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I've been sidetracked and busy lately and had forgotten about The Ringer podcast so I'm going to repost it and go to bat for it since they're now into season 4, which is my favorite I think.

https://www.theringer.com/way-down-in-the-hole

I don't think I've ever seen such a talented collection of child actors than what we got here, either in a movie or a TV show. Maybe "Stand By Me"? The hosts said the kids introduced here are doing well and still getting steady work but I haven't seen any of them pop up anywhere so I looked them up. Here's an article about them if anyone's interested.

https://www.bustle.com/p/where-are-the-kids-from-the-wire-now-their-lives-have-changed-a-lot-since-the-series-ended-in-2008-16988485

Quite an amazing accomplishment with actors this young to never take me out of the show. Bad acting always fucks with me and is a real pet peeve, especially precocious kid characters or stereotypes, but this group were arguably better than the adult cast in S4. Or at least just as good.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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Sorry to raise this thread from the dead but the Down in the Hole podcast has some new poo poo up and I've been catching up with it.

They pointed out something I never noticed before.

After Marlo kills Prop Joe, he tells the co-op "I'm responsible" and that "the price of the brick going up". I totally mis-read that scene and thought Marlo straight up copped to murdering Joe. But really he deflects it onto Omar and says that Omar came after people close to him or something like that. Further (and I missed this too) Slim Charles knows this is false because he had already had a run in with Omar and Omar let him go. I never caught the look on his face when he shows that he knows Marlo is bullshitting, figuring "wait. If he's coming after Marlo through his people, why'd he let me go?" It's subtle but it's there.

Then he immediately nopes out when Marlo offers to promote him.

EDIT: Also holy poo poo I just noticed that one of the editors at the newspaper is Gale from Breaking Bad.

BiggerBoat fucked around with this message at 15:44 on Dec 9, 2020

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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Human Tornada posted:

They probably all knew Marlo was bullshitting.

"Motherfucker who's got the connect, he the one who did Joe."
"No doubt."


Yeah, I caught that exchange when they all entered the meeting (and they were right) but it seemed to me that a bunch of them bought the whole "It was Omar" bullshit too. Tough to say really. Looking at it again, you're right though. Seemed like most of them knew what was up but the podcast made me rewatch that scene in a new light. It's easy to read as Marlo manipulating them to go after "the dicksuck" and he even ups the stakes by immediately raising the bounty in a way that solidifies pinning the whole thing on Omar. To most of them it didn't much matter anyway since they were all hosed and it was obvious Marlo was large and in charge regardless.

And Marlo was smart to not only dangle but UP the reward on Omar.

I can see it being read either way tbh but I think Slim Charles at least knew better. Most of them though simply came off as "aint this some poo poo?" a lot like a corporate raider buying a small company and announcing layoffs and downsizing.

The game is the game.

BiggerBoat fucked around with this message at 23:40 on Dec 9, 2020

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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I could actually picture JCR filling several parts of the role pretty well. Just not all the "every chick wants to bang McNulty" parts.

Boogie Nights notwithstanding.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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Man, I kind of wish David Simon would reboot this show or do a sequel.

https://twitter.com/EoinHiggins_/status/1339979539292823552?s=20

https://twitter.com/jaywillis/status/1340011034229100544?s=20

https://twitter.com/JonathanCohn/status/1340003894953435136?s=20

So much has changed but so much is the same.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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christmas boots posted:

Frankly, if anything, the Wire still romanticizes the police compared to reality.

I don't really see it that way but I be misunderstanding what you mean by "romanticize". Compared to most Cop Shows, I thought it did a really great job creating sympathy and empathy for everyone caught up in the bullshit. I can't think of any cop characters that were shown to us as paragons of virtue above everyone else. But like I said that may not be what you meant.

I'd just like to see a show like this 20 years later dealing with the same situations but in the modern context that most of us view crime and cops is all I was saying and lord knows a lot has come to light since the show first aired.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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CharlestheHammer posted:

Thatís romanticizing yeah. The first season has most of the police being racist but it honestly doesnít come up very often. Honestly the Wire isnít terribly interested in beat cops and mostly focuses on higher ups with the street cops more or less doing what they can in a bad situation with like a token rear end in a top hat cop who usually isnít terribly important

True. But then you have other cops like McNulty, Herc and Carver (early on) routinely loving up left and right and being Very Important Assholes too. Valcheck in season 2 was as hateful as any non cop. Levy too. I never watched the show and viewed it through the lens of the cops being the good guys at all. In fact, I found myself sympathizing an awful lot with "the bad guys" - the corner kids, Omar, Bubbles, Deangelo - so no, really. Often I wanted the criminals to win and had a handle on their motivation.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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Yeah I never read the show as simply as "the cops are the good guys". Like at ALL.

They're repeatedly shown to be giant assholes, fuckups and liars who plant evidence, drive drunk, commit murder, juice stats and OT hours, cheat, steal and violate people's rights. I mean, I LIKE some of the cops (Kima, Daniels, Bunk) and the characters but I like a lot of the "bad guys" too and, to me, the real beauty of the show is the moral ambiguity and how nearly every character is flawed, victimized by the system and operates in that grey area.

I don't think anyone was rooting for Lester when he went all in on McNulty's phony serial killer, for instance. I don't think anyone viewed Deangelo or Frank as "bad guys" even though got up to some shady poo poo. Omar, who is a robber and a murderer, is viewed as the coolest character on the show and widely rooted for and cheered on. Bubbles is a junkie and a snitch but beloved and sympathetic. Bodie is a killer and a drug dealer but well liked and not really seen as "evil". Prez killed two people (including a cop) but is given a redemptive arc that shows he's not entirely a fuckup, just miscast in a role and in over his head due to nepotism (much like Namond).

I could go on.

People are mainly shown simply doing what they HAVE to do to survive and do their jobs. And all their jobs are hosed up to some extent, corrupt and hindered or undone by bureaucracy, deceit, greed, selectively enforced rules, politics and (most of all) money. It's all in the game, you know?

E:

What I mean is, what I took from the show was how similar the drug dealing operations (the bad guys) actually were to the workings of the BPD, the Mayor's office, the schools and the unions, etc.

BiggerBoat fucked around with this message at 15:58 on Dec 19, 2020

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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Prez just wasn't made to be a cop and we're shown that. He's Valchek's son in law and that's the only reason he's there as far as I can tell. He has a knack for attention to details and certain observational things (as we're shown with his code breaking) but those sorts of things are much more suited being a teacher than a cop; especially a street cop where' he's clearly out of his element. I don't think he's good or evil but he definitely should not be carry a firearm.

We've all had to work with the boss' nephew or the GM's daughter in some job at some point in our lives and, usually, they universally loving suck.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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Sewer-Cover posted:

There is a pretty haunting passage in The Corner where DeAndre, a highschool kid, is trying to go straight and he almost applies at a McDonalds but bails. There is definitely the element of how little you get for the hard work and bullshit compared to drug dealing, but there is also the humiliation and powerlessness of the job, the lack of money affecting social status, and the chance of being judged by a loving McDonalds manager and being found not good enough.

"Yeah, but he still had a CHOICE" - Some other poster

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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I liked The Corner quite a bit, as bleak as it was, and the craziest thing to me about watching it after The Wire is seeing how much they switch up the actors in their various roles. Daniels as a crackhead and Freamon as a junkie is just so jarring to me and makes me really appreciate the actors' range. loving Landsman is the scrap yard foreman.

I know I'm forgetting some people too.

Here's a full list of all the actors that were in both

https://thewire.fandom.com/wiki/The_Corner#:~:text=Dope%20fiends,Day%22)%20in%20The%20Wire.


Barry Foster posted:

Unrealistic, you say?



Also, if I remember right, the real life inspiration for Omar that they based his character on actually jumped from a higher balcony but they toned it down and lowered it to make it more believable.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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werdnam posted:


Now I'm wondering how long I can wait to start a rewatch. This is the first series I've ever felt I could get anything substantial out of a rewatch.

Also, I've been going back to read a lot of the episode write-ups early in the thread, that's some quality reading.

For me, The Wire basically required a rewatch it was so dense and layered. There was a lot of stuff I put together the second time that flew totally over my head on the first watch.

Also, if you like episode recaps, Jerusalem has some great write ups in the Sopranos thread.

Agree that Lester was all wrong for Jimmy's accomplice in that whole fiasco. If it were someone like Herc it might have gone down easier but, aside from the interactions with McNulty and Templeton, the entire plot was a low point.

E:

Also, I keep forgetting to check out Generation Kill

BiggerBoat fucked around with this message at 13:12 on Aug 28, 2021

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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That's too hosed about Michael K Williams. I knew he had some substance use issues at one time or another but I never knew heroin was part of it. Always thought it was coke and alcohol. God drat. He was really good in the stuff I saw him in. I was really impressed with his range, especially since he was an actor who could very easily have been typecast or one note performances.

Since I now have access to HBO, I finally have Generation Kill locked and loaded (so to speak) but I just finished Silicon Valley and am not sure I'm ready for something that I know is going to be horribly loving depressing and serious right on the heels of a Mike Judge comedy. I was looking through reviews of GK and holy poo poo the AV Club gave every episode and "A", which I didn't even think was possible.

So guess I'm headed off to a horrible war now after laughing at tech bros, office culture and geeks. Wish me luck.

Is there a Generation Kill thread still active?

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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After one episode, all I got is:

Generation Kill: The Game is the Game

Whoo boy this is gonna be a rough watch. If I like it and get into it maybe I start a thread

EDIT:

OK, 2.5 episodes in and the only thing that takes me out of this show is that god damned Cotton Hill is in it bitching about facial hair.

BiggerBoat fucked around with this message at 18:03 on Sep 14, 2021

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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Christ, the sense of impending dread in GK is palpable. I mean...on top of all the other horrible poo poo so far. Which is dreadful enough.

But it's loving with me in the way it's subverting my expectations since 4 episodes in and within the main cast, they've suffered zero casualties so far. A few times, I was expecting an IED, a booby trap, a sniper or a suicide bomb truck. I can't see them all making it out alive but then again that might be the play here where we just see the ptsd and psychological wounds, which is an ace Simon move. I was sure at least a few main characters would have bought it by now..

It's really good but it sure isn't Feel Good, especially in the wake of the Afghanistan withdrawal and the 9/11 anniversary. I may have timed this particular watch rather poorly.

One of the main things throwing me off are all the acronyms since I'm not real up on military jargon but that's on me and I appreciate the show not dumbing that down. I wonder what CHUDS think of this. I bet they view it much differently than my take away so far.

Really interesting watching Ziggy too in a much different role. I'm surprised there's actually not more carry over from The Wire and The Corner casts and, along those lines, it's odd to see so few black characters given Simon's track record there and knowing what we know about disproportionate military enlistment among minorities and how often they get put in harm's way.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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christmas boots posted:

Nothing like watching people on their first watch of the Wire and being so certain that Clay Davis is about to get comeuppance.

Sheeeeeeeeeeee.....iiiitttt.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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Eason the Fifth posted:



Regarding race - I don't remember if it was in generation kill (or maybe Black Hawk Down) but -- and I'm not making this up -- swim qualification is one of the barriers for Black people joining elite units. I knew a lot of Black Marines at Parris Island/through SOI and in my company, but the swim Qual for recruit training is easier than Recon's.

I didn't read your spoilers since I'm not thru yet but...wait...swimming requirements were an obstacle for black soldiers being deployed on the front lines in loving Iraq and Somalia? But not in Vietnam? Not saying I don't believe you but that's hilarious. I mean...in a military intelligence kind of way.

And as far as the casting goes, I'm just saying that I know that Simon has given a lot of really good black actors a chance to really shine so seeing a war movie of all things with a mostly white cast on the front lines kind of took me off guard. But Simon is really good at subverting expectations so that sort of checks out.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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HootTheOwl posted:

Marines are an amphibious landing force, so they need to know how to swim.
Sure it doesn't matter in Iraq but that's not the point.

True. I think there not being a point is kind of central to the message of Generation Kill. Even more so than The Wire where The Point was pretty obvious. The 2 shows cross over a little bit in terms of there being a bigger mechanism at work that traps the powerless but, to me anyway, GK seems to be going out of its way to show us how pointless war is in general and the Iraq war in particular. Also, The Wire had 5 seasons to delve into its message and deliver a web and/or layers to What's Wrong beyond "War is Bad" so there's that. Even though GK is more global in its reach and location, The Wire was more broad and had a larger scope of issues it looked at - at least for me.

It sounds weird but that one old school Cotton Hill motherfucker obsessed with mustache lengths drove GK home for me as much as anything.

The Wire showed us the socioeconomic mechanisms that drive society and define entire neighborhoods but GK, even though it touches on similar issues ("it was either join the marines or go to jail") seems to have a different slant to it. Both shows demonstrate the victims of wealth, power and politics. Could be that I just get different feelings from both because, while I have lived in "dangerous neighborhoods" in SF and Philadelphia along with having my issues with drugs, I've never brushed up real close to the military and its culture AT ALL so I relate differently on a personal level.

I'm probably not explaining that very well but I get a different overall vibe and a Larger Message from GK than I did The Wire or The Corner and it's not entirely due to the global stakes and the scale of it. I'll weigh in more when I'm done watching it if anyone cares to read what I think.

One thing I'll say about all of Simon's poo poo is that he casts really great actors, which is always nice. Nothing takes me out of a show or a movie faster than lovely acting and nothing sucks me in more than great performances.

BiggerBoat fucked around with this message at 22:22 on Sep 14, 2021

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BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

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Jesus Christ that final segment or finale or montage or whatever you wanna call it. What a gut punch

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