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BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

Ainsley McTree posted:


"How do you sleep at night?"

"I drink "

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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.

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BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

For that you get the head...

the tail...

the whole damned thing.

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-...n-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.

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