Culture, Featured, Media

“The Wire” – Virgin vs Veteran – Part One

I’ve never seen “The Wire”, much to the astonishment of basically everyone I know.  “It’s the best show there ever was,” they’d say.  “Dude!  What the hell?” they’d say.  “OMFGWTF?!?!”  “You need to get on that!” etc.

I’ve been biding my time until it hit the instant queue in Netflix, but as it turns out a friend of mine (who we’ll call “Craig” to protect his anonymity) has the box set and let me borrow it.  This is the beginning of a running dialogue between myself and Kyle, who has seen “The Wire” and has been telling me I need to watch it.  We’ve started watching the series from the beginning, so every few episodes we’ll chime in with a dialogue which will highlight the first-time viewer’s reaction as well as the retort from a seasoned “Wire” veteran.

SKEEZE

The series  started slow for me, as Kyle said it would.  He said it took him about six episodes to really get into it.  We’ve now finished five episode in season one and I’m hooked, so I guess I’m coming in just under “the wire”.  Ha!  In the beginning I found it difficult to keep everyone apart, and am actually still struggling a bit, as there are so many characters thrown at you right from the start.  It’s starting to settle in a bit as the main players are emerging from the field, but I’m still working on names.  Thus far the one thing I remember best is the great scene where the two young brothers are learning to play chess (NSFW language):

What I found after seeing this scene (the first night we started watching) was that I spent the next day at the office looking for any excuse I could find to use that line.  I ended up finding three instances into which I could slip the “king stays a king” bit, and was pretty proud of myself.

KYLE

I finished The Wire when it was playing on HBO and I still remember the last episode vividly.  It took a solid month or so to get over the fact that the show was OVER. *sigh*  I digress; I knew going into this re-viewing of the entire box set would bring a whole bunch of new items to light.  I had been waiting for quite a while to re-watch in order to pick up all of the nuances that I missed the first time as I was too focused on seeing who would get killed next.  Instead of watching it as a “cool show where some badass gangsters killed each other regularly, I can now focus on the social, political, and economic issues which the series highlights.  From the corrupt political hierarchy, to the projects, all the way to the way society breeds the violence that is nearly inescapable without the right guidance for the lower class in B-More.  Lets Go.  The chess scene that Skeeze mentioned above could be my favorite of the entire series; these kids are hungry to learn, it just needs to be done in terms they understand.  A few other great spots about the first 5 or so episodes; McNulty’s arrogance, The fat cop who seems like an A-hole but  really has a heart, Avon’s constant fear of being got, and the emerging hierarchy in not only the gangs, but in the police dept.  Skeeze, anything strike you about Omar?

SKEEZE

Like most things in today’s internet/social/fast-paced world, you can’t help but hear about things from shows you have never seen.  When it came to “The Wire” I had always heard the name Omar, and that was usually followed by “is a bad motherf***er”.  Even in Episode 5, when asked what Omar’s last name is Bubbles (who is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters) replies, “Just Omar.  He don’t need no last name.”  What I did NOT know about Omar was that the man who I assume is the baddest mofo in the show also has a penchant for man ass.  Sure didn’t see that one coming!  I think it’s an interesting move for the show, especially when you consider how old it is.  All I do know, though, is that gay or not his main bitch just got ganked and sprawled out on a busted up pickup for all the world to see and Omar is NOT happy about it.

KYLE

To be honest this is one of the best and most least expected thing that the writers could have done.   Seriously, name me another show that has the front of pure gangster and then pulls this sh*t out of their back pocket in the first season?!?!?!  Gay/Straight/white/Black/man/woman; it doesn’t matter.  Omar is as good of a character as you can get and the fact he now only has vengeance on his mind is the best possible way to keep people hooked.  The unexpected worked perfectly here.  Give me your over/under on how many people Omar will kill next episode and secondly who would you take in this war; Avon or Omar?

SKEEZE

I agree.  To have Omar walk in and shoot a dude in the kneecaps at the end of one episode and then turn around and have him on the steps stroking and kissing his little man’s head was a stroke of genius.  As far as how many people Omar kills in the next episode, I’m going to say at least three get capped.  Then again, with the unexpected nature of his character so far, it could be no one…but I don’t see that happening.  As for the war between him and Avon, I think Omar will ultimately win out but I’m not convinced he’ll actually get to Avon at this point.  Avon has proven himself to be a crafty dude.  He’s all business and seems to hide pretty well.  Then again, Omar seems to know everything so maybe he just walks in there Terminator-style and rains bullets at Orlando’s.  Speaking of Orlando’s, that has got to be the worst gentleman’s club I’ve ever seen.  Through five episodes I’ve been in there a half dozen time and saw one topless lady, and even that wasn’t impressive.  Hell, the lesbian cop spent more time naked than the girls at the club.

Five episode in and I have to say I’m really beginning to enjoy this. I’m looking forward to the bloodshed and the social commentary. Until next time, remember this: the Queen ain’t no bitch. She got all the moves.