Monday, October 11, 2010

The Wire, Tugging a Pleasurable Cord

Another review assignment for varsity. This time, instead of a movie, I had to review the first episode of 'The Wire'. So what do you think?

'I remember thinking this couldn’t be much more than another court/police show; unavoidable evidentiary treasure hunts, flamboyant interrogations and high octane shoot outs. Not even a professional T.V. reviewer’s praise could shake me from the prospect of another CSI or Law and Order clone. I was sure I would predict every catchy cliché or obvious plot twist the actors would make.

It’s safe to assume I’m no fan of the fishbowl deep characters, unnecessarily witty phrases and the half baked plots of police dramas and reality shows that litter our T.V. stations. They always portray an almost omniscient and an unrealistically well equipped, behaved and organised police force. Who, without fault or with heroic fault in hand; brave the usual primordial savage or intelligent sociopath of a villain. I had to watch it, so I sucked it up and did so.

Credits rolling, the show was over, my (of what I liked to believe) justifiably negative mindset crumbling after what I had just seen. So its plot isn’t entirely original, and yes, it revolves around a murder and trial case within the harsh and economically depressed city of Baltimore. When I consider its story is contingently based upon real events; I can’t really take the plot as fault of its own. Even the characters sometimes witty lines (something I usually hurl fruit at) are original and designed to make you think. Maintaining character over plot is no easy feat. In ‘The Wire’, the over exaggerated usual is dropped and the distinction between what defined a criminal and someone of the law remained completely vacant. The criminals in charge were calm, organised and collected intellectuals; while the cops were far less capable of controlling their emotions and actions, they were a fractioned and mostly squabbling ineffective unit. While not entirely intentional (it being a realist show), the cops represented the barely organised and barely holding on allied forces of World War II; the homicide and drug departments each representing America and Britain. The criminal’s are similar in respect to Germany, maintaining efficiency and fear ridden conscripts. Ironic since one of the characters stated it isn’t a war they’re fighting.
Everything else aside, the cinematic techniques made brilliant use of light and camera angle. They aren’t obvious but subtle and make all the difference. It’s beautifully directed and I’ll gladly admit (to which I don’t do very often at all) I was catastrophically wrong about ‘The Wire’. I give the two thumbs up, and wholly recommend this series as a must watch.' gr33nFIEND


Lord Phail said...


Shit bricks how good this show is.

Post a Comment