Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


This "is The Wire or Breaking Bad better" conversation is happening again, and so to reiterate:

The shows are both really good, and complaints people have about one or the other that arise when they try to rate them against each other are all based on flawed expectations - The Wire deals with character arcs of a very well-researched and experienced look into real systems, Breaking Bad is a morality fable. They're both absolutely fantastic, but they're apples and oranges - when ranking the two you all need to remember that "Breaking Bad is unrealistic" is not really valid, because you're judging it on a metric that doesn't apply. It's like listening to Mozart and saying "Jesus Christ this sucks, this isn't Jazz at all! Holy poo poo this is the worst Jazz I've ever heard! Why is this not like Jazz!"

If you don't like too much realism or not enough realism, that's your personal preference and you may just not like the show for that reason, and that's fine, but it is a personal opinion, not an objective critique.

That being said, people who don't like "Fly," jesus. I'm not even going to get into the incredible direction, cinematography, and exploration of character motivation in that episode, but you Fly-haters constantly talk about how amazing Bryan Cranston is and yet completely overlook the absolutely astounding slapstick work he did in that episode? Imagine anybody else trying to do that poo poo. Go back and watch it with a physical comedy lens and tell me I'm wrong.

Hard Clumping fucked around with this message at 01:01 on Aug 25, 2014

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


Frostwerks posted:

Dude, just watch it. It's really good.

Hate to say it but it took a friend of mine a year of pestering and a final half-joking ultimatum of "Look our continued friendship is riding on this" for me to start. I both hate and love that he was completely right.

Okonner posted:

If it is then HBO would be lying to call it "HD".
:suicide:

nooneofconsequence posted:

Seinfeld is likely cropped to obtain the 16:9 ratio. Don't want that for The Wire.

Edit:

The Wire was shot on 35 mm, same as Seinfeld, so I guess they could do the same thing if they wanted. Or they could make it HD and keep the 4:3.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0306414/technical

frenton posted:

Forgive my ignorance but why can't they release the show in 16:9? They have 16:9 HD episodes of Seinfeld and it's an older show. Fuckin' HD, how does it work??

Man, I would kill for the Wire on Blu Ray.

Handsome Ralph posted:

No idea if this means the perspective will change or what, but still, pretty cool.

Artistic Direction, people. 16:9 does not mean "better," it's just the current standard. There are a couple major points of interest here:

1. Before 16:9 came into prevalence on television, many shows stuck so hard to the 4:3 aspect ratio that they based all their framing, lighting, equipment, etc. around that box. Example: The reason the recent Star Trek: The Next Generation releases on Blu-ray haven't been in 16:9, though technically a possibility, is due to boom mics etc. constantly visible just out of frame. TNG did this because it didn't know that 16:9 would eventually be the standard. Babylon 5 was filmed entirely in 16:9 in the hopes that someday a re-release would be possible, but then they lost all their special effects and CGI masters so the wide screen version ended up being a sloppy mess. The Wire knew what 16:9 was when it was designed to be filmed in 4:3, and was so at the forefront of the crew's mindset that they re-considered and rejected the idea of moving to 16:9 during the show's run. I don't believe they would be sloppy enough to leave production equipment or crew visible just outside the shots, but I can't imagine they were putting too much though into composing outside of their chosen aspect ratio, especially when they had no intention to ever release the show at anything different. They were focused only on making the shots people would ever actually see really complex and well-done. Which brings me to the next point:

2. Look at the framing the cinematographers used in The Wire. You're not missing anything by not having that extra view on the sides because the show was designed with 4:3 as a tool rather than a hindrance. A wonderful recent example of this is The Grand Budapest Hotel, which used differing aspect ratios throughout the film not just for pretentious storytelling gimmicks, but for fun ways to play with shot composition. Think of how effectively The Wire portrays closed, claustrophobic spaces, how that fits with what you know of the show's themes(tons of characters helplessly trapped in a vicious system), then imagine how awful Bubbles' and Sharod's shack in season 4 would look filmed in widescreen. It's all purposeful.

Hard Clumping fucked around with this message at 21:15 on Sep 2, 2014

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


grilldos posted:

And FYI, syndicated HD Seinfeld is not cropped, they simply took the original 35mm and left in the cropped sides of the screen. This is why watching these episodes feels so loving weird, because all the actors are always jumbled in the middle of the frame with a bunch of empty space on the left and right. It also has the added effect of making the stock establishing shots, which already looked lovely compared to the actual scenes, even more lovely to look at.

Well, all the characters on Seinfeld are close-talkers.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


Ithaqua posted:

I recall there was discussion when Star Trek: TNG was remastered about releasing it in widescreen. They didn't, because it just wasn't filmed with 16:9 in mind and it wouldn't look right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQtWeor58rU#t=26s

Obviously, TNG is a very different show than The Wire, but it makes sense to not do 16:9 for something that was filmed with 4:3 in mind.

[edit] I somehow missed someone else who said exactly this, 3 days ago. :downs:

Yeah but you also posted that really helpful video I forgot about, of someone who actually gets paid to make these decisions saying why they're made. Thanks!

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


Wraith of J.O.I. posted:

Currently on what must be my third rewatch over maybe 6 or 7 years with my girlfriend, and it's her first time. Something I've noticed now that maybe I didn't before—and maybe people here will see it differently—but Colvin seemed like a pretty lovely Major before Hamsterdam. I got the feeling this time that he saw his district go to poo poo and didn't stop it. So many examples of abuse and bad behavior and rip & run bullshit that we see him witness and do nothing about. Anybody else get this vibe?

His hands were tied, just like everyone else's. He was brought up juking the stats just like everyone else, because that's just how things went. Sure, he's lovely, and he watched his district go to poo poo, but that doesn't make him any worse than anybody else. The show mentions multiple times that no one climbs that high in the ranks without some dirt on them.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


the culminator posted:

I havent seen season 5 since it originally aired, and its not on youtube, but didnt Clay explain to Lester that Levy regularly sent dudes for clay to rip off and String was one of them?

Not 100% on whether it was directly to Lester since Clay was in full-hog denial/gently caress you mode to the police through most of the season, but it was definitely stated that Levy's long con was sending "big time" street hustlers to Clay to run them for all they're worth. I can't remember who he was talking to but it was a hilarious(ly depressing) deconstruction of how the "money faucet" scam works.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


Jerusalem posted:

the greatest hero in American history.

Which, in this system, he kind of is.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


willemw posted:

I know that all the pieces matter, but lots of people don't use their birthname, Polish or not. Beadie for Beatrice, Vondas is supposedly called Vondopoulos etc. I suppose McNulty is called James. Heck even Ed Burns is really Edward.

There's also Thomas Pakusa, who is usually referred to by his nickname "Horseface", or even just "Horse", so a shortened version of his nickname :)



("Preston" :) )

No no, pretty sure what you are saying is complete horse poo poo (get it? like horseface) and only Polish people would dare sully their proud Catholic heritage by excising syllables. Pollack naming conventions are a major theme in The Wire and a conversation topic I hope to continue exploring in more depth.

Hard Clumping fucked around with this message at 21:09 on Oct 8, 2014

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


MrSlam posted:

I've been marathoning Parks and Recreation lately and then I saw people in here talking about Rawls going to a gay bar.

Then it hit me, a The Office/Parks and Recreation style spinoff of the Baltimore PD.

Rawls is a put-upon commander who's out of the closet but nobody messes with him about it. He's like a mix between Dr Cox and Ron Swanson. Weekend nights he goes out clubbing in hot-pants.

You could recast the entire PD as comedic characters. Hell, even the drug-dealers if you're clever about it, although I guess you couldn't get away with the drug dealers talking to the camera.

I'm gonna get all up in your poo poo right now so feel free to just skip the following, but I had a lot of reactions to this so I'm just gonna put em all here in no particular order:

"You couldn't get away with drug dealers talking to the camera? You're aware that The Office/Parks&Rec aren't real documentaries, right?"

"Why recast? Any and all actors they picked for the wire have proven themselves wholly capable of both comedic and dramatic situations. The Wire can be funny as any straight-up comedy show, but its the show's juxtaposition between tonal levels of funny and serious that gives each level weight."

"Even in 2014, The Wire is notable for not stereotyping Rawls around his homosexuality. Rather than each gay character being automatically given a set of standard tropes like pretty much every other show/movie, Rawls is a Human Being with Traits like everyone else in the show. But sure, let's have him go clubbing in hot pants."

"Exactly what we need: a(nother) show which says that the way gay people are treated in the government positions is meant only for a chuckle. Great. And kooky wonko drug dealers too! The system is hilarious haha! Maybe we could take this a step further in the Parks&Rec direction and have ten minute segments each episode where all the jokes stop as we focus on the romance plot."

Not that The Office/Parks&Rec are bad, but god drat - and I thought The Wire/Breaking Bad argument was unfounded.

Hard Clumping fucked around with this message at 23:09 on Oct 14, 2014

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 :tipshat:

fake e: another :tipshat: to the brooklyn nine nine comment

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

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


freebooter posted:

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

Yep, and he hated it. Only did it because of Major Crimes' specific style of incognito.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


Was the 4:3 that much of a deal breaker? There's been a lot of whining about it the past few pages; how did any of you watch tv before like 2003? Is Citizen Kane permanently off your watch list?

dreffen posted:

Here read stuff that David Simon wrote about the HD re-release

http://davidsimon.com/the-wire-in-hd/

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


Crumbletron posted:

It definitely feels claustrophobic if you're used to widescreen stuff. But for me it helps ground the show in its era, sort of like the X-Files.

It's supposed to feel chlaustrophobic, though. Simon has said, here,

dreffen posted:

Here read stuff that David Simon wrote about the HD re-release

http://davidsimon.com/the-wire-in-hd/

and on other articles on that site that he deliberately strayed from a cinematic aspect ratio and kept things more gritty. The Wire's 'era' was a time when most television shows were moving to widescreen. They floated the idea of switching to 16:9 for season 3 and opted not to. 4:3 wasn't a limitation, it was an artistic choice, and they framed the show in 4:3 exceptionally well. The show being in 16:9 now is by no means worse, but neither is it inherently better.

Also I meant to mention this:

kaworu posted:

The Wire has never been a particularly visual show.

I really hope that you mean "pretty" when you say visual, because otherwise this is objectively incorrect. The Wire didn't use constant fancy dolly shots or color grading, and it didn't have a showoff DP, but to say that this show didn't utilize some absolutely meticulous visual storytelling is an insult to the amount of work put into each shot.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


comes along bort posted:

Posted this article a while back, but actually the show was almost nothing but dolly shots. But yeah, every bit of the visual aspect was just as composed and pored over as the writing.

https://library.creativecow.net/articles/griffin_nick/hbo_the_wire.php

Yes, but were they fancy

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


Bleh Maestro posted:

I'm almost through the HD re-watch and they did a really good job on it. I started having some thoughts about an interesting aspect I would love to see: something like Marlo or Avon's childhood and background, how they came up and especially someone like Marlo or Chris just how they got so ruthless and powerful.

We saw a little of it with someone like Michael, but really didn't get to see the full transformation, and he wasn't really set to be as powerful, intimidating, or nearly as cold blooded as Marlo I don't think.

Michael was never meant to be a proto-Marlo. He was just working towards the lives of himself and his own with no real desire for power.

Avon's and Marlo's childhoods were very different. They make mention several times during seasons 1-3 that the game has changed a lot since Avon and Stringer were kids - violence was extremely rare back then, and everybody seemed to have more of an honor code and a sense of family. Some of that honor still exists (remember how everybody completely lost their mind whenever the Sunday truce was broken?)

That perceived change may partially be a rose-tinted glasses sort of thing, but the game might also have been exacerbated and warped over time by the war on drugs.

Marlo, though - no family there, no warm feelings or hugs, just power. His vague past really helps to cement how terrifying he is - you got rid of the enemy you know and a complete monster takes his place.

What I'm getting at is that a show about Marlo or Avon's childhood would be worthless in exactly the same way prequels in general are worthless - it would just show you stuff you can already glean perfectly well from the source material without contextually improving the original at all. You know everything you need to know about their back stories from The Wire itself, with the added immediate benefit of a current-day lens. You get a sense of where these people came from and what effect it ultimately has on them in one fell swoop.

Also note that they already did a series of The Wire prequel webisodes - some of them are good, but one of them focused on Prop Joe as a kid and it was a godawful farce where he was for some reason a suave and savvy cartoon character. Even Omar's was more poignant and fitting.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


Subraji posted:

Oh, I've read it all. Now that more time has passed, I was just curious what people were feeling about it beyond the first few episodes or the first season.

Now that more time has passed? Since earlier today?

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


Flipswitch posted:

Just wanted to post that one of my friends threatened to end our friendship after having told me to watch this show for the past few years. I finally broke down and started in January and adored every minute of it.

This is similar to how I was finally convinced to watch the show, but my friend did it in a more jovial way than yours seemed to. "Our friendship is on the line at this point"

Akileese posted:

Watching season 3 and I have to ask...What is the point of Colicchio? He's just such a stereotypical drug cop (that we already saw plenty of in Seasons 1 and 2. I almost think the character exists strictly for Carver to write him up in Season 5. Other than that he just acts like somebody poo poo in his cereal 24/7. I guess I sort of get it but eh, he just seems so useless.

You're probably not far off with the Carver thing. He kinda serves as a reminder to how loving brutal a lot of cops are, just meatheads who want to bust heads. He opened an avenue of exploration into Carver trying to maintain his sense of morality as he moved up in the ranks, trying to tread the line between doing what the higherups expected of him and not being one of the bosses McNulty wants to gently caress so bad.

Colicchio has some interesting parallels to Officer Walker, and part of me thinks it would have been interesting to see them fused into one character, but that probably would have been too much. They were both just on-the-nose examples of The Bad Egg.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


He was in Chronicle. He's also going to be the Human Torch in the new Fancy Four movie. What a world

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


freebooter posted:

I can't be bothered screencapping it, but I'm watching the whole show again and I just noticed for the first time that Cutty actually did exactly what Avon didn't want, and put a poster of him up on the gym wall.

Except I only noticed it because there's a scene where Namond (I think) is talking, and they're just laughing and messing around like street kids (or maybe they're talking about what theyw ant to do when they're older? I forget) and the poster is sort of looming up behind his shoulder. Like the shadow of the ghetto is always coming after them. Unless I'm overthinking it.

I wouldn't be surprised if that was intentional, but even if it wasn't, that's a good read. If they were specifically talking about what they want to do when they're older (they definitely did that in the gym but I can't remember if the sign is above them right then) then I'd bet money it was intended. Especially if it was in focus.

During my first watchthrough (of very many) I was irked in the beginning how often the characters talked about the good old days and the kingpins/cops that preceded them since we never got to see any of it, but once I hit season 4+ I realized that I was thinking about the Barksdale organization at the start of the show as the good old days. It took me a moment to take off my nostalgia helmet and realize that things were just as lovely back then, too. Seeing that poster loom over the gym made me conscious that I was doing the same thing as the season 1 characters, and suddenly it all made sense.

welp time for ol' clump to do another watchthrough

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


Troll Bridgington posted:

If I remember correctly, Carcetti put his own ambition ahead of the city. The governor was only going to do the bailout if Carcetti faced public humiliation for taking the money, which would have damaged Carcetti's own plans of running for governor.

Basically yeah. I think both Norman and Nerese agreed that taking the money would ruin his plans to rise. I think the idea was that Carcetti was only going to get one term as mayor, and if he didn't make governor by the end of that term he was screwed, so out went all his grand promises near the end of season 4.

e:

theblackw0lf posted:

Right, but reducing crime stats was one of the two things he felt necessary to win as Governor. So it seems really bizarre that they didn't discuss how not taking the money could affect that goal. It just seems they weren't aware of that possibility, which seems odd that they would miss it (especially Norman who would have used that argument to convince Carcetti to take the money)

A ton of weight was put on that $50 mil. Everybody seemed to think that taking the money would overshadow any good he did in terms of crime stats.

Hard Clumping fucked around with this message at 23:37 on Aug 19, 2015

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply