Regarding Season 5 of The Wire

  • Nov. 26th, 2010 at 10:31 AM
my_daroga: From Powell's "Peeping Tom" (camera)
Christine, you were right. I can't even believe what I'm seeing.

With three episodes to go... )

Also, I'm spoiled for television forever. I don't see how I can go on after this.

The Wire is Awesome

  • Oct. 13th, 2010 at 2:59 PM
my_daroga: From Powell's "Peeping Tom" (camera)
This is old news, I know. But we've got one episode left in Season 3 (NO SPOILERS, PLEASE), and I want to take this moment to rhapsodize about how much I love this show. For those of you who don't know, it's about crime and policing in Baltimore, and it ran five seasons in the mid-2000s.

For one thing, I've never seen a series unfold like this one does. Storylines get ever-more complicated, folding in elements that seemed unimportant episodes or seasons ago, and just keep going. But what really impresses me is what this means for the characters. Everyone is a person. Initially it was hard to get into because no one was immediately likable, but the attention to detail here means that villains have feelings and heroes have failings and everything in between. And what the show does an excellent job of is explaining why things are the way they are. Why people commit acts we all think are reprehensible, how corruption happens, why crime and drugs and the rest aren't easy to rub out. And as we get to know each character, their motivations and reactions are illuminated, so that we see both how some decisions are arbitrary and how, even so, everything we know leading up to that decision, that moment, informs it. There are consequences for actions on this show, even when the consequence seems to be nothing changes.

It's a very depressing vision.

I love shows that balance the thematic and the episodic, as Mad Men does very well and BtVS tried to. But I also love how The Wire is a continuous narrative, showing you every step of the way without assuming you need to actually be led. The writing is fantastic, a lot of the cinematography is great, and there's some good editing.

And the characters. Oh my god. The richness of having to get to know these people really pays off, and I find myself marveling at the feelings people I HATED can arouse. I don't recognize any of the actors, and there are some amazing ones here. (And it really goes to show how WHITE American television is, next to something like this.) There are so many characters I cheer for every time we see them on screen, knowing we're going to get a little more Bubs or Omar or Prop Joe. None of them are simple and none of them are predictable. They're human. I don't mean to talk it up as the second coming, but it's an astonishing accomplishment, so far. Even in terms of illustrating a very real situation--fictionalized, of course--than in my life I never am exposed to.

We just get so little "entertainment" that truly explores those grey areas, those questions we don't have any answers to. And this one attacks race, and crime, and poverty, and policy, and human nature with such bravery I'm continually astonished by it.

I'm being deliberately vague for anyone who doesn't want spoilers, but feel free to discuss anything up to the end of season 3 if you want!

April Movies

  • May. 4th, 2010 at 8:22 AM
my_daroga: Orson Welles (orson)
Movies in bold are ones I hadn't seen before. Ones with asterisks, I saw in a theater.

The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)*
Orlando (1992)
An Education (2009)
Hudson Hawk (1991)
Ugetsu (1953)*
30 Century Man (2006)
Starman (1984)
Oldboy (2003)*
The Life of Oharu (1952)*
Big Fan (2009)
Wuthering Heights (1967)
Southland Tales (2006)
Wet Hot American Summer (2001)*
Utamaro and His Five Women (1946)*
Rope (1948)

Also finished Deadwood (for the second time--why does your ending suck, Deadwood?) and am in the middle of a Mysterious Cities of Gold rewatch and season three of Mad Men and season one of The Wire, which I got for my birthday.

Initial thoughts on Mad Men S3 )

Initial thoughts on The Wire )

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