Thursday, October 04, 2007

Open your ears/this is a story/it isn't clear/is he a fool or is he a god?

I know that I'm about four years late on this bandwagon, but, wow, The Wire is an amazing show. I've just finished the first two discs of Season 1 (thank you, Netflix), and I'm absolutely hooked. I'll be the first to admit that I've got a not-so-secret obsession with cop shows (Law & Order, Homicide), but that being said, I wasn't fully prepared for the sheer awesomeness of what is probably HBO's most underappreciated show.*

The Wire has a lot in common with Homicide: Life on the Street, of which I have previously extolled the virtues. David Simon, creator of The Wire, wrote a nonfiction book, also called Homicide, which served as the basis for the television series. On The Wire, he shows all the gritty things network TV wouldn't allow (and lets cops talk like actual cops, dropping all the f-bombs they need) and sets up complex, intricate, season-long story arcs that would have a broadcast network executive shaking in his or her suit. As if that weren't bad enough, the show dares to show the good and bad sides of the cops and the dealers. It's not a show to watch passively while you make dinner or do some writing. It demands your attention and frankly, it deserves it. I've only seen the first half of the season, but I know the rest of it won't disappoint me.

Season 5 of The Wire starts in January, which means that you have plenty of time to catch up on the first four seasons before then. And if you need any more convincing other than you're really missing one of the best shows on TV right now, well... British actor Dominic West, who plays Detective Jimmy McNulty, is pretty hot, even if he hasn't quite achieved Hugh Laurie-level command of the accent.   

As for postseason baseball, well it is a cruel, cruel mistress. Or master, I guess, since I like boys. The Yankees got nothing from their pitching staff and failed to capitalize on all the walks that Sabathia gave up, and my non-Yankee love** Chase Utley of the Phillies is... uh... 2 for 9 and the Phillies are down two games to the Rockies heading to Colorado. Ouch. But the Yankees are far from done. On the bright side, Magic, the new Bruce Springsteen album, is really quite excellent. 

*This is certainly not true in terms of critical reception, but it certainly doesn't have the general-TV-watching-public recognition of The Sopranos or Entourage.  Also, it could share this title with Flight of the Conchords, but I'm not entirely certain how that show's been received in the real world.

**The boys in the blue pinstripes come first, but I'll admit to checking out a few on the side.

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