Keepin the devil down in the hole.
I decided to take the time this summer to watch The Wire. Yes. I’m way late. Too late to be really relevant, but I had read so much about how great the series was that I had to take the time to at least watch the first season. And of course, I have to give you my opinion about it, because that’s what the Internet is for…giving opinions.
I’ve seen The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire and I’m currently watching Better Call Saul, Narcos (Netflix) and Stranger Things (Netflix). That’s my street cred for series. I watched a bit of Hell on Wheels, until it got kinda spotty and I watched the first season of The Walking Dead before I decided the graphic novel was better. Mad Men and Dexter never really appealed to me.
But back to The Wire. The first season was truly incredible. I couldn’t take my eyes off the rotted hulk of Baltimore City. The atmosphere was one of true hopelessness, what with the boarded up town/row houses, the addicts shuffling along looking for their next fix and the young age of the drug dealers that ruled the roost from the orange sofa. There was also a bit of nostaligia, what with the payphones and the fashions. I must say, the cinematography was pretty amazing. The camera shot and angles made Baltimore real.
The characters. Well, first off, I did not care for McNulty, nor did he grow on me during the course of the series. I saw him as a kinda gross, self serving drunk whose American accent kept slipping. I found him annoying and not the anti-hero he was set up to be. I guess he kind of redeemed himself by the end of the series, but his screen time made my eyes roll.
Bunk. I liked Bunk. Yeah, he was kind a scum bag, the way he cheated on his wife, but he was fun and dressed well. Kima was okay, just kinda meh to me. The drama with her home life rang trite to me, just another job vs. family conflict that anyone with as much television, movie and book experience as me has seen before. Making her a tough lesbian didn’t do that much to interested me in her character. She was fun, tho, I will say that.
Lester and his dollhouse furniture. Really liked him. “Thirteen years….and four months.” He was a character that grew on you. I’d venture to say he was one of my favorites of the police officers.
On the crooked side we had Stringer and Avon Barksdale. Idris did a good job as Stringer, effective in making me dislike him and how he was manipulating Avon. I never cared for the actor playing Avon, so the character was kinda meh to me.
But Omar. Wow. I had only seen Michael K. Williams as Chalky White in Boardwalk Empire and loved him in that. Now, I see why he was cast. He is a great actor and not hard on the eyes either. The Farmer in the Dell will never sound the same to me again.
Anyhoo, the first season hooked me, the second season was pretty good, the third season was rather meh, the fourth season was….okay and I lost patience with the fifth season. The fake serial killer and the newspaper drama just seemed contrived and ridiculous. The side stories were still good, but the main arc flopped for me in the fifth season.
Honorable Mention to Snoop Pearson. Her scene in the fake Home Depot had me cracking up.
There you go. My take on The Wire. Once summer ends, I can go back to my movie watching and reviewing. Keep watching this spot!