Jump to content
IFR

The Wire rewatch (spoilers for all seasons)

Recommended Posts

I agree that the main problem with Season 5 is that it was rushed, not the serial killer plotline (which was meant to be ridiculous and satiric). I also agree that Nick Sobotka is a much weaker actor than Ziggy, though Ziggy is an intentionally annoying character and can be hard to watch.

I like season 2 and respect what they're doing with it and see how it's necessary for the show as a whole, but on this recent rewatch I could see why it gets a more negative reception. The end of the season is great. But the beginning of the season is a real slog and very slow paced, even by Wire standards. You've not only shifted to an entirely new cast of characters, but they're also generally less interesting characters than the ones who you've left behind - only Frank can really compare to the Barksdale crew.

It's still a good season, of course - nothing in the Wire is every really bad. And even though the early episodes are slow, they also have McNulty scouring sea charts to get the murders into Baltimore's jurisdiction, which is hilarious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, RumHam said:

I think the actor playing Ziggy is  quite good at playing an unlikeable but complex character. It's his cousin who was the weak link acting wise. 

Ironic that Nick went on to become a major TV star and Ziggy did not.

The fact that Nicky Sobotka is now Master Chief occasionally makes my brain want to reboot itself.

Quote

And even though the early episodes are slow, they also have McNulty scouring sea charts to get the murders into Baltimore's jurisdiction, which is hilarious.

The shot of Rawls' reaction to McNulty getting the murders onto his stats might just be hands-down the best shot of the entire series. He doesn't even get angry because the enormity of the fuck-up is too gigantic to immediately register, and by the time it does McNulty has wisely left the building.

Edited by Werthead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

S2 is my favourite, but I'm from an old shipbuilding town where every fucker lost their jobs and the drastic poverty that ensued makes it the most real for me. 

BuT I understand why 1,3 and 4 are more entertaining for others. For me it goes 4>1>3. 

Edited by BigFatCoward

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Ironic that Nick went on to become a major TV star and Ziggy did not.

I think part of that may have been due to Ransone struggling with addiction. He was in Generation Kill and had a small role in Treme. He also had major roles in the Sinister movies and the terrible second half of IT. 

I seem to remember reading that Simon wanted him for something else, maybe a larger role in Treme but he wasn't doing well at the time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was so strange to see Ransone in Treme, acting like a reasonable human being and looking handsome.

As for Treme, I watched it this summer after I finished my Wire rewatch. It's a good show but very different, and, imo, nowhere near the Wire's level: slice of life in post-Katrina New Orleans, mainly following musicians. If you like New Orleans jazz, I think you might appreciate it more than I did. The actors who play Bunk and Lester are great in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, Treme is Simon's least accessible show I think. They drop you in the middle of a world AFTER the big interesting thing has happened and it's not totally clear why you should care at first, at least to me. Slice of life is a great way to describe it. It is a very rewarding show though if you can power through long enough to understand and appreciate the characters and their relationships. 

Hey speaking of Ziggy, when he's in the box with Landsman and requests the correction that the greek guy was "begging" for his life, how did you guys read that? Initially I took it as remorse, but on re-watches decided that it was, like the shooting, him trying desperately to puff himself up into something he never was. Ransone is really great in that scene, and then later when his father visits. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, RumHam said:

Hey speaking of Ziggy, when he's in the box with Landsman and requests the correction that the greek guy was "begging" for his life, how did you guys read that? Initially I took it as remorse, but on re-watches decided that it was, like the shooting, him trying desperately to puff himself up into something he never was. Ransone is really great in that scene, and then later when his father visits. 

I definitely think it was remorse.  He didn't have any puffery left at that point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

I definitely think it was remorse.  He didn't have any puffery left at that point.

it's been a few years, but as I recall it was that he wanted the begging in "the official record of what happened" that made me think at that point he was still clinging to the idea that "I may have fucked up my life, but at least I proved I'm not a joke."

Then later when his dad visits he has been in lock up and had his ass kicked the puffery is gone and he realizes he's just fucked. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Caligula_K3 said:

following musicians.

But that's what's always held New Orleans together, what makes New Orleans the unique city it is, unlike any other city in the US, the cultural and ethnic traditions out of which they and -- not only jazz -- emerged -- since the days of Congo Square before the War of 1812.  Nobody's ever tried to tell this story, which is as much the story of the United States as corrupt politicians and gangsters -- of which I challenge anyone to show that NO doesn't have at least as many as B'more every did!   I've never understood the hostility of the viewing public to centering this kind of story telling for a television series.  We do it in books and they win prizes too. :dunno:  Where in the world do people think musics come from?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Wire is my all-time favorite TV show too.  I’ve watched it three times in the past eight years.  I started another rewatch a few months ago but it was too familiar, so I put it off for another year or two.

S5 felt the weakest for me.  S2 was initially jarring to step away from so many great characters, but then I realized how it could deepen and broaden the whole story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Zorral said:

But that's what's always held New Orleans together, what makes New Orleans the unique city it is, unlike any other city in the US, the cultural and ethnic traditions out of which they and -- not only jazz -- emerged -- since the days of Congo Square before the War of 1812.  Nobody's ever tried to tell this story, which is as much the story of the United States as corrupt politicians and gangsters -- of which I challenge anyone to show that NO doesn't have at least as many as B'more every did!   I've never understood the hostility of the viewing public to centering this kind of story telling for a television series.  We do it in books and they win prizes too. :dunno:  Where in the world do people think musics come from?

I didn't say it was a bad thing the show was following musicians... I usually liked the music stuff in Treme (and especially the Indians stuff) better than the police and lawyer civil rights stuff. There were lots of scenes that were just musicians and bands playing shows, and people who like New Orleans jazz more than I do would appreciate that more.

Edited by Caligula_K3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Werthead said:

As for best season, it's a hard one. Season 1 has the tightest focus of the five, introduces the characters and probably has the most tension and the most actual focus on the criminal case of the moment. It also has two of the funniest scenes on the show (CSI: Cursathon and the sofa-moving scene). 

*Desk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Caligula_K3 said:

It's still a good season, of course - nothing in the Wire is every really bad. And even though the early episodes are slow, they also have McNulty scouring sea charts to get the murders into Baltimore's jurisdiction, which is hilarious.

There's an awesome shot where McNulty is walking away from the homicide unit, walks by and nods at Rawls, and Rawls stops and turns around with a "what the hell is he doing here?" look on his face that is pretty great.

Although one of the funniest scenes in the show for me is when McNulty, Lester and Bunk are at the bar cracking up at how McNulty got the bodies assigned to Rawls.

 

Edited by WarGalley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I should start rewatching this myself.  I remember seeing a few previews for The Wire during it's original run, and being not interested at all.  Eventually the buzz caught up, and I binged it.

If we're being totally honest, the thing I remember most vividly about season 2 is Ziggy's cousin's girlfriend's endowments.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Zorral said:

 I've never understood the hostility of the viewing public to centering this kind of story telling for a television series. 

 

I think that's coz that hostility doesn't exist. People don't like Treme coz it's insanely slow in terms of plot - I mean one of its key themes is that it was near-impossible to make anything happen in post-Katrina New Orleans, so a certain lassitude was almost baked into the premise. That makes it tougher to sell, not because it's about music. It worked for you and some others, cool, but it's not some great cultural mystery that it didn't get the adulation the Wire did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think season 2 is fantastic, and the slow burn doesn't bother me at all considering how well written it is. And absolutely, hysterically funny. The entire plot kicks off with Valchek having a petty squabble with the stevedores over something as silly as a new window for a church rectory. It's something so utterly trivial to war over, and yet it blows up into this beast that results in Sobotka losing his family, his union - pretty much everything. And then ultimately his life. Very dark and very funny.

And McNulty and Rawls has already been mentioned. McNulty casually fucking with Rawls by dumping all those Jane Does on him, with Lestor and Bunk laughing along with him, until Rawls jukes to the side and sticks them with the case. It's pure, hilarious pettiness all around, especially when considering the tragedy of the crime itself.

I also really like that this season deals with a reappearing theme of the show: in addition to the destructive force of political myopia, casual corruption within law enforcement can have a hugely damaging effect. The FBI mole ensures that The Greek gets away, while the low-level guys like Sobotka are given the hammer.

I really liked the dock workers too. It has been mentioned that Chris Bauer acted his ass off, and that is without question. Watching Frank constantly on the edge, doing whatever he can to somehow rejuvenate the docks, and then seeing the pressure build as everything collapses...he did a beautiful job. Even Ziggy was fun. Watching this self-destructive jester who everyone is contemptuous of, who is aware of it but seems unable to change who he is, go from one fuck up to another, until he really annihilates his prospects, was fantastic.

And the show still manages to maintain an interesting story for the Barksdale crew. The beginning of an alliance between Prop Joe and Stringer, the beginnings of a fracture in the relationship of Avon and Stringer, the murder of Dee....

Season 2 is great!

Edited by IFR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Season 2 had some great moments, like Omar's time testifying in court, but to me was a step down from season 1. I know it sets up the rest of the series, by introducing the Greeks and Prop Joe's connection with them, but certain elements just didn't click with me. Brother Mouzone feels like such a wasted character and I know they bring him back for a few episodes in season 3, but he really doesn't do much in that season either, aside from getting revenge on a certain someone at the very end. I think they introduce Bunny in season 2 as well, who aside from Lester and Bunk, is my favorite cop character; but sadly do nothing with him. Season 3 Bunny, now that guy is awesome.

Edited by sifth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Season 2 is below 1, 3, and 4, because it feels so separate, and a lot of the characters don't have a ton to do.  But it's still an excellent season. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...