Tag Archives: The Wire

The TeeVee is a strange and bizarre phenomenon


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All things must converge

For someone who says she doesn’t watch TV, I sure do get excited about a lot of TV programs lately. MW, Butler, Terri and I have been rewatching The Wire and are well into the second season. Tonight we’ll watch a few episodes before Treme debuts.

As Jaffner says, “This is the first time that I know of that Simon has stepped out of his comfort zone – Baltimore – so I’m curious to see his vision translated to New Orleans.”

One thing’s for sure, he is sticking to his comfort zone in terms of actors, which include Wendell Pierce/Bunk, who is from New Orleans, Clarke Peters/Lester, and Melissa Leo from Homicide — plus John Goodman. I can only hope that Omar (did you know the scar is real?) shows up in season 2.

Watching the previews, I can’t help but see the reflections as well from

Treme will certainly give me a whole other perspective on “creole” and the blend of African and French cultures, after taking a  few nights away from All Souls’ Rising to watch When the Levees Broke,  thanks to Jaffner’s repeated recommendation. I can see the reflections of Spike Lee’s documentary in the Treme previews.

Here’s another preview >

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Things that made me happy today

First, click this and listen while you’re reading. I want to marry that bari!

Never heard this before tonight, and I bet I’ve listed to it 20 times in the past three hours. Jazz band is starting for Warren, and he says this is what they’re going to play.

> Which brings me to Thing No. 2. We have a new musical instrument in the house. Jazz bands don’t need tubas, and Warren says he can’t read music for bass guitar well enough. So he’s taking up trombone, and got to bring one home. Yay!

> A guy who graduated high school with me is considering running for president.

> Being on the campus of beautiful Agnes Scott College on a perfect fall day.

> Pimento cheese with tomato, grilled on wheat, at Sun in My Belly. Way too many calories. And worth every one of them.

> NPR makes a list of 50 most important records of the decade. And I am  not a fan of any of the ones on the browse tabs. Except potentially Jay-Z, when I learn to love rap. Which will be any day now.

Actually, this one makes me unhappy. On the whole list of 50, I think we only own two. And those are among Warren’s collection. Well, there are a few things here I’ve been wanting to explore. (Damn, I’m old.)

> Back to the happy . . . This great piece on being a font freak in the New York Times, which led me to look up studies I’ve heard about that show sans serif is as readable as serif in this age of online reading, which led me to this beautifully designed post.

> More news: The Civility Project. What the world truly needs now.
“How can we make sure that civility is interesting?”

> And finally, I’m easing back into my obsession with The Wire. Omar posted this on his FB page .  . . “I got the shotgun. You got the briefcase. It’s all in the game though, right?”

“The man must have his code.”


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Happy St. Pogues Day (Body of an American)

That sublime moment that combines the world’s best TV show with the world’s best Irish punk. Click the photo to hear Body of an American. 


The actual McNulty wake scene is here >    

When cops die on The Wire, they get The Pogues:

The earlier wake with Body of an American at the end > 

And some Sally MacLennane (Far Away!) to puke by > 

And, if there are any fans out there of both the Pogues and The Wire, here’s an interesting bit > 

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The best thing that ever flickered on a screen

wireboxThe Wire complete boxed set  is out this month. This is the best thing I’ve ever seen on TV. In fact, I can’t even think of a movie I like better.

NPR interviewed creator David Simon today for his selection of videos worth watching.  Snarky Steve Inskeep bellylaughed when Simon said he was concerned with middle management, but I don’t think Simon intended to be funny. That’s what makes The Wire, and even Homicide, so compelling: Simon’s concern with institutions and how individuals make moral and ethical choices as part of them. In The Wire he shows how everyone operates within an institution of some sort and how these institutions are similar and unchanging.

beautiful Omar

beautiful Omar: a strict moral code of his own

The series is great for many more reasons than this. But here’s an outline of the Baltimore institutions you get to inhabit during the five seasons of The Wire. The first season shows you the drug organization in a way you never thought of, plus a police department very reminiscent of Homicide, only more overtly political. The second season adds the labor unions at the port. The third brings in “real” politics with city hall — all the while, mind you, keeping up with plots and characters from the past season. The fourth shows you the institution of public schools, embroiled in politics for its money and making aching choices in the face of testing and curriculum bureaucracy.

on the corner

on the corner

in the hall

in the hall

The kids on the corner are now the children in the classroom, and they will break your heart. Just when you think it can’t get any more real, the fifth and final season brings in the Baltimore Sun, struggling with one of the issues that keeps me awake at night: if we don’t want to pay for professionals trained with journalistic ethics to collect our news, what will we get for information?

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