The Wire

Recommend, or reminisce about, film and television

The Wire

Postby Caleb » 29 Mar 2013, 06:24

A few times on this forum, I've mentioned (or linked to clips from) the HBO series, The Wire.

Here is a write up of the show. Has anyone ever watched it? I've watched the first three seasons, and part of the fourth. I thought the first and second seasons were fantastic (I particularly liked the second season), the third had really great moments (but was also weak in parts). So far, the fourth season hasn't really grabbed me that much and I don't like the characters. I haven't watched the fifth season.

Any thoughts on the show?
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Re: The Wire

Postby Mike » 29 Mar 2013, 09:07

My parents and brother both raved to me about it, so I gave it a go a little while back. I only watched the first few episodes, and liked it a lot, but started thinking "if I really get into this, it'll probably consume a large part of my non-working hours", and because I was very busy on the family front as well at that stage I decided to leave it for later, so to speak. I'm sure I'll get back into it eventually.
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Re: The Wire

Postby Charlie » 06 Apr 2013, 09:48

Mike wrote:"if I really get into this, it'll probably consume a large part of my non-working hours"


That was exactly what happened to me when I watched the whole thing with my fiancée for the first time - it's great TV. I'm always wary of media which could be interpreted as anti-American, or shall we say, overly focused on the negative aspects of life in the US. However, I still feel that The Wire was very well done. Not only was it well-written, it never attempted to sugar-coat anything. It just shone a light on how dysfunctional and deceitful many institutions can be.

Speaking as an Englishman, I watched a few episodes again recently and Dominic West's American accent, although not bad at all, didn't sound quite as authentic as it had done the first time around. Idris Elba's is perfect though.
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Re: The Wire

Postby Caleb » 10 Apr 2013, 02:37

I just finished season four last night. I didn't like it for the first few episodes, but it just blew me away by the end. It's an incredible piece of writing and acting. I feel quite traumatised by it though. The final montage of characters' lives is extremely depressing.

Incidentally, I know a lot of people really like Idris Elba's character/acting, but I was sick of him by the end. He didn't grab me at all.
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Re: The Wire

Postby Gavin » 10 Apr 2013, 07:04

I tried the opening episode of The Wire but didn't really get into it. Will have to give it another go. I did however watch all of The Shield and thought it was great. It started intense and became even more intense towards the end.
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Re: The Wire

Postby Charlie » 11 Apr 2013, 19:20

Caleb wrote:I feel quite traumatised by it though. The final montage of characters' lives is extremely depressing.


Quite - the guys who made it didn't pull any punches, did they?

There are many examples in the show of evil, but when I think of the two who play Marlo Stanfield and Snoop, it always sends a shiver down my spine. They represent the kind of evil which Dalrymple describes so well - Stanfield and Snoop are irredeemable. Heck, even Stephen King called Snoop "perhaps the most terrifying female villain to ever appear in a television series.". I'm inclined to agree with him.

Gavin, it can take a while to get going, but like Mike said, if you do get into it, it's rather addictive.
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Re: The Wire

Postby Gavin » 11 Apr 2013, 21:00

Charlie wrote:"Gavin, it can take a while to get going, but like Mike said, if you do get into it, it's rather addictive."


As was The Shield! I'm sure the Wire must be good, it has received so much acclaim. I will put it back on my list...
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Re: The Wire

Postby Caleb » 12 Apr 2013, 00:25

Charlie wrote:
Caleb wrote:I feel quite traumatised by it though. The final montage of characters' lives is extremely depressing.


Quite - the guys who made it didn't pull any punches, did they?

There are many examples in the show of evil, but when I think of the two who play Marlo Stanfield and Snoop, it always sends a shiver down my spine. They represent the kind of evil which Dalrymple describes so well - Stanfield and Snoop are irredeemable. Heck, even Stephen King called Snoop "perhaps the most terrifying female villain to ever appear in a television series.". I'm inclined to agree with him.

Gavin, it can take a while to get going, but like Mike said, if you do get into it, it's rather addictive.


A lot of the actors were not actors before they were in the series, and they basically ended up playing variations on their real personas. I read somewhere that the girl who played Snoop actually did kill people and spent time in jail. That opening scene in the fourth series where she buys the nail gun at the hardware store is awesome.

I wouldn't just put Stanfield and Snoop on that list. I think Clay Davis certainly belongs there too, and also Prop. Joe, Stringer Bell and The Greek. Most of the rest of the characters are fatally flawed in one way or another also.
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Re: The Wire

Postby Elliott » 12 Apr 2013, 01:05

The Wire is another show that's on my list of shows to devour at some point in the future. I've seen isolated episodes and watched a few clips on Youtube, and it really seems quite unique. There's something about the dialogue that feels unreal and poetic. That's not to say that it sounds contrived or over-the-top, just somehow high quality and evocative, unlike the dialogue in any other TV show that I can think of. So I think it's something I would (will) really enjoy.
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Re: The Wire

Postby Gavin » 12 Apr 2013, 09:00

Do me a favour and watch The Shield as well or I will not stop going on about it! It was well made, very well acted and raises interesting moral questions. I could not believe the levels of tension towards the end.

It was based quite closely on the real life Rampart scandal.

Speaking of this, there was also a film not long ago, Rampart, starring Woody Harrelson. He certainly has some odd views, as do many actors, but another striking fact about him is his father was a professional hitman.

I'll report back on my views about The Wire after a while.
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