Toledo Talk

HBO's - The Wire (2002-2008)

Just curious if there are any other “The Wire” fans out there. I do not watch much television but there was an HBO series created by David Simon that a friend turned me on to that ran for 5 seasons. I was able to check out all 5 Wire seasons through the Lucas County Library. I thought it was an amazing and insightful show especially for a person like myself who has not had as much experience with local politics and institutions and desired to broaden my understanding. It does not point fingers at any party or affiliation but does broaden the scope of the complexities of the issues. The reason I bring this up on Toledo Talk is because the show somehow seems to translate into so many of the postings and problems that I read on Toledo Talk. Though the show received very little fanfare or publicity while it aired it has since become a very highly praised show dealing with the American City. I nearly shut it off entirely after the first few episodes because of the street language and a few other issues but tried to keep an open mind. By the third or 4th episode I was hooked.

The paragraphs below are copied from Wikipedia

Each season of The Wire focuses on a different facet of the city of Baltimore. They are, in chronological order: the illegal drug trade, the seaport system, the city government and bureaucracy, the school system, and the print news media. The large cast consists mainly of character actors who are little known for their other roles. Simon has said that despite its presentation as a crime drama, the show is "really about the American city, and about how we live together. It's about how institutions have an effect on individuals. Whether one is a cop, a longshoreman, a drug dealer, a politician, a judge or a lawyer, all are ultimately compromised and must contend with whatever institution they are committed to.”

The writers strove to create a realistic vision of an American city based on their own experiences. Central to this aim is the creation of truthful characters. Simon has stated that most of them are composites of real-life Baltimore figures.

Wiki Link -

created by Danneskjold on Mar 20, 2011 at 10:33:52 pm     Entertainment     Comments: 17

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Comments ... #

Greatest show on television, although season 2 was a little slow. Simon used one of my favorite production techniques which led both to the show's outstanding reviews as well as its sometimes low ratings. It gives a great deal of insight not just into the flaws of law enforcement policy but city governance, race and ethnicity, US labor and modernization, education, and local media.

I actually use a couple quotes from the show rather frequently.

I think Fox (?) has the potential to do the same thing for Detroit via Detroit 187 if they would just expand a bit.

posted by taliesin52 on Mar 20, 2011 at 11:56:22 pm     #  

ABC has Detroit 1-8-7. Unless they are stupid and decide not to renew for next season. (In which case I hope another cable network picks up.)

I haven't seen The Wire (we don't get HBO), but have heard good reviews.

posted by mom2 on Mar 21, 2011 at 03:11:19 am     #  

Always through the "The Wire" was a little over rated and lived on shock value of the F word. The story structure was original and bold for the most part, but it felt turned up to 11 all the time and it burned me out.

"The Shield" or even "The Sopranos" was a better show.

posted by dbw8906 on Mar 21, 2011 at 05:43:47 am     #  

The Wire is the best show ever made. I have watched it end to end at least 3 times, and I always find something new, something that I missed, or a small clue that forebode a future happening, even if it was 2 or 3 seasons away. It still makes me sad that they didn't continue with more seasons: a season strictly about the court system would have been excellent.

I have loaned out my copies of the 5 seasons to several friends, and they all watched them very quickly, so it certainly has a "hooking" aspect to it. I once watched 10 episodes in one day when I was sick last year. And, Season 2 was my favorite!

posted by JohnnyMac on Mar 21, 2011 at 06:39:04 am     #  

Is The Wire on Hulu Plus or Netflix?

posted by toledolen_ on Mar 21, 2011 at 01:06:42 pm     #  

Just searched and it doesn't seem so. I'll wait. :)

posted by toledolen_ on Mar 21, 2011 at 01:08:09 pm     #  

Afraid not Toledoen_, although I think Netflix will send you the DVDs. I know when I was a member of Blockbuster's DVD by mail program they had it. Also the Toledo Public Library has it.

posted by taliesin52 on Mar 21, 2011 at 01:10:54 pm     #  

Thanks. We turned off the DVD's option on Netflix a while ago but I do have a library card!

posted by toledolen_ on Mar 21, 2011 at 01:13:34 pm     #  

I hope we get more shows like this. One can never have enough shooting, murder, drug dealing, prison, lying, cheating, stealing, prostitution, graphic lesbian/straight sex, hustling and low-riding on television---if you ask me. Great entertainment for the entire family, too.

posted by Wulf on Mar 21, 2011 at 01:26:45 pm     #  

Are there any "OZ" fans here? It is the "gold standard" of this sort of shit people are turned on by.

posted by Wulf on Mar 21, 2011 at 01:29:24 pm     #  

The language and violence was one of the first things in the show that almost made me turn it off but I realized I had a friend who is in the corrections department that speaks just like the characters so I recognized that the show was not concerned about viewer comfort as it was about showing the people and institutions as they were honestly experienced by the shows creators in real life. Also, this show was created by a former Homicide detective and police reporter in Baltimore and many of the characters and story-lines are drawn from factual people and occurrences.

One thing that became apparent to me early on was the Wire is very efficient which required a great deal from me as the viewer - it is not dumbed down like many shows. Often I would have to read episode summaries on line after the show to make sure I was following. There are so many subtle nuances that characters convey that you can't look away from the screen. There were shows I enjoyed before the Wire but I also noticed that more conflict resolution and story depth occur in two shows of the Wire then are often dragged out in a season of many other shows, including my previous favorites.

Why throw this out on Toledo Talk?... Mostly I have a tendency toward conservatism. This show was brought to me by a person who is far more liberal. There are many personalities on Toledo Talk and widely varying political sentiments. As one who has a tendency to be very apathetic to the plight of those in poverty I had to face some stark realizations. But no person who watches the Wire will likely go away feeling comfortable but it does strangely reward the viewer. That's my plug at least.

posted by Danneskjold on Mar 21, 2011 at 02:30:50 pm     #  

"One can never have enough shooting, murder, drug dealing, prison, lying, cheating, stealing, prostitution, graphic lesbian/straight sex, hustling and low-riding on television---if you ask me."

Sounds like the typical Fox 36 weekly line-up...

posted by SensorG on Mar 21, 2011 at 02:45:12 pm     #   1 person liked this

The Shield was supposed to end after the first season, and if it had ended when it was supposed to, the entire series would be better. I watched The Shield and enjoyed it; ditto with The Sopranos which ended well.

I watched The Wire and enjoyed it. One of my favorite scenes involved two gang members buying a nail gun. Another good scene was when Omar testified in court. The Wire had a lot of unknowns playing fairly major roles, which is something I'd like to see a lot more of.

Out of the three, I think The Sopranos was a better show. Not much better, but better.

posted by madjack on Mar 21, 2011 at 04:56:00 pm     #  

Loved the show.

posted by barfly on Mar 21, 2011 at 05:17:07 pm     #  

I watched Oz but didn't care for it much. The characters, even the C.O.s were wholly unlikable and frankly I just got tired of seeing naked men.

After having watched Deadwood, Sopranos, and Oz, I can't say I even noticed the vulgar language of The Wire. Frankly I spent more time early on trying to translate a lot of what the dealers/gang members were saying

posted by taliesin52 on Mar 21, 2011 at 06:16:07 pm     #  

@Wulf "shooting, murdering...etc.", most other shows that contain crime and violence are exploitative, The Wire is anything but. It's the most realistic portrayal of an American city in any medium. Hauntingly good.

posted by TJRubicon on Mar 21, 2011 at 10:20:44 pm     #  

I concur with those who believe 'Wire' might be---or was---the best show ever to appear on the small screen.

It had multiple layers and angles and there are those who don't have the patience---I was going to say 'intelligence' but that wouldn't be quite fair---to sit through all the episodes and plots for the full effect.

It was a character-driven show with the best dialogue ever written to match said characters.

I loved 'Sopranos' and 'Shield'; 'Wire' was even better.

This is just a taste---

posted by McCaskey on Mar 21, 2011 at 10:45:42 pm     #