"KvltSite is our collective scribbling pad, a way to talk about all the things that we get off on – music, movies, games, books, comics. We do so in the hope that when others come along and hear of our tastes and recommendations, they would realise how awesome we are. Hints of our old irreverence surface ever so often, with witty dissections of popular trends and cultural fads, in the form of textual harassment as well as crafty comics. In short, we're in the business of writing about anything we think is cool."
I know some of you guys have seen this so it deserves a topic of it's own.
I just finished watching the first season and while it's pretty good on the whole, I'll hesitate before calling it one of the best things I've ever seen. I liked that they tried to achieve a balance between the two sides of the story (the cops and the drug mafia) and built up the characters on both sides evenly. After a loose first episode, which comes across as a slightly more intelligent version of CSI, things get better really fast. It's novelistic in a way, that it goes deep into the machinery of both the drug organizations and the police force and remains engaging and absorbing for all that thanks to some terrific writing.
But there were certain things I just couldn't get behind. I thought the handling of the Omar character was quite terrible, coming off as a sort of hero just because he's gay and is after Avon Barksdale's life. And D' Angelo. I am not convinced that someone who murders people and has grown up in a family building it's business on the basis of drugs and violence would have conscience pricks about people getting killed. I doubt he would ever have had that kind of education. Also, the conclusion was too pat with very cute epilogues given to all the characters, especially the "grown up" gangsta kids.
Anyway, these caveats aside, it got me hooked enough to check out atleast one more season. Let's see how it goes.
Saw it with subtitles, it was like reading a novel. I liked it because it is a realistic tale that captures the decay of America's old cities after the flight of white populations to suburbs.
Baltimore is a city that's slowly dying, many of the old houses are boarded up and vacant, tall towers once built by ambitious architects are now fortresses for drug gangs, the city has a large population of addicts, organised drug crews turf out the city's streets, and fighting this impossible war, you have demoralised cops who would rather chase stats than do any meaningful police work.
The Wire is what the cops call having someone on surveillance, and the narrative quality of the show stays faithful to that premise. There are many sub-stories that unravel over the five seasons, and not many attempts are made to sugar coat it. A lot of it resonates as truth, and that's probably because one of the scriptwriters actually was a cop once. There aren't any slumdog millionaire happy endings here.
The Wire is like an angry critique of the social effects of the war on drugs - it studies corruption in institutions - politics, police, unions, drug mafias, schools, and news media. It shows how every institution is undone and undermined, despite well intentioned people or policies.
I think it actually picks up in the second season. They include another faction, the dock workers, and splice them into the main story thread neatly. Then there's a bunch of subplots like the cargo container of dead European women, how Stringer Bell tries to shift the power balance away from Avon while he's in the clink, the new shadowy antagonist 'The Greek' in addition to the reassembling of the original surveillance outfit.
One of my friends thought that the show was based in the 90s because of the equipment they used, but it turns out Baltimore is actually like that, with little budget for any of this sort of operation.
Incidentally I just got done with the 4th season today. Will start with the 5th season in a few minutes. I think this is a fantastic show showing the decline and inherent decay of a huge American city. Like Chacko mentioned it gets better in the 2nd season with The Greek and Frank Sobotka. Though for me the dude who plays the senior Sobotka wasn't really convincing. But it's still my favourite seeason.
Even I have apprehensions about the writing of the Omar character. The dude stills walks free in the 4th season and none of the Co-op members have dared to put a bounty on his head. And I thought Marlo Stanfield was ruthless. Still a great show inspite a few flaws. Nothing like my favourite series of all-time The Sopranos though. :P
Done with the entire series a few days back. Feelin' nostalgic now since I've seen it to the end and it gets even more lovely towards the end.
Anyway thought you guys might want to know this: The deacon who's seen offering advice to Bunny Colvin is a former Baltimore drug kingpin who David Simon and Ed Burns helped catch in the mid 80s. Now he's reformed and shit.