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The Wire

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I find it slightly irritating that people seem to thing that, because the show is called "The Wire", it absolutely must centre around that. Really, how much variation could you get from wiretap after wiretap? Seasons 3 & 4 have less and less of it, but this show is about the characters. With Season 4 they weren't scared to spend a great deal of time centring on the election, school and boxing storylines, and - whilst at first I found it a bit off-putting - I now find it all the more enjoyable for it. Less McNulty makes me cry a bit, though.

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Yes.

Season 2 was the best. It made me laugh so much. Rawls' gay banter was hilarious - it's a shame his character went a bit serious.

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David Simon or somebody said they had to pitch it as a cop show initially to get it off the ground, which probably explains 'The Wire' title and the initial marketing of it as a police investigation programme with exciting wiretapping.

It's really turned into a much broader montage of an American city. And better for it.

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Speaking of McNulty, I found his 'fake' british accent in season 2 hilarious.

Indeed! Especially as his American accent is fucking shocking as well. It was a nice touch :lol:

Season 4 has been a bit odd tbh. I'm near the end and it's a tad disappointing because nothing much seems to have happened. The new characters that have been introduced either suck major ass or have zero charisma (with the exception of one or two).

Having said that, more Prez = B)

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I think season 4 is the best yet. No mean feat when you consider how much new stuff it introduces.

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David Simon or somebody said they had to pitch it as a cop show initially to get it off the ground, which probably explains 'The Wire' title and the initial marketing of it as a police investigation programme with exciting wiretapping.

It's really turned into a much broader montage of an American city. And better for it.

The Wire is a double entendre of sorts. It specifically refers to the electronic surveillance methods used by the police to try to undermine and take apart a criminal organization. In the first season, it would have been a drug organization, the second season, it was a smuggling organization, and so forth, but that’s more the literal reason for the title. The title really refers to almost an imaginary but inviolate boundary between the two Americas, between the functional, post-industrial economy that is minting new millionaires every day and creating a viable environment for a portion of the country, and the other America that is being consigned to a permanent underclass, and this show is really about the vagaries and excesses of unencumbered capitalism and what that has wrought at the millennium and where the country is and where it is going, and it is suggestive that we are going to a much more divided and brutish place, and I think we are, and that really reflects the politics of the people making the show. It really is a show about the other America in a lot of ways, and so The Wire really does refer to almost a boundary or a fence or the idea of people walking on a high wire and falling to either side. It really is sort of a symbolic argument or symbolic of the argument we are trying to make.
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How come it ends on season 5? Was that the plan all along? Why can't it go on forever?
SIMON: In the writer’s room, there is always a sense of discovery about what a character’s outcome should be or how they should get from point A to point Z. There is always a sense of discovery on the part of writers there, but the unique thing about the show is that we have known since, I think, the end of season one what the five, if we got five seasons, we had to beg for a couple of them, but if we got five seasons, we had five distinct themes we wanted to address. We knew what they were, we knew in order what they would be, we knew where we needed to place our characters at the beginning and the end of those themes, and we know how the show is supposed to end after this last season that we are about to start production on. That’s been a struggle to stay on that path because it’s always a struggle to follow a plan as opposed to just winging it, but it’s also been quite liberating because the nature of most TV shows, when they are designed as entertainment and not designed as specific stories about things, is that if a TV show finds success with one character or one romance or one theme, their job, the show owner’s job in Hollywood is to stay on that and keep repeating those moments that please viewers and to keep the show running for as long as possible, and our sense of what we wanted to achieve has been pretty rigorous. And we have said to ourselves, just because people love Omar or love Stringer Bell, the characters serve story, and we are really intent on executing the story that we conceived in the beginning. So it’s never about sort of appeasing the viewership and keeping the show afloat for as long as possible. When you try to keep a show afloat for as long as possible, you are eventually dishing out a thin gruel of old moments that you have already played for all they’re worth and just trying to sustain your audience. And we have sort of written without awareness of the audience.

ANDELMAN: So as you go into a fifth season, you are going into this planning on this being the final season.

SIMON: Yes. Absolutely.

Bob: There is no nine extra episodes to come at the end?

SIMON: No. I don’t think we have the… Again, we are not the money machine that some other shows are, and I don’t expect HBO to come begging us for another season, but actually, this last season, the fourth season, the one that dealt with the educational theme, the audience grew quite dramatically. Something happened. I would guess it was just people finally caught up to the show. They had the DVDs out there in advance, all seasons in advance of season four, and that was the first time they managed that, and I think the on-demand function, which became incredibly popular on HBO, helped people find the show, so it was sort of available in more platforms, and something clicked.

ANDELMAN: How has it kept going where Rome and Carnival and even Deadwood now have fallen before it?

SIMON: We’re cheaper.

ANDELMAN: That’s pretty straight-forward.

SIMON: We film in Baltimore, and that’s certainly part of it. Rome cost more than $100 million to make. You have the same number of hours of The Wire for maybe a third of the cost, and we are always under budget. We always turn a little bit of money back in almost as a good faith gesture. That earns you a certain amount of contempt in Hollywood, where everybody always goes over budget, but I learned television production, and Nina Noble, the other producer, she learned it at the foot of Tom Fontana and Jim Federdine. These are guys who played by the same rules. Tom said to me a long time ago, it’s not your money, so going over should not be a point of pride, and we have always been responsible, and by keeping the show’s budget in some proportion, I think it made it easier for them to say, “Okay, these guys, they say they can execute for x amount of dollars, let’s give them another season.” Practical economy of Hollywood.

The big thematic heavy lifting was done in Seasons 1 and 2, when Ed and I were figuring out what we wanted to do: how many seasons, etc. We came up with five. We talked about many things; nothing seems substantial enough for a Season 6. When other writers came onto the show, George Pelecanos, Richard Price, we would throw it at them: This is what we came up with, five things. If there's anything else you have, any ideas for extending the series, say so. There was no general agreement on anything but the five. When I've done my begging with HBO—and begging it is—it has been on behalf of those five seasons. To be honest, one writer came up with another idea, and a really good one, but we realized that it would require so much research on our part that we couldn't do the work quickly enough to keep it in this dramatic world.

Slate: It wasn't this idea of examining the influx of Hispanics in Baltimore, was it?

Simon: Yes! It was.

Slate: David Mills mentioned it in the Slate "TV Club" on The Wire. I thought it was a fabulous idea.

Simon: Until now, Baltimore had no Hispanic population. And all of a sudden now we do—a large Central American population. Here's this remarkable new trend and it's also relevant to the life of the city. Two things preclude me to keep me from jumping up and down with HBO: One, I just did everything I could for Season 5; two, none of us is fluent in Spanish; none of us is intimately connected to the lives of Hispanics in Baltimore. None of us could do it with the degree of verisimilitude we demand of ourselves. We don't have that world in our pocket. By time we did the research, The Wire would have been off for two years. It's one thing when we take six months off to learn how the port works; we're still in the world we know. But I did no decent journalism about East Baltimore, where most Central Americans are living. It would be great if we could. When I saw the idea in print, I think I reacted as you did: Oh shit! Someone came up with Season 6! For all I know, David Mills mentioned it to me a few years ago, but it didn't have the import then that it does today. Someone should get to that story. It's very typical of Baltimore in that we would be late on that. Until now, Baltimore had never had this kind of population—it was only 2, 3 percent Hispanic.

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Have you been keeping articles on The Wire to youself, Graham? Post link pls!

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Have you been keeping articles on The Wire to youself, Graham? Post link pls!

There are loads. I think I got these quotes from

url

url

url

But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

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Speaking of McNulty, I found his 'fake' british accent in season 2 hilarious.

I've only seen up to the end of season 2 so far (thank-you to everyone for not posting spoilers) and I wonder whether they almost cast for voice sometimes. Bunk's in particular is great, but Omar and Lester are terrific too.

Are those interview links safe for me to read if I've not seen series 3 or 4?

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I've only seen up to the end of season 2 so far (thank-you to everyone for not posting spoilers) and I wonder whether they almost cast for voice sometimes. Bunk's in particular is great, but Omar and Lester are terrific too.

Are those interview links safe for me to read if I've not seen series 3 or 4?

No

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Gotta spread some love butter from myself for this amazing piece of TV. Just started S02 and am totally intoxicated by it.

Go Omar.

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Rewatching season 4 for my commute as it was on my computer. 

 

So fucking good. 

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Sorry for bring this thread back up but I just finished watching Season 3. This is the most intelligent, thrilling and best written show I've ever seen (nex to Breaking Bad maybe). Can't wait to continue watching the fourth season. 

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Just as with Breaking Bad...4 is the best season and 5 falls off a cliff of absurdity. Good times and bad ahead.

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15 hours ago, makkuwata said:

Just as with Breaking Bad...4 is the best season and 5 falls off a cliff of absurdity. Good times and bad ahead.

 

Rewatching Breaking Bad now, and holy fuck; I thought the fourth season was full of cringe-worthy bits, including Jesse being depressed in a go-kart, Jesse playing a violent video game in an eerily-lit room, and Skylar throwing coins about. Walt was always brilliant, but rewatching the show has changed my view of it quite a lot.

 

I don't think The Wire falls off a cliff necessarily but the fourth season is probably the peak of all television ever. 

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Five is the weakest, but still better than anything else that I've seen on TV, apart from the other 4 seasons of The Wire obviously.

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Well with all this fake news stuff flying around and the rise of Fox and Breitbart etc.....looks like Season 5 wasn't as far fetched as we initially thought.

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And finished it! Season 5 was quite disappointing though :( Thought the first three seasons were best.

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Season 2 was my favourite for the investigation, absolutely gripping. Initially I thought of it as a stand alone season until saw it, themes or charterers, being references in later seasons and it all felt inter-connected. Season 4 was my favourite for characters, I loved those kids and it really set up for the ending of 5.

 

Spoiler

At the end of season 5 the inevitability of life for each of the kids, they replacing the adults we watched in the prior seasons, the realisation that was life is so cheap because everyone is already dead if that is what you take from being void of life.

 

A Hispanic season sounds like it would be really good but as they said it would have required a ton of research and I respect that they weren't prepared to it badly. It is a good idea for a new show though.

 

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Spoiler

 

I admire the creators' courage to let prominent characters such as D or Stringer Bell die. This is not something you see often in TV series or movies. For a moment I was actually sad to see Stringer go as I had hoped for a white collar crime themed season with him on top of the drug empire. 

 

And yes, seeing the hard life for those boys was heartbreaking. When Michael led Bug to this aunt... oh boy :/

 

 

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On 8/6/2017 at 19:39, alex3d said:

Sorry for bring this thread back up but I just finished watching Season 3. This is the most intelligent, thrilling and best written show I've ever seen (nex to Breaking Bad maybe). Can't wait to continue watching the fourth season. 

I watched this for the first time in July... I think I got through all 5 seasons in about 2 weeks - I can't remember the last time a show gripped me so quickly, but I thoroughly enjoyed all of it, even season 5, and was genuinely disappointed when it was over. Even season 2 wasn't so bad, despite a few friends telling me it was a bit different to the others.

 

I can't recommend it enough to anyone who's on the fence about watching it. I shouldn't have waited this long.

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