The Wire Retrospective

One of my more frivolous New Year’s resolution this year was to rewatch all five seasons of The Wire. Five days before the year ends, and I’ve finally done it! Yay! Some random observations for now:

Marlo Stanfield and his crew is a poor sustitute for the complexity, nuance, poignancy and epic tragedy of Barksdale-Bell. There’s some flashes of interesting storyline in the relationship between Marl0 and Prop Joe, but that was over too soon (thanks a lot Cheese!) I’m ashamed to admit that I smiled a little when Slim Charles shot Cheese.

I’m still not a fan of McNulty. I don’t reallyunderstand why the show chooses to focus on one of the least interesting characters as the main POV for the police side. I would have picked Season 4 as my favorite anyway just because of the awesomeness of Randy, Namond, Michael and Duquan, but the fact that McNulty was pretty much sidelined as a beat cop for most of that season is more than just icing on the cake.

I appreciate the fact that despite David Simon’s strongly held belief about the uselessness and tragedy of the Drug War, the show did not turn a blind eye on the problems that might occur if drugs are legalized. When Major Colvin quasi-legalized drugs in certain areas of his District in Season 3 (nicknamed “Hamsterdam), it’s not shown as a trouble-free utopia.

Stringer Bell and Robert’s Rule of Order – recipe for unintended hilarity. Taking minutes of meeting of a criminal conspiracy!

It didn’t bother me that much the first time round, but wow, Carcetti is so darn whiny. I’ll still wake up white in a city that’s not, it’s the Governor’s fault for playing politics with school funding (yeah, you’re challenging him for his job, what did you expect, free puppies and ponies?), and on and on and on. He’s probably worse than Mayor Royce ever was, Royce was pretty open about his sliminess, Carcetti gave people hope and then yanked them away, all the while making excuses and talking about how bad he feels.

I don’t believe Scott Templeton would have been stupid and reckless enough to invent a quote from a high-ranking politician. Of all the crimes against journalism Templeton committed, (inventing a story about a wheelchair-bound African American boy who can’t get into a baseball game, pretending that a non-existent “serial killer” phoned him up and threatened him, making up a story about saving a homeless guy from being dragged into a van by the “serial killer” etc etc), that is the one I find most implausible. A serial liar and fabricator like Templeton must have a good instinct for self-preservation and sucking up to the powerful; he would have known better than to cross the City Council president.


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