Monday, December 22, 2008

The Wire and Authenticity

It’s not everyday that cnn.com puts something up that I feel should be shared on the site, but this has been a day of small surprises, the most exciting being my coworker bringing her puppy to the office. Thrilling, but you know what’s more exciting than puppies? Another two discs of The Wire arriving via Netflix today. I’ve recently started watching the HBO show with my girlfriend, and from what I had heard it’s supposed to be one of the best shows ever, yadda yadda yadda. I mostly agree, because it’s a pretty damn good show, but something still sickens me about how this country has such an intense interest in criminals of all colors, shapes, and sizes. But that’s a deeper conversation that demands more energy than I’m willing to put into this post. (Shhhh, I’m at work.) So instead I’ll just provide a link to an article in which CNN writer and West Baltimore native, John Blake, provides a brief critique of the show and examines its authenticity. All you Wire junkies should check it out.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/TV/12/22/the.wire/index.html

6 comments:

Tundragirl said...

Shhhh, I'm working the week of XMas also. Thanks so much for the CNN article. I enjoyed it. I think the Wire was an excellent television show, but remember it is TV aka entertainment, not to be confused with real life and/or a documentary program.

Zombie said...

I just took a big plunge on this one... I'm looking forward to starting it. After hearing people rave about it for months (especially Suckerman) it's about time I start. My only exposure to the series thus far is catching the last five minutes of every episode before the last season's episodes of Deadwood aired on HBO.

Onyx said...

You're right, the wire is entertainment, but it strikes me as a show that cares about being real as much as it cares about being entertaining. I think the cnn writer mostly confirms that the show does both very well. His knock on the show, if you can call it that, was its sense of hopelessness. From a screenwriter's standpoint, the sense of hopelessness doesn't seem to be a result of poor research, but rather the manipulation of material to make it more engaging, more entertaining. Hopelessness is a big theme in the show, and its moments of hope are divvied out in a very calculated way. But now I'm just rambling on about how much I like the show. Thanks for the comment Tundragirl.

king suckerman said...

The Wire is entertainment, most definitely. But at its best, it's entertainment with a social conscious and an eye for authenticity. The show never seems trite or contrived and both "sides" of the ongoing drug battle are presented as honestly as possible. I've never watched a show where the "bad guys" are as compelling and real as the "good guys," who are as flawed and genuine as you and I are. The show's humor and knack for dialogue is also something that gets lost amongst the heaps of praise. Bar none, the best show I've watched on television. It seems and feels so real because the people creating the show made reality a priority. Does that mean it's 100 percent accurate? No. That's not possible. But The Wire is pretty darn close.

king suckerman said...

social conscience, I mean. Not "conscious." Sue me. I'm on vacation.

Joe said...

Zombie, you're in for a treat. The 4th season of The Wire, for my money, is the best thing that's ever aired on television.