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Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Jerusalem posted:

If I remember right, in a scene nicely paralleled in season 4 as you mention in the bolded above, it turns out that the stuff that McNulty asks for from Fitzhugh is actually already in the department's inventory. They received it months (if not years) earlier and just stuck it in a room somewhere and forgot all about it.

I worked in university tech support in undergrad back in the 90s and one day I was clearing out inventory for surplus and there were 10 new in box laptops maybe two years old collecting dust that had never been cataloged and tagged. And that was one department, and think how much laptops cost back then. poo poo happens in organizations more often than anyone would care to admit, especially back when record keeping was done on paper.


The Rooster posted:

I like that, while McNulty and D are both skilled at what they do, D's problem is that he isn't "built for the game" and isn't personally invested enough, whereas McNulty's problem is that he's TO invested, and they're both punished for it.

They really hammer the parallel between Stringer and McNulty later on as two guys dying (figuratively in McNulty's case) for loving with the system too much.

Alec Bald Snatch fucked around with this message at 15:09 on Dec 13, 2012

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Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Fragmented posted:

Stringer and McNutty? I think you are thinking about season 3 and major Colvin.

Yeah Bunny too. Really everyone has to come to terms with the man in some way or another. Though Colvin eventually wins with Namond.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Fragmented posted:

watt par i guess you mean what happens to them over the whole series vs a single season parallel? I can see that.

Yeah. It was spelled out over and over that they were both the smartest guys in their respective rooms and their downfall was looking for a way around the established rules of their institutions. Colvin obviously fits into that as well in both seasons 3 and 4.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Bear Retrieval Unit posted:

While we're on McNulty being drunk, there's a scene I never really got. I think it was in season 2, where McNulty drives drunk and crashes his car. He then gets out of the car, works out how the crash went, gets back in and recreates it. Is there anything more to that scene other than McNulty being self destructive as gently caress?

Dominic West claims that story happened to an actual Balmer po-lice:

http://www.avclub.com/articles/dominic-west-on-the-hour-john-carter-and-yes-the-w,88995/2/

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


MrBling posted:

Does anyone in The Wire actually pronounce it "Ballmer" ?

It happens all the time in Homicide.

The real Jay Landsman did.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


EvanSchenck posted:

The distinctive Balmer accent is only spoken in certain parts of the city populated by working-class Whites, who IIRC are descended mostly from Scots-Irish who migrated in from the Alleghenies in the late 19th century to work the factories. The show doesn't really spend any time in those parts of the city. The dockers from S2 are all Polish, Italian, and so forth, more recent immigrants, so they don't have the accent. It should probably be more common among incidental characters, though.

Also no John Waters or Hons.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Jerusalem posted:

It's interesting to see that in season one a witness is (probably) murdered by gangsters and nothing ever happens because of it. But in season 4, a witness is killed in a horrible accident that is erroneously blamed on gangsters, and it has a massive change on Baltimore in terms of politics both in the city, eventually in the State itself and who knows, maybe even one day the country as a whole.

Probably worth mentioning, and I'm sure pretty much everyone here's already aware, but for anyone who doesn't know Carcetti is largely based on the former mayor of Baltimore and current governor of Maryland Martin O'Malley, who'll likely have a failed run for the presidency in 2016. And like the show, O'Malley's successor Sheila Dixon, who Nerese Campbell was based on, was president of the city council before being elected mayor. She was forced to resign in a plea deal after getting caught stealing Best Buy gift cards.

Alec Bald Snatch fucked around with this message at 22:05 on Dec 16, 2012

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Speaking of which did David Simon ever say anything about half the cast of the show stumping for Obama in both elections?

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


DarkCrawler posted:

I'm wondering how the hell does Avon live as well as he does? Doesn't he have a PS3 or something and KFC food etc. Does he basically have the entire prison bribed? Does stuff like that actually fly in the U.S. (because usually American prisons sound like they are somewhere between a Soviet gulag and Azkaban).

That used to happen a lot more back in the day especially with mafia guys. Nowadays it's done more by gangs from the outside helping out members inside, with guards paid to look the other way, or sometimes part of the gangs themselves. Also, guards (and private prison owners in the case of CCA) pay gangs to act as enforcement inside to avoid having to fight prisoners themselves.

That's another thing the Wire really missed out on. OZ sorta overlapped, but that was way more fantastical.


To answer a larger question American prisons run the gamut from good to bad. The nicest ones are almost indistinguishable from public schools and the worst like Pelican Bay's SHU you wouldn't send your worst enemy to.

Alec Bald Snatch fucked around with this message at 11:44 on Dec 17, 2012

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


I mean like if the show had gone on to a sixth season or beyond. David Simon had said he planned to include the Latino experience in Baltimore in a potential sixth season, despite knowing little about it himself, so it's not as if it would be completely out of left field. The show did pretty good touching on the connection between prison and the street, but given how especially for black men prisons are an extension of the same institutional framework which guides their lives as schools, it's worthy of a season unto itself.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Randomly Specific posted:

Visual novel is a good way of putting it.

What I've realized about the way it's so perfectly paced is because it is one large narrative that requires every single episode to really work properly. There's no filler, no jar episodes. Everything flows from one scene to the next, one episode to the next, and all the pieces really do matter in the series.

Some would say it's the Dickensian aspect.:v:

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


It's right and proper that the show never won an Emmy.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


E the Shaggy posted:

Anyone read Snoop's autobiography?



It's a really interesting book, as Felicia's life is pretty close to Snoop's character. There's a part of the book where she talks about how she killed someone in "self defense" which sounds pretty shady.

I remember reading about the family of the girl she killed being really upset when they found out she was an actor on tv.


Randomly Specific posted:

On my rewatch I'm noticing Rawls more and more. God, dude must've been the biggest shithead terror when he was out on the streets.

The scene in season 4 where Royce chews out Burrell over leaking the witness murder then has Rawls stick around to tell him he'll put him in charge when he's re-elected is great. Rawls immediately goes to Carcetti and tells him what happened along with Odell Watkins abandoning Royce, letting him know he'll be his man after the primary. Dude is an inveterate backstabber.

Alec Bald Snatch fucked around with this message at 19:13 on Dec 19, 2012

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Another police thing, this time specifically about Baltimore:


People will notice the lack of captains in the BPD of the Wire. Daniels is promoted straight from Lieutenant to Major, and Sgt. Landsman seems to be the 2nd in command under Major Rawls at Homicide. In most departments captain is the highest merit and time-in-service based rank one can achieve. After that, it's by appointment only, meaning the higher-ups get their pick of who they want to give commands to. BPD's lack of captains is actually a real thing dating back to 2002 when then commissioner Edward Norris (who played Ed Norris on the show) eliminated the captain rank for internal control reasons.

http://www2.citypaper.com/news/story.asp?id=3023

Alec Bald Snatch fucked around with this message at 20:20 on Dec 20, 2012

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


They make a point somewhere in the season that while the stevedores always boosted a little stuff on the side it wasn't until the jobs started drying up in Baltimore (and as a side note apart from being right on 95 and the B&O line it's not a very well-located port) that they began losing entire cans. They're just as much pulled into a state of desperation and criminal activity as everyone else affected by late stage capitalism.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Yeah I used to live near Norfolk. Basically between Ford leaving and Navy contracts at Newport News drying up they began focusing more on commercial cargo and now Hampton Roads is the third largest port on the East coast even though it's an extra hour and a half to I-95.


EvanSchenck posted:

In the Moyers interview and in his writing in The Corner, Simon talks about the notion of surplus people, people who aren't necessary to the smooth functioning of capitalism. I think season 2 shook a lot of viewers because of the seeming sudden change of subject, but to me it kind of seemed like they were trying to address one of the possible criticisms of the show. A thoughtless or antagonistic viewer can kind of dismiss stories about African American criminals, addicts, and the cops who are paid to keep them down. S2 shows the system failing hardworking white people. "They used to make steel there, no?"

There was a piece in the Atlantic a few years back at the height of the recession about the ethnic Irish neighborhoods in South Philly where the loss of jobs had resulted in crime and drug arrest stats on par with black inner city areas within just a couple years. Simon was right on about the effect of surplus labor.


e: found it. Depressing as gently caress, even if it is just white people outside rural areas and Appalachia finally getting in on some of that generational loss action:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/03/how-a-new-jobless-era-will-transform-america/307919/

Alec Bald Snatch fucked around with this message at 04:36 on Jan 9, 2013

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


DropsySufferer posted:

It was mentioned how McNulty and team catch (kinda) the minor drug kingpins but miss the people truly at the top, like the Greek. I found it interesting when it was revealed in the last season that the real mastermind more or less behind Avon, Stinger, and Marlo was Levy. Guys like Avon and Marlo will come ago but the real leadership behind it will keep profiting. Actually that includes the State Senator Clay Davis who is quite corrupt. I guess the message is that the wealthy elite are the ones that ultimately profit from the drug trade. Either that or lawyers are the source of all problems. :v:

I wouldn't say Levy's the mastermind in any hierarchical sense. It's more like Mancur Olson's notion of stationary versus roving bandits, except instead of functioning as the state people like Levy are there to create an environment within the state in which major drug trades can operate. Obviously the show's take is spelled out in the courtroom scene where Omar's on the stand pointing out the similarities between him and Levy as parasites on the drug trade, but Levy's role as intermediary between the illicit and legit world is deeper than that.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


String definitely tried to change how things were done- not beefing over turf, sharing product, the New Day co-op, etc. He definitely wasn't the first person to try and go legit, and even Clay Davis had a longtime scam set up to bilk drug kingpins out of their laundered money. The community college business classes and freshman b-school understanding of markets was the show's way of pointing out he'd never escape his background. Surely someone relatively intelligent and wealthy as Stringer could've left the day-to-day to Avon while taking courses from UMUC or something instead of what was essentially night school. Something like that was so far beyond his horizons though- he figured it would be good enough to be seen as a legit businessman downtown with a few adult extension classes under his belt.


Sarkozymandias posted:

Well he was also getting to the end of his rope trying to go legit in the first place, only to realize that even once he had the money to do so, the entire game was rigged from the start and he would never be allowed. He was doomed from the start for simply being born on the wrong side of the tracks and when he realized that he... may have overreacted. His "true" understanding of economics doesn't really matter. People who don't know poo poo about economics get to be rich when they're born white enough and bullshit white enough. He managed to make a pretty successful drug empire before being gradually undone by a more efficient sociopath.

Or rather a series of more efficient sociopaths.

His lack of background in the legit world precluded him from knowing that even guys like Andy Krawczyk ran their own game. His overreaction came from being wholly unprepared for how to deal with that.

Alec Bald Snatch fucked around with this message at 19:17 on Jan 14, 2013

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Listen, Kima. Do not tell me you don't remember No-Heart Anthony. drat girl, what town you been police in all these years?




Unrelated but one of the funnier things about the show is the worst performances came from the actual actors. Dominic West and his godawful accent especially.

Alec Bald Snatch fucked around with this message at 03:17 on Jan 25, 2013

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


LordPants posted:

He's in British programing regularly.


The Hour's alright. He's not too bad in that.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Aren't a lot of those guys largely stage actors? I know Prez is a member of Steppenwolf in Chicago.

Law & Order is pretty much a Broadway actor side gig farm system.

Alec Bald Snatch fucked around with this message at 12:54 on Jan 25, 2013

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Coulda swore Ziggy said it too after Cheese took Princess, his Camaro.


e: yep, season 2, episode 5- "Undertow"

That whole opening sequence is hilarious. "Two thou. For this? poo poo, not even a black man could style that poo poo!"

Alec Bald Snatch fucked around with this message at 00:41 on Jan 26, 2013

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


I thought just the shot of Rawls at the gay bar was enough. Along with the picture of the family and the wedding ring, it's just enough detail for the viewer to infer what's up with that guy. Like the quick shots of Poot working at Foot Locker or the dock workers passing a bottle around at the homeless camp.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Freamon and Shardene seemed to work out okay, despite the characters' age difference being a little creepy.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


He tries unsuccessfully picking her up after a station meeting. That's what Carver was laughing at him for.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


cletepurcel posted:

Interesting what if: according to Sepinwall, one of the guys initially considered for McNulty was John C. Reilly.

Reilly is actually a really good actor with a ton of dramatic roles to his credit, but it would've been the greatest thing ever if he played McNulty in character as Steve Brule.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Parachute Underwear posted:

Season 2's final two episodes are amazing. I absolutely love how well they show that the Greek is never in any position in which he appears to feel threatened--especially in his final scene at the airport where he says, "Business. Always business," with the nicest old man smile. To the Major Cases squad, it's a minor victory. To him, it's an equally (or even less) minor inconvenience. He's so cocky that, even with the possibility of being identified, he walks right in front of the police's nose twice just because he can.

It's easy for the Greek to be nonchalant since he's protected as an FBI informant.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


escape artist posted:

Well, his status as an FBI would not automatically preclude any prosecution by a local or state police? Would the FBI intercede and say "no, this guy is too important to us, you can't lock him up even though he's an enormous heroin supplier."?

That's pretty much what happened though when Fitzhugh figures out Vondopolous and the Greek were protected higher up. And yeah federal jurisdiction preempts state and local.

Alec Bald Snatch fucked around with this message at 11:30 on Jan 30, 2013

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


escape artist posted:

I thought that Koutris got the tip to the Greek to get the gently caress outta dodge for a while, just in the nick of time.


When the major case unit's at the bar at the end of the last episode of the season, Fitzhugh tells Daniels that Koutris, who he originally thought was working out of San Diego, was in fact in Counterterrorism in DC. He pieced together that Vondopolous and the Greek were FBI assets working for him. The quick look Daniels gives in response is priceless.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


escape artist posted:

I guess I don't think I like much of what is considered exclusively country, but that's an admittedly ignorant sentiment.

You're probably thinking of the Nashville Music Row stuff that's on the radio, which is like the rural white version of a minstrel show.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


escape artist posted:

Yeah, when I think of country I think of Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, The Dixie Chicks... that kind of crap.

I also think I became conditioned to dislike it when I was very young, visiting my family in rural Virginia. They would throw around the n-word like it was acceptable... when I was an impressionable child. They'd play David Allen Coe and Hank Williams and the like. Had confederate flags hanging in their trashy homes where my immediate family would have paintings.

David Allan Coe's alright. Racists latched on to him because he wrote a couple joke songs back in the 70s that Shel Silverstein of all people helped publish, and then everyone started confusing him with Johnny Rebel. There's no excuse for Hank Williams Jr. though. It's weird how the talent seemed to skip a generation in that family.

Alec Bald Snatch fucked around with this message at 19:56 on Jan 31, 2013

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


End of Life Guy posted:

I thought she said "that bump" like a bump up in his pay.
Is it "buck" ? It's hard to tell.

It's buck.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


ChairMaster posted:

I dunno if it's just cause I watched the whole show wearing headphones but I never had any trouble understanding Snoop, and I'm pretty drat white.


Seriously, the accents aren't that thick.


Anyway:

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Half the replies in the youtube clip of that scene are arguing over whether it's bump or buck too. I had no idea this was a thing.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Randomly Specific posted:

None of the characters are black and white, but Herc was pretty much 'hump' defined.

This. Bureaucracies are built around people like Herc. Not too bright, somewhat trainable. Can only be trusted with minimal autonomy. The banality of evil personified.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Couple slight nitpicky corrections to the last write-up: when McNulty and Kima are discussing her sexuality, McNulty says he should've known that she was gay because the only female cops he's known that were worth a drat were gay, not that the only female cop he's worked with was gay. Which is somewhat ironic considering Beadie turns out to be okay po-lice. Second, lake trout's the name of the sandwich Poot asks D'Angelo to get, not the name of the carryout restaurant. It's a local Baltimore term for a fried fish sandwich. Unless of course D actually went all the way over to Lake Trout.

Alec Bald Snatch fucked around with this message at 00:15 on Feb 13, 2013

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


escape artist posted:

Yeah, that's what I meant... the only other effective female cop was gay. I fixed that. And I fixed Lake Trout, although, I swear I remember someone getting subs "from Lake Trout" in at one point in the show.

I see in that link that there is a place in Baltimore called Lake Trout. Anyway, I just edited it to something less specific.


The actual place called Lake Trout is on Edmondson, but it's further west from where they're supposed to be at. Definitely further than D'Angelo could've walked in the time it took for the re-up to come and subsequently get robbed. Calling a fish sandwich, which is ubiquitous in the Mid-Atlantic and South, a lake trout sandwich is one of those quirks of Baltimore culture. It isn't trout and it didn't come from a lake. Definitely shows the writers know their city.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


chesh posted:

How does "lake trout" fit in to the whole "lenten fish sandwich" thing? Honestly, I grew up in Northern California, and this whole fish fry/fish sandwich thing on the east/atlantic/mid-atlantic was a weird thing to get used to.

I think it's more of an ocean being right there and full of fish thing than something sectarian. Fish frys are all over the parts of the coast not settled by Catholics. Same with anywhere near rivers or lakes, or any body of water really.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


DropsySufferer posted:

That's one thing I've have liked to see; the rise of Avon and Stringer. My one issue with the show is that Stringer seems so much smarter then Avon for the most part. We don't have much time to see how Avon was running things because Avon is gone and jailed 1st season. Avon never impressed me because it looked like string was running the show. Apart from a few orders what exactly was Avon doing? Now that's where the series just did not have time to cover that I'll bet. Still imagine how great a wire prequel would be showing the rise of Avon, and String, and maybe a young Freamon, and Daniels, or even Rawls.

I thought that Avon's dad and uncle had been in charge of the Barksdale crew prior and it was only the year or so prior to when season 1 takes place that Avon had taken over control of the towers and low-rises.

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Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


escape artist posted:

That's Steve Earle. He's got a new album coming out soon. He's a loving music legend.

And a former heroin addict. The character of Waylon wasn't that much of a stretch for him.

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