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geeves
Sep 16, 2004



Jerusalem posted:

And considering that I normally find Idris Elba's American accent a little forced, I still can't get over how flawless it seems (to me at least) in The Wire. First time I saw the series I didn't realize he was British, but even after everything else I've seen him in I still think his accent in The Wire is excellent.

I never really notice when accents go bad or are forced. Maybe it's because I've lived all over the US from the south, to San Francisco, Boston and Pittsburgh and have become used to all sorts of weird and natural accents with some that make me want to stab myself in the ears instead of listening to their voice.

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geeves
Sep 16, 2004



escape artist posted:

Avon had a nice corner-cell with a view and lots of books and KFC. :v: I don't remember the video games, though.

Avon was playing something the last time D'Angelo came by to tell Avon that he didn't want any part of what Avon was up to.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



watt par posted:

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

I somewhat agree. But it just shows how outdated the Emmy's are in that they haven't adapted to long-form television.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



BrBa posted:

I'm rewatching this too and up to The Pager. I'm probably alone on this, but I don't really like the 'gently caress gently caress gently caress' scene. It seems too affected for a show that generally has more natural-sounding dialogue. It doesn't fit with the rest.


I disagree, it's entirely within the scope of The Wire. And it presents a few facets of the show and the assumptions about the viewer.

I think it shows how well Bunk and McNulty work together and establishes that they are good police versus Santangelo or Cole(?) who originally investigated the murder. Also, they were able to communicate through tone of voice rather than explicit statements. It also drops the viewer directly into the scene to discover the crime scene with the detectives instead of being told explicitly by the characters what happened to the victim.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



I don't recall seeing this in either Wire thread - found it after watching the LOST RPG

http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6821163/the-wire-rpg

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



escape artist posted:

It's also an interesting scene in that Omar states he won't snitch because it rubs him the wrong way, but then does a complete 180 after Brandon's horrible death.

He also wanted to stay and hear Bird getting beat down, so yeah, he'll give Bunk info for that privilege.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



Etherwind posted:

I think I might have cracked the symbolism behind the trains.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duel_(1971_film)

Every time trains show up - whether visually or with the sound of their horns - it's when a character is undergoing a moment of near-epiphany and either accepting or turning away. The train isn't symbolic of the institution, unable to deviate, or of inevitability, able only to crush everything in its path, but of enlightenment: of reform, and how slowly the realisation comes on.

"Slow train coming," is a metaphor for how slowly people realise both the situation they're trapped in and their own foibles. The train shouts at them with its horn, desperately trying to get a message across when they're engaged on some blind or self-destructive action, and either they realise (when it's too late) or they continue on without heed. See Stringer Bell's realisation and acceptance at his death versus Jimmy McNulty at the start of the series, pissing in the face of the train and its message.

And when Brother Mouzone shows back up and town, and talks about what the trains mean? He's come having figured out who set him up and why.

Edit: and at a deeper level, it's about how slowly society realises its problems and engages in reform. Baltimore and American society are Jimmy NcNulty, pissing in the face of the message. See politicians saying they love The Wire.

I like this reasoning of it. But to go along with your deeper level thought, it's also the opposite at the same time. Corruption and problems with the systems aren't just introduced overnight and accepted. They also happen over a long term with knee-jerk reactions here and there to speed things up. And not just corruption, but things that would be best described as 'nanny-state / think of the children' type systems or rules that are in place - outlawed toys, etc (and not the ones because of lead paint) this usually takes place because people want someone to blame instead of taking responsibility of themselves and their offspring.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



chesh posted:

Awesome, that's what I wanted to know. Here in western PA they simply call it "fish."

For the next 8 weeks in western PA (esp Pittsburgh) all fish will be "Fish Fry".

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



escape artist posted:

Yeah, please no Corner spoilers in here. I watched it once before, but ironically, it was all during one 6 hour opioid nod. I know some of the major plot points, but I think we should make a new thread to discuss the Corner if we are going to discuss it.

The Corner is currently available OnDemand, too! On Comcast if that matters. If there is a new thread for just the Corner, I'll post there, as well.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



escape artist posted:

Jerusalem, I don't know how to link to individual posts, so if you could link to all of your recaps, I'll update the OP with them.

It's the # between the Paper and ? link. Just don't copy the link when you're on a reply page. The link will go to the Reply page.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



It's been mentioned before - The Wire loves parallels. In fact, if you looked at all the characters arcs and plot arcs, it would look like a giant parallelogram.

Jerusalem posted:

It's an almost sulky,"It's all everybody else's fault!" mentality

This statement is kind of a kindred spirit (in a way) to McNulty's "The gently caress did I do" - selfishly thinking it's all about him in a different way (D'Angelo wants out, McNulty wants in). D'Angelo deals through detachment and escapes through denial; McNulty through obsession and escapes through alcohol abuse. Both men escape (as you said) through affairs and are effective in pissing off both their significant others and their mistresses through their selfish nature. The series, I think recognizes this too, through McNulty himself (in a twisted posthumous sense) later in the series when he investigates D'Angelo's death, claiming he liked the kid and calls out Brianna on her terrible nature.

geeves fucked around with this message at 00:52 on Mar 22, 2013

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



Fragmented posted:

As far as Biden goes he forever has my scorn because of this: The Rave Act. Also known as the crackhouse law. It was like his signature crusade for a couple years, and then it gets a modified version slipped in the amber alert bill that got passed.

Basically it makes club owners and party promoters liable for drug dealing that happens in the venues even if they don't even know the dealers. It isn't used much because it was pretty much gutted but it's just another tool the police have to gently caress with people.

We had protests here in Seattle and Portland, Biden is a dirty word among people i know.

Anyways, great write up escape artist. Who's doing the finale?

Former promoter here (I still DJ). You're right, it was a Dateline-style dog and pony show to try to win re-election, not to frighten parents and promoters and event goers, especially with the young-sounding term "Rave" which nobody used at that time. The US has enough laws on the books to deal with drugs already. It was just for re-election.

It did, however, start a discussion going amongst us, because it was rumored that some national promoters we knew were also heavily involved with drugs and financed their parties or clubs (hell, the threat of the rave act didn't deter people, either - this club opened right around the time the legislation was introduced - http://www.wkyc.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=54221 )

Besides, Aside from Twilo's coverups of overdoses, most of the major incidents involving ecstasy and or other drugs that garnered national attention were not at raves, but at concerts and huge corporate sponsored events. Thankfully when Congress realized that it could have effectively been used shut down major events involving bands, national headliners, etc. which brought in millions upon millions of dollars (not your $10k underground event), they wised up.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



quote:

Jimmy and Elena McNulty walk from a science fair with their youngest Michael, Jimmy proudly holding one of those baking soda volcanoes. He tells his son how cool it is but Mike is dismissive and mentions a student who built a computer (!) and indifferently tells his dad he can keep the volcano. Elena steps to Jimmy to ask about the alimony, he’s behind as expected but between that-which he only agreed to because he thought they’d be together-and child support it’s 3000 a month off the top. He asks if her “boyfriend” (Dennis from earlier in the season) can help make up some of the cash and she glares at him before driving away.

This always bugged me. We were shown in Season 2 that Elena is a real estate agent and presumably successful given the types of homes she was selling. If Elena had said Child Support, I would have no problem. But alimony? Please.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



In The Wire alumni news, Nick Sobatka plays a great creepy, corrupt correctional officer, named Pornstache, in the Weeds meets Oz Netflix show "Orange is the New Black".

geeves fucked around with this message at 23:23 on Jul 14, 2013

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



Jerusalem posted:

Is there anything I should be doing differently in these write-ups, by the way? I had hoped that they were extensive enough/asked enough questions/raised enough points that they would generate a little more discussion on the episodes themselves, the overall themes of a particular season, contrary opinions on how particular scenes played out and what we should take from an episode etc, and that doesn't really seem to be happening.

Not different or better, but maybe expand to Tumblr (goonsonthewire - ha). Might sound weird, but, for example, with the ASOIAF crowd or the LOTR (askmiddleearth - their guide to the Simarillion was excellent) there are some decent critiques and discussions that go on. I think your writeups would fit right in. Aside from the reviews with the gang members (because of their insight into the street) I think yours are some of the best media reviews I've ever read. Yeah, they may be a bit verbose, but they are with good reason. Most reviews, critiques are slimmed down for short attention spans.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



Lugaloco posted:

Herc is playing one of Al Capone's brothers in the new season of Boardwalk Empire. As if I needed another reason to be mega hyped for its return.

I need to catch up on Boardwalk Empire. I watched the first few episodes and never kept up with it for some unknown reason. I didn't know that Michael K Williams was in it. And this season they're adding Jeffrey Wright? He's one of my favorites.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



Margin of Error is one of my favorite episodes in that the subtext show how vulnerable these characters are, especially Omar and Randy. I can't fathom Donnelly's horror in hearing Randy know and was involved with, even tangentially, a murder. I really like what Carver tries to do for Randy and while it doesn't work out, we get some sort of catharsis with Colvin and Namond

Jerusalem, you compared De'Londa to Donette, and while fair, I think that Squeak is more of a De'Londa in training.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



DarkCrawler posted:

When he works with Avon as a soldier, I'd say enough to make a decent living and with a large payout whenever he kills someone or protects drug transfers, doing whatever muscle has to do. When he works with Joe he seems to be probably high enough to get "points of the package", AKA getting a percentage of the drugs sold. So I guess something like maybe $50,000 a year as a soldier and something close to $100,000 when he worked with Joe?

But of course it would change with individual examples. Wee-Bey was probably the fourth most paid member of the Barksdale organization at it's heyday (third if you don't count Levy as a member of the organization) and Chris came second after Marlo. Not out of the possibility that they were earning money in the mid-six figures.

Might be less though, but with their bosses being literally millionnaires and aside from Stringer, not really finding that many outlets for their money, I figure they had lee-way (and reason, these guys could put them in for life at any moment) to be generous.

If we were to compare the Barksdale organization to a Mexican Cartel like Los Zetas or the Sinaloa Cartel, then I think those salaries could be on point.

Small, local gangs are probably more like this: http://www.streetgangs.com/academic/gangfinance.pdf If I read this correctly, these are 1995 numbers

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



Jerusalem posted:

Maybe capitalism is the wrong word, but I think Marlo represents that same sense that there are people out there who have no sense of morality or right/wrong - there is only what accomplishes their goals, and everything else is a hindrance to be eliminated. Somebody in your way? Remove them. Somebody affects your brand? Destroy them. Somebody seeks to compete with you? Either absorb them or wipe them out. Marlo is a shark, he exists purely to exist, he kills and dominates for no reason other than that he can - there is no emotional connection with anybody else, everybody is a tool to be used for his benefit - even Chris Partlow ends up being discarded/used to ensure Marlo will still be in a position to "be the King".

He's like one of those Wall Street sharks/wolves - other people are irrelevant, friendship is secondary to advancement, advancement and power and respect is all that matters, and in the end even the money is nothing more than a status symbol - a sign of the power he wields and the dominance he has over his kingdom.

I agree. I never saw Marlo as a beacon of capitalism, either. Marlo was about unchecked (relatively speaking) power and how an amoral person wields it.

ChikoDemono posted:

There are bits of Stalinism as well. He's the big brother on the streets, always watching. Complete with near mythical secret police in Snoop and Chris. If you cross him, he'll literally make you disappear. Since it's folks from the wrong zip code, it's like you never existed at all.

I had the same idea while reading a biography about Stalin (Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar - fascinating but long read. It makes Stalin very human but doesn't make excuses for the actions during his reign). Obviously their personalities, goals and policies don't line up, but the Cult of Personality surrounding both of the men and their methods of tyranny are remarkably similar and probably intentional. The slow takeover of Baltimore could be seen through a certain glass of the formation of the USSR as post-revolution Stalin made land grabs as he saw necessary.

In both cases, the Terror / Vacants are the outcome of paranoia about those whom the leaders displaced or suspect as impeding their goals. For Stalin and his court it was something as small as a factory not meeting production (they must be opponents to the Revolution and therefore working to supplant Stalin), for Marlo it was "justified" because he wasn't above the law. Both men regarded their names or at least Stalin's Central Committee had high regard for Stalin's name, while Marlo his name was always important and needed to be impregnable.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



PostNouveau posted:

Anyone involved in law enforcement (or hell, the drug trade) who can speak to the realism of the central plot of Season 2? The huge shipments run through the port just seem like such a big risk for a cartel to take.

A massive amount of product is thrown at the US borders and harbor entry points with the knowledge there will be some loss. There is so much at any given time in every city that you probably know someone (or know someone who knows someone) who can make a call and get an eightball or quarter or more of cocaine within an hour. We read about the idiots and people who make stupid decisions or the unfortunate who have been forced to mule. There are too many foreign goods to hide drugs among to search it all, even if it needs to be cleared by customs. You're talking about entities that have so much money they can basically throw several tons of drugs several different ways knowing some will be found to see what works. They've even made makeshift submarines which if you've seen a documentary about them is basically hell on sea from the poor ventilation, etc.

The Kaiser Soze type guy or The Greek? The major foreign cartel player sitting locally in the shadows and nobody knows who they are? It worked because they worked with Prop Joe who everyone knew was in the game, but he kept it quiet and didn't attract attention That might be more unrealistic than a union boss taking a risk to keep everyone employed long enough and raise enough money to dredge the river in hopes of revitalizing the shipping business. It also worked because Frank was in largely in denial about what was in the containers. He suspected drugs or just common smuggling of goods and he was doing right by his union brothers, so he took it as an acceptable risk.

Nobody would (or nobody wants to) suspect human cargo. For most Americans, Human Trafficking is thought to be an Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia problem. No way does it happen here. A good friend of mine works with survivors of it and their stories are terrible. If the container in episode 2.1 was just drugs everyone would disavow knowledge and nothing would happen. Even with the bodies, things probably would have died down and returned to normal if not for Valchek's meddling.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



Hard Clumping posted:

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?

We all mostly had 4:3 tvs too

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geeves
Sep 16, 2004



Ainsley McTree posted:

Is the night of good? I ask here because I trust the opinion of Wire fanatics about television more than most people

Yes it is. The first had hour is a bit slow but it quickly finds its pace and it's pretty tense.

Simon is an exec producer as well.

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