Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Wire

Charlie Brooker wasn't too far from the truth when he called the HBO television series ,'The Wire' the best TV show since the invention of the Radio'. The series seems to have gained fame in Britain through word-of-mouth testimonials, to become a cult viewing programme. From the opening sequence with music by Tom Waits wailing 'Way down in the hole', i was soon hooked. David Simon's screenplay of urban decay, drug gang warfare and the failure of the American Dream is compulsory viewing. Just when one imagines to have grasped what's going on, the moral issues, individual strengths and weaknesses, politics and power cloud and complicate the action. All the pieces matter! Somehow through the long winter, thanks to my mate Nigel delivering each successive fix of a box set , my winter was re-located to the streets of Baltimore where the POlice and drug lords play cat-and-mouse games with each other, often with deadly consequences. It is violent, shockingly so at times, but the makers of The Wire never use violence gratuitously, to show the reality of how some issues are resolved on the streets of Baltimore.

One could discuss this thought-provoking programme at length, but the Guardian publication of blog discussions upon the Series encapsulates much of the main concerns and interests of the viewer. Having watched all 5 series a marathon 60 hours twice this winter one must pay some kind of homage to the very real, very flawed and at times, complex characters in the Series.

U.S. President Barak Obama confessed The Wire to be his favourite TV programme and the Robin Hood-like free-wheeling gangster Omar Little to be his favourite character in the show. I really got a shock when the maverick Omar was 'capped' by a baby-faced hopper.

Bunk, Officer Macnulty, Kima, Herc and Carver, I miss you all, you were so good I shall probably watch you all over again next winter! You feel me bro?
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