Wednesday, September 3, 2008
I Miss The Wire!
Years ago I had to make an emergency trip to Texas, a state I didn't care to return to, because my Grandpa was ailing and in critical condition. I was up late, alone, scared and happened onto a marathon of HBO's The Wire!
Now I know where every Black actor is getting work! I hadn't seen these people before and a show about slangin dope wasn't something that I was gonna watch but I was in Texas and well, I was bored! But from the first scene, where Detective Jimmy Mcnulty is sitting in the cold Baltimore night, watching over a murder scene, I was in the car and along for the ride.
These were not cardboard cutouts of neighborhood thugs and noble police officers! No! All these fools were smart, driven, ambitious, loving, kind, generous, cruel, malicious, petty, funnie and complex! They were all things human! They were flawed and you couldn't put them in a box!
Take Mcnulty for instance! Smart detective, cares about the truth, wants to see that his life's work means something! He hates the bosses! They are politicians and forgot what being a cop means! Jimmy breaks the code! He breaks the chain of command and speaks to a judge about Avon Barksdale, the Top Drug Kingpin who rules West Baltimore and his second in command Stringer Bell. Avon, smart, ruthless, a military style gangsta! Baltimore drug dealing is the family business! His father, Grandfather and Great Grand all ran the trade!
Mcnulty especially gets in trouble because none and I mean NONE of the top brass even know who Avon Barksdale is. Worse up until then no one cared!
Russell Stringer Bell, Handsome, smart, college educated, is a Machiavellian theorist! A chess player, watching all the angles and counseling his friend and Brother Avon. Drug dealing is a means to an end. They own all the real Estate in downtown and are developing it into high rise luxury condos right under the nose of the city. He pays off State senators, city council members, cops! He runs the drug trade as a business. He eventually forms the New Day Co-op with every major player in Baltimore, one package, no violence! Money for everyone! Stringer is a killer, dispatching his friends and family when it gets in the way of business! The character is so well written though that he would be at home in any law firm or in any corporate board room. He's a sociopath but well that just goes to show what a sociopath can do in the right business! Donald Trump! When String finally got it! Finally got dealt with! OHHHHH! The best scene is with Mcnulty who cries over Strings body and then seeing his condo for the first time, observed it to be immaculate, with expensive first editions of books! Priceless art! Tasteful!
Mcnulty: Who the Eff have I been chasing all these years?
Omar Little, the stick up man! Omar is probably the most interesting character in television history bar none! A ruthless robber of dope dealers! He hit every stash house in the city robbing them of the money and dope! He never sold the dope! He never used the dope! He walked the streets of Baltimore with a shotgun under a duster! Awesome! His robberies were always well planned. He would have been the best detective Baltimore had ever seen if he went to the side of the law. Omar had a code! He didn't steal! He paid for his smokes even if he robbed a liquor store dope dealer of his stash he paid for the smokes! He didn't shoot anyone that wasn't connected to the game! Even if it meant going to jail or dying! Plus he was an unapologetic homosexual. He was honest, a man, no fairy stereotypes, he took Granny to church every Sunday! When he kissed Brandon in the mouth though! EWWWWWWWWWW!
The best thing about the wire was the stories and the progression of what happens to the characters in all aspects of the City! That's the true star of the show! The City!
1st season dealt with the drug trade and the murders in West Baltimore! The Cops, City hall and the Street!
The Second dealt with the docks and the working man and how union jobs were being fazed out by technology, cheap labor and greedy politicians!
The third showed Gentrification of West Baltimore as the Towers that Avon and Stringer had ruled was being torn down in order to redevelop it with luxury and the poor pushed further into the background! It dealt with the Legalization of drugs and how cops were able to perform real police work that affected the neighborhood instead of all the resources going to low level drug arrests!
The Fourth was the school system focusing on four eighth graders and how they would become the new Omar, The new Avon, The new Stringer. It shows the failure of the school system not just for the kids but for the teachers who are forced to teach nothing but the test! This was easily the hardest season for me to watch and my least favorite. To see what happens to Duke and not cry for that child!
The Fifth dealt with City Hall and a new mayor, the seduction of power, the deals! The Homeless! And the death of the newspaper business as more and more papers are being consolidated and fewer viewpoints are being explored in favor of the stock price!
A great show! I miss the writing and the honesty!
BE Careful! BE Mindful! BE Prayerful!