The Lank Tank

Why so serious?

Wire Fever

Posted by lanktank on February 12, 2009

It’s happened again, it’s struck me with force and by all means, I’ve welcomed it. I’ve found a T.V. show that I’m addicted to. Every once in a while, you’ll be watching your regular, run of the mill, get you through the week T.V. shows when out of the blue you find a gem. Absolute gold and you thank your lucky stars you’ve stumbled onto it. The first show I ever felt that way about was roughly 13 years ago when I turned on the television and Seinfeld was on.

Since then, there have been a few; to name some: The West Wing, 24, The Office (UK), Arrested Development, The Office (USA), Flight of the Conchords and now my latest obsession is The Wire.

To all the Wire fans out there, please forgive me. I know the show came to an end entirely last year after five seasons in the States, and here I am talking about it as if it’s brand new, but I was a little slow on this one. And I know how excruciating it is to have to listen to someone telling everyone about this “great show” THEY discovered and it’s so good bla bla bla, when you’ve already been watching it for 3 years. I felt the same way with The Office. I watched it the day they released it in South Africa, only for it to finally catch on 2 years later on the fourth re-running of it or something ridiculous. You’d overhear people discussing it, like it’s the new kid on the block, yet they still haven’t managed to figure out all the names of the characters properly: “Ya, I love that Ted guy, he should totally get with that blonde chick.” All I’m busy thinking is, “breath, breath, breath!”

So, as I said, I apologise for coming late to the party but now that I’ve joined the band wagon, let me just say: FECK me! What a sick and solid show! Man oh man, I can’t even describe to you how good it is but I’ll give it a go any way: Great cast, superb writing, real writing, directing is phenomenal and it’s layered! In fact, this show is so unique and so in a league of its own that I’m prepared to say, if you don’t like it; it’s probably because you’re not very bright. And that’s ok, I’m sure there’s a re-run of Step by Step or Will & Grace on one of the other channels for you.

I just don’t understand why good shows always come to an end abruptly whereas the cheesy, predictable gobshite shows go on and on and on until the end of time. Okay, I do know why but it’s just not fair.

And don’t just take my word for it, a recent post from UC Berkeley Film Studies advertised a class they were having on The Wire. See what they had to say about it below:

“What so great about The Wire?
Discerning critics and avid fans have agreed that the five-season run
of Ed Burns and David Simon’s The Wire was “the best TV show ever
broadcast in America”–not the most popular but the best. The 60 hours
that comprise this episodic series have been aptly been compared to
Dickens, Balzac, Dreiser and Greek Tragedy. These comparisons attempt
to get at the richly textured complexity of the work, its depth, its
bleak tapestry of an American city and its diverse social
stratifications. Yet none of these comparisons quite nails what it is
that made this the most compelling “show” on TV and better than many
of the best movies. This class will explore these comparisons, analyze
episodes from the first, third, fourth and fifth seasons and try to
discover what was and is so great about The Wire. We will screen as
much of the series as we can during our mandatory screening sessions
and approach it through the following lenses: the other writing of
David Simon, including his journalism, an exemplary Greek Tragedy,
Dickens’ Bleak House and/or parts of Balzac’s Human Comedy. We will
also consider the formal tradition of episodic television.”

I’m just saying, that show is tight.

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