WIREd In: The Inaugural Post
Adam Dietz is a regular contributor to Filmophilia. He’s graciously agreed to chronicle his The Wire-watching experiences here on Gentlemen, Behold!!
I don’t feel well, blogosphere. Things are not right in the world of your (noble, handsome, humble) narrator.
My current state of dissatisfaction has two contributing factors that have brought me to where I currently am. The first involves a weekend of debauchery in the windiest of cities. CHI-town (as the locals call it) has me in a state of zombie like benevolence. The establishments I frequented last evening ate me alive, and I was all too happy to supply the required utensils. It’s been the kind of day where you realize that you’ve put your shirt on inside out, but the prospect of turning it the right seems too exhausting to consider.
The second, and far more relevant, cause of my grief is not an ailment, per se, but is an experience that I have deprived myself from. As a (self-proclaimed) television aficionado, I take pride in my knowledge of current and past television shows and genuinely enjoy the experience of watching episodes, seasons, and entire series of shows. With all of this said, I am missing an important piece to the popular culture puzzle. It seems that through inexplicable circumstances, I have not tasted the sweet dish that is/was HBO’s The Wire. How is it possible that a man with such love for television and popular culture hasn’t seen a show of such high acclaim? I have decided to right this wrong and cure this injustice. Tonight and for many days and nights to follow, I will be watching this former premium cable darling and writing posts that will detail my journey.
These sporadic Wire related posts will most likely come every four or five episodes (roughly the same amount of days) and will follow no linear structure whatsoever. I will not so much be reviewing the shows, but more sharing the experience of “binging” on a show referred to by many as one the greatest to ever air. I will talk about the quality of characters, strengths and weaknesses of the show, random observations, where are they now segments, and anything else that may strike me as noteworthy. I will critique in a non-critical sense, that’s not to say that if I find something foolish or disagree with a production choice that I will not air my grievance, but to do episode by episode reviews of a show that has been off the air for five years would probably not bring much of a readership. The Wire is this show that has been reviewed and dissected by thousands before me and I suspect that if I were to hold the show under a critical microscope then these posts would come out very mundane.
Fortunately, I have managed to avoid any/all spoilers relating to The Wire these past ten years. This will aid my experience and add to the authenticity of the experience. Many other shows in the past (Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Sopranos) that I have watched years after their initial release, I have had too much background information coming in. With The Wire, this will not be an issue as I only know three things about the show:
1) There is a character named Omar who some people seem to like.
2) It takes place in Baltimore.
3) A man named David Simon created the show and has since created another HBO show called Treme.
That’s it. I am coming into The Wire with as close to no knowledge on it as is possible and this is for the better. I am fairly certain that I had seen the final Sopranos scene in the diner several times before I had even been introduced to Tony. With twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms it is nearly impossible to avoid such “spoilers’ but The Wire, because it was on HBO and never featured any A-list Hollywood players, it seems to have flown under the radar during its initial run. It has since gained a following by way of On Demand syndication, the release of season DVD sets and word of mouth. I’m not going to call it a “cult classic” because it had its devout followers during its initial airing, but is certainly more highly revered now then it was from 2002-2008.
The Wire has five seasons and spans 60 episodes each running about an hour in length. Due to the current state of my life (I am not very busy) I believe it possible for me to watch the entire by the first week of May. It equals out to about an episode per day. A lot of this, of course, is dependent on availability and my schedule.
If you have not seen The Wire then I encourage you to join me on this journey. I look forward to taking in this renowned show. If you have any suggestions for the column or anything that you would like to see me discuss then do not hesitate to let me know. This is going to be a very loosely structured column, so things are subject to change. I would like to open up the Wire conversation by encouraging viewer mail. Send your thoughts, questions, and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe they’ll find themselves in an upcoming post. No spoilers please!
Thanks for reading ladies and gents. For the first time since my college graduation, I’ve got a deadline to meet. I’ll be posting again in a couple of days and hopefully by that point I will know who this mysterious Omar character is and find out why everyone seems to think so highly of him.
A special thanks to Joe Stando for allowing me to use his blog as a platform. Read his Sandwich reviews while you’re perusing the site, they are a delight.