Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

‘The Wire’ just as good as ever

The wonder of DVDs is having your favorite shows on call, and for the past few weeks I’ve been re-watching “The Wire.”

David Simon and Ed Burns’s classic series about the decline of the city hasn’t lost its edge, and I watched the first two episodes of season two, “Ebb Tide” and “Collateral Damage,” with a feeling that I was seeing them in a new light.

The first season of “The Wire” is great, the second is awesome, the third is amazing, the fourth redefines episodic TV and the fifth hit so close to home for me.

Watching Jimmy McNulty at work, “giving a fuck when it’s not (his) turn,” you can’t help but admire the artistry in the second season. His main goal is to screw over Col. Rawls and Sgt. Landsman by dumping 13 (actually, with the “jumper from the bridge” who turns out to be one of the girls from the boat, 14) stone whodunits on the homicide squad, and Cole, the detective forced to take the case, is just “collateral damage.”

But then Landsman takes the 14 dead girls from Cole (played by the late Robert Colesberry, one of the producers) and drops them in the laps of his “two best detectives,” the Bunk and Lester Freamon. Their moans of dismay as they realize that McNulty has indirectly screwed them makes me joyful. Seeing those two actors in “Treme” has really inspired me to re-watch their work in “The Wire.” I keep waiting for Bunk to whip out his “’bone” but that never happens in “The Wire.”

It’s true, they don’t make TV like that anymore. What’s left are police procedurals and medical procedurals and law procedurals that all begin to sound alike. “The Wire” has a unique voice and I bet 100 years from now, people will be watching the show and learning about life in the early 2000s.

If you’ve watched “The Wire” too much, here’s my Top 10 List of Things That Indicate You’re a Real “Wire” Fan.

10. You call school district headquarters “the Puzzle Palace.”

9. You call refueling your car, getting money out of the bank, etc., “the re-up.”

8. You say “Indeed, it do” when you want to indicate that something is true.

7. You describe being in trouble as “fucked up the ass with a coconut.”

6. You refer to younger co-workers as “hoppers.”

5. When you go to the cafeteria at work, you call it “taking a re-up from the tower stash.”

4. You call women “shorty.”

3. You talk in circles in your car or on the phone.

2. Whenever you hear “The Farmer in the Dell,” you’re tempted to look for a guy in a trenchcoat carrying a big shotgun, and want to shout, “Omar comin’!”

And the No. 1 way that you indicate you’re a fan of “The Wire”:

  1. When you see a police car, you’re tempted to shout, “5-0! Shut it down!”

If my reader(s) have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them. Meanwhile, episode three of season two is calling to me.


July 1, 2010 - Posted by | Living in the modern age, Vinny's Book Club | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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