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The Wire

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10 hours ago, TwiceHorn said:

I think this is the major reason S2 is shat upon by Wire rookies and beloved by Wire veterans.  Once you understand that each season explores a different aspect of drugs and politics in Bodymore, Murdaland, S2 can be understood as one of the better seasons, if not the best.

There are characters in The Wire that span the show, subject to their death, and those that are seasonal.  Season 2 has probably the best seasonal characters in the show.

Good take.  I would contend, as I have before, that it's about even more.  It's about institutions of rotting American cities.  And they were way the fuck ahead of their curve.  The backbones of dying American towns were also their machines of demise.  Organized Crime (in this case, not the Mafia but the inner city drug trade), Organized Labor (in this case, the stevedores who were already on their last leg in the early 2000's, Local Politics (City, and somewhat state---in Maryland they are largely one and the same surrounding Baltimore and how they tacitly perpetuate the death of labor and the proliferation of the war on drugs), Public Schools (and their complete ineffectiveness in how they prepare kids for anything beyond organized crime or becoming a manual laborer, fed by worthless indignation by local politics), and finally the Media which again, was already dying when the Wire was created but they saw it coming so elegantly.  The fourth estate is always, and with noble cause, trying to catch up to the other institutions.  But falls short each and every time.  Not for lack of trying, but for lack of resources and lack of interest on the part of the public.  Nothing new here, just the way I see it as a kid who grew up in the union trucking business of another dying American city.  As such, I've always been partial to Season 2.  Hits a little too close to home for me.  

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On May 11, 2020 at 11:54 AM, Horn_Spanker said:

Bingeing Season 2 now.  Wife and I look at each other wondering why the hype?  Is season 3 better than 2?

While you and your wife were looking at each other, you missed something pertinent to the story. 

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Posted (edited)

The first time I watched season 2 I didn't care much for it because I felt all of the Barksdale crew that I grew fond of took a bit of a backseat to these new characters.  It's a bit of a shock.  When I watched it again several years later I appreciated it much more, and I also noticed how Barksdale's crew wasn't nearly as neglected as I imagined the first time.  They were still a much bigger part of the story line than I had remembered.

Edited by Tom

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Posted (edited)

2,4,1,3.........................5

The newspaper arc should have been a minor story throughout the entire series rather than a featured theme of its own during a single season.  And the McNulty thing in 5 (no spoiler) was just stupid...

Edited by Ignatius

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I recently finished rewatching season 3. I still rank the seasons 2, 1, 3, 4, 5. But season 3 was really entertaining. More laughs than in the first two seasons, some of them fairly subtle. I think they had a bigger budget to work with and they were getting a lot more polished in their storytelling.

One of the reasons I rank season 3 third is because the first two seasons could've been documentaries, but with the Hamsterdam storyline they introduced the hypothetical. My understanding is that there actually was a Baltimore police officer who speculated on whether or not something like that would work but obviously it's not something that was ever tried. It was entertaining to see them playing it out in a fictional setting but it was a departure from the realism of the first two seasons. 

I still pick up on little things I never noticed before. In the episode where they're tracking the guy driving miles down the interstate buying a couple burner phones at a time at all the different convenience stores, they finally come to the last one on the route where the cashier remembers the guy and they save all their receipts. The other guy behind the counter is wearing a Sikh turban and gives a double take when McNulty says, "Seek and ye shall find."

You rank season 2 as the best season? What the Buck, indeed...

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10 hours ago, Ignatius said:

2,4,1,3.........................5

The newspaper arc should have been a minor story throughout the entire series rather than a featured theme of its own during a single season.  And the McNulty thing in 5 (no spoiler) was just stupid...

Hard time arguing this. 

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yeah, not that this is bold as my previous post but you can take any of the first four seasons and on any given day, I'd agree with you that each of those was the best season even though that's obviously not possible.  Except season 5.  Everybody agrees it stunk, and not in one of those, 'The worst season of the Wire is better than the best season of blank'  It was just a shitty tv show at that point.  The acting was the only thing helping that season f

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Season 2 is the best season. And Season 5 is last, it's still better than 99% of what's on TV now. 

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1 hour ago, Lobo said:

  Except season 5.  Everybody agrees it stunk, and not in one of those, 'The worst season of the Wire is better than the best season of blank'  It was just a shitty tv show at that point.  

Incorrect. It was the worst season of the Wire, but better than 90% of things I watch on TV today.

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Yeah 80-90% is fair given what I've, for some bizarre, reason decided to sit through during quarantine.

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made my college age son sit down and watch season 1, episode 1 last night.  I've told him forever how great The Wire is.   I noticed during the show he didn't look at his phone once (which is par for the course with them). Immediately after the episode ended he said he was now going to binge the entire series.  

Felt lke a great Dad last night :)

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On 5/14/2020 at 11:12 AM, SimonBolivar said:

Incorrect. It was the worst season of the Wire, but better than 90% of things I watch on TV today.

 

On 5/14/2020 at 11:45 AM, Lobo said:

Yeah 80-90% is fair given what I've, for some bizarre, reason decided to sit through during quarantine.

Which may be less a comment on The Wire than a comment on the execrable nature of TV today.

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yeah, not that this is bold as my previous post but you can take any of the first four seasons and on any given day, I'd agree with you that each of those was the best season even though that's obviously not possible.  Except season 5.  Everybody agrees it stunk, and not in one of those, 'The worst season of the Wire is better than the best season of blank'  It was just a shitty tv show at that point.  The acting was the only thing helping that season f
It was like godfather 3. Well done but just sucked.

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2 is a shock when you watch it and most people don't love it at first but it is in fact the best season of The Wire.

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9 hours ago, Celery Man said:

2 is a shock when you watch it and most people don't love it at first but it is in fact the best season of The Wire.

It's almost like the city of Baltimore itself is the main character in the show and the death of Frank Sobotka was symbolic of something larger than the death of just one man. 

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On May 14, 2020 at 12:38 AM, Ignatius said:

2,4,1,3.........................5

The newspaper arc should have been a minor story throughout the entire series rather than a featured theme of its own during a single season.  And the McNulty thing in 5 (no spoiler) was just stupid...

Not sure how you can rate 4 and 5 so far apart since they were a package deal and in a lot of ways are seasons 4a and 4b. The politics, the rise of Marlo, the stories of Michael, Naymond, and Dukie...those story arcs were written to cover two seasons. 

I finished rewatching season 4 about a week ago. I still stand by my rankings. Season 4, while great, was a little lacking in terms of cops doing investigative stuff, solving puzzles and riddles. McNulty didn't play a huge role. It was sort of a transitional season that ended with them finally getting the band back together. McNulty comes home and is ready to do some real police work again. They couldn't have ended the series after season 4. Season 3 seemed more like it was written with the potential of it being the final season in mind. 

It was kind of frustrating that it took them so long to discover the bodies that Chris and Snoop were hiding in the vacants. And no sooner than they did, the season was over. I think there were too many unresolved story lines to rate 4 over any of the earlier seasons. 

I've started into season 5 again, I'm four episodes in. I posted some thoughts about the final season a few pages back. Again, we can criticize the choices they made in the direction of the story, but I don't think we can criticize the storytelling. There are still some of the best scenes in the series in season 5 and a lot of great acting and dialog. (The season kicks off with a quote from Bunk: "The bigger the lie, the more they believe." That's aged pretty well.) And it's still superb from a technical standpoint. Bitch if you want about McNulty betraying his ideals as a "real police." But there was a noir effect when they showed him turning to the dark side. The craftsmanship of the production was still first rate. 

It kind of sucks that they jumped so far ahead in season 5. The season is a short ten episodes long and we never saw how McNulty fall off the wagon. Bubbles says that he's 15 months clean so we know we've skipped ahead over a year. I'd like to see some of what happened during that time. 

 

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I want to see a McNulty prequel.  Running and gunning in the Western and banging whores.  

Work in Barksdale and Bells origin stories with some Omar origin and you've got a few seasons at least.

 

I don't think Simon would do it because it doesn't really explore urban decay, but for pure entertainment it's a winner.

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1 hour ago, threesheets said:

Don't forget McNulty's wife's tits.

For more of them watch Rescue Me 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/27/2020 at 7:36 PM, mr. sunshine said:

Season 2 is Ziggy and the Russians right? Basically disconnected from the other seasons. Like Halloween 3 Season of the Witch

If you're saying that Halloween 3 was the best of the Halloween movies, then yes, Season 2 of The Wire was basically like Halloween 3.  I'd say that season 5 was closer to Halloween 3.

Edited by TriStone

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3 hours ago, threesheets said:

Don't forget McNulty's wife's tits.

I wanted to see Beadie's. She's sneaky hot. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, threesheets said:

Don't forget McNulty's wife's tits.

Nicky’s gf’s tits are the best tits in the series and rank in the annals of HBO tits history along with Alexandra Daddario (a first ballot HOFer), Ros (Game of Thrones) and Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria). 

Edited by Yev Kassem

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3 hours ago, Yev Kassem said:

Nicky’s gf’s tits are the best tits in the series and rank in the annals of HBO tits history along with Alexandra Daddario (a first ballot HOFer), Ros (Game of Thrones) and Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria). 

I don't know any of those women or shows, but if they are in the same league as Nicky's GF, I'm interested. 

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35 minutes ago, Gil Bang said:

I don't know any of those women or shows, but if they are in the same league as Nicky's GF, I'm interested. 

Google is your friend in this situation. Trust me. 

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Yeah, Daddario might the GOAT, no bullshit.  And Nick's gf are indeed flawless.  I only gave props to the wife because we're talking about a McNulty prequel.  Hell, Jimmy might have banged Nick's gf on a random night in Baltimore though now that you mention it.  Dude gets around 😁

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I recently started a rewatch.  Such a good show.

One of the cool things I forgot about was the friendship between Bunk and McNulty.  Those guys know each other so well they can communicate with just a look.  Actors are great, writing top notch.  

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Yeah I didn't phrase that correctly.  More like a new appreciation of their friendship.  It's a major part of the show's appeal, which was not readily apparent on first viewing.

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1 hour ago, Mach 1 said:

Yeah I didn't phrase that correctly.  More like a new appreciation of their friendship.  It's a major part of the show's appeal, which was not readily apparent on first viewing.

I thought it was apparent in season 1 that McNulty was the main character and Bunk was his partner and best friend. I always thought a show featuring just those two buddy cops would've been enjoyable. Solving crimes together, getting drunk together, picking up women together, covering for each other after picking up women and burning your clothes because you were so drunk that you were worried about the smell of pussy on them? 

"Jimmy! JIMMY!!"

Bunk was awesome. Wendell Pierce seems to pretty much always play himself but he seems like a very likeable guy. I'd love to sit and have a beer with that dude. Believe it or not, he doesn't like cigars. 

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Season 5 has a lot of great quotable moments. 

Cutty: The world is bigger than that. At least that's what they tell me.

Dukie: Like, how do you get from here to the rest of the world?

Cutty: I wish I knew. 

(While It's Your Thing by the great Isley Brothers plays in the background.)

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"You're disappointed. Shit, this ain't about the bug, is it? This is you trying to make the past be everything, mean everything. You don't even want to think about the here and now. Sorry, Bubs. Shame ain't worth as much as you think. Let it go."

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Posted (edited)

Don't know what I did wrong there, sorry.  Oh well, click it on it. It's worth it

 

Edited by threesheets

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On 5/18/2020 at 3:00 PM, Yev Kassem said:

Nicky’s gf’s tits are the best tits in the series and rank in the annals of HBO tits history along with Alexandra Daddario (a first ballot HOFer), Ros (Game of Thrones) and Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria). 

Tyene Sand FTW

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"I got the shotgun; you got the briefcase.  It's all in 'the game,' tho, right?"

Epic, just an epic scene. 

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So, I remember watching the show to its conclusion. I remember some small parts (Mike becoming Omar, Marlo stepping out onto the streets from his business meeting, etc). But I don't even remember anything leading up to that. Maybe I didn't watch it from the beginning, maybe I only picked it up in S5. 

I wasn't much of a TV critic back then anyways. I'm not a critic now, but I can appreciate great TV. And this entire series is great TV. 

I understand the connection with S2, but I felt that it was a little bit 'forced'. I like that they circled back to Vondas and the Greek and made it a point of emphasis in S5, but it felt like they were trying to force the storyline of Frank/Nicky/Frank's shithead kid whose name I'm blanking on, onto us. I appreciate more of a storyline arc. Feed us a bit of Frank in S1, make him personable or something so that we are a bit more invested in his storyline. 

Do not get me wrong. This series is as close to perfect as anything I have ever watched. I'm just slightly arguing against S2 being the greatest. I think my favorite was prob S4. And I'm not sure I understand why people are shitting on S5. I was not compelled by the newsroom, either. And I kind of hated McNulty. But Gus was a great character, and I gained a lot of appreciation and respect for characters that I had lost some for (Kima, Bunk).  And Daniels and Carver cemented themselves as bad asses. I liked S5. I was just pissed that a little piss ant like Kenard got Omar. Omar is still the series GOAT. 

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I think after sitting on it for a bit, Pryzbylewski was my favorite character, especially once he became a teacher.

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Posted (edited)

Two Cash scenes is impressive. Walk the Line is a Top 3 cold open for me, along with “The Desk” and Snoop at the hardware store.

 

 

Edited by TheStoicPaisano

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Posted (edited)

 

"Ain't no shame in holding on to grief. As long as you make room for other things, too." - Reginald

Edited by Davis Lane
Bubbles

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20 hours ago, Davis Lane said:

 

"Ain't no shame in holding on to grief. As long as you make room for other things, too." - Reginald

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Lester may be my favorite character. “Natural police”
 

 

Edited by Homercles

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On 5/23/2020 at 11:33 AM, Pam Cummings said:

Gonna fire up season 2 this weekend. Asshole that he is, i enjoy me some Rawls.

“These are for you McNulty” (which is apparently the scene the Rawls actor auditioned with). There’s a short video on YouTube about who auditioned for who, it seems quite a few auditioned for other roles but it settled in nicely. 
 

 

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On May 23, 2020 at 12:33 PM, Pam Cummings said:

Gonna fire up season 2 this weekend. Asshole that he is, i enjoy me some Rawls.

"You know what the trouble is, Brucey? We used to make shit in this country, build shit. Now we just put our hand in the next guy's pocket."

Frank Sobotka rules. 

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"You know what the trouble is, Brucey? We used to make shit in this country, build shit. Now we just put our hand in the next guy's pocket."
Frank Sobotka rules. 
I think an underlying theme that sneaks under the radar with Season 2 is how the old establishment was getting quickly pushed out by people way more extreme and serious than the old guard could handle. Sobotka was a perfect representation of that.

Your good, old fashioned union that Frank Sobotka knew had a little light graft, a little bribery and gaming the system, the occasional load of alcohol or container of VCRs go missing, that's just part of life on the docks. But now it's outright corruption, hard drugs, and living, breathing human beings in those containers and basically overnight Frank is in over his head and has no idea how to handle it. He thought he had a chance at the end and he paid for it.

That theme was a little bit ahead of its time in regards to the rising sophistication and global integration of crime. Frank's situation, turns out, was just the tip of the iceberg of what was coming in our world. People like Frank were quickly becoming analog players in a digital world.

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