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July 31, 2014

The Wire

Clark Johnson to direct students' short film

by Kristin Sample, posted May 14th 2008 3:27PM
Clark Johnson
The Wire actor Clark Johnson is going to direct a short film about "masculinity and youth" written by nine New York City students. The film, called Misunderstood, was written by students of the High School of Graphic Communication Arts who won a contest held by Scenarios USA. The group of students consists of juniors and seniors, seven girls and two boys. Clark Johnson was on the committee that chose the winner of the contest. He will begin filming this month with a volunteer crew. Misunderstood is going to premiere this winter and will be "distributed to high schools and community groups across the country, streamed on the Internet and air on TV." However, the article did not include what channel(s) would be airing the short film.

Johnson, who played Gus Haynes on The Wire, directed 2006's The Sentinel. His other directing credits include episodes of FX's The Sheild, one episode of The West Wing, and one episode of NYPD Blue among others.

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Generation Kill coming to HBO in July - VIDEO

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Apr 25th 2008 3:38PM

Alexander Skarsgrd and James Ransone in 'Generation Kill.'

I remember seeing a promo for Generation Kill very briefly after the series finale of The Wire, but at the time I didn't think much of it. Which is crazy, really, because the promo clearly states that it's a new mini-series from the creators of The Wire. I should have been psyched but for whatever reason, I sort of just forgot about it. It's not like it's new or anything. David Simon and Ed Burns have been signed on to the project since Februrary of 2007. With the July air-date approaching, I would imagine they've been working on it since The Wire wrapped back in September. I feel like we've heard nothing about it though. Then last week I was in a Barnes & Noble and I saw the book (same title) that the seven part mini-series is based on. I bought it and read it in about 2 days cover to cover. Holy crap was it good.

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The Wire's final season comes to DVD

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Apr 2nd 2008 5:32PM

The Wire - Season 5 DVDRight on the heels of The Wire 's brilliant series finale, HBO and Warner Home Video have announced the release of the fifth and final season on DVD. According to TV Shows on DVD, the set will be released on August 12th. Set to cost $59.99 (you know it'll be cheaper at Amazon), the four disc compilation will also include the two mini-docs that accompanied this season: Odyssey and The Last Word. As with past Wire DVD sets, there will also be a handful of audio commentaries.

That's really all there is to it. Past DVD sets for this show have always been lacking in the bonus features department, but I have to say that I'm surprised there's no mention of the superb prequels that were made before this season premiered. Also missing? The announcement of any sort of "complete" DVD set. Despite the fact that I own seasons 1 through 4 already, I'd still be willing to buy a complete series set with the hope that it would include at least a few additional extras.

It should also be noted that the box art shown at right is only temporary. However, it seems to correspond with the promotional art for season five, so I'd be surprised if it actually changed at all.

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David Simon says thanks to fans of The Wire

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Mar 11th 2008 2:00PM

David Simon with some cast members of The Wire.Here's another reason to love The Wire. David Simon, the show's executive producer and creator, actually took the time to pen a heartfelt thank you note to all the fans of the recently departed HBO series. The Wire's final episode aired this past Sunday night.

In the lengthy letter, Simon expresses his gratitude to fans for giving such a complicated and layered show a shot, especially considering the way it changed from season to season. He goes on to issue a challenge to all those fans. If there was one thing to be learned from The Wire, it's that there are far too many important issues flying under the radar. Simon writes, "The Wire is about the America we pay for and tolerate. Perhaps it is possible to pay for, and demand, something more." I couldn't agree more.

Despite the cult following the show developed, it never really captured the masses in terms of ratings. If a letter like that doesn't convince you to go back and take a look at The Wire, I'm not sure what will.

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The Wire: -30- (series finale)

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Mar 10th 2008 8:21AM

The Wire: -30- (series finale)
(S05E10) "...the life of kings." - H.L. Mencken

History repeats itself. Just like Daniels said, what's the point if one generation is too busy training the next how not to do the job? More than anything, that was the biggest message that came across in the series finale of The Wire. But there was one more too. You always hear the saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it," but over the course of five seasons and sixty episodes of The Wire, David Simon systematically explained why things that are broken don't seem to get fixed either. And now it's over.

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The Wire: Late Editions

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Mar 2nd 2008 10:02PM

Gbenga Akinnagbe as Chris Partlow on 'The Wire.'
(S05E09) "Deserve got nuthin' to do with it." - Snoop

One down and one to go. The penultimate episode. Talk about depressing. After next Sunday, there won't be any more new episodes of The Wire. I don't think I've been this bummed out about a show ending since Six Feet Under went off the air and let's be honest -- The Wire is way better than Six Feet Under, or anything else... ever. With the finale so close, this episode set a lot of stuff up as you'd expect. Everything that's been percolating all season started to boil over and now all that's left to find out is who gets burned and who doesn't. Quoting Stringer Bell's last words, "get on with it motherf*ckers!"

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HBO: no On-Demand premiere for Wire finale

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Feb 27th 2008 5:55PM

Dominic West as Jimmy McNulty on 'The Wire.'Interesting bit of news just came into TV Squad headquarters:

HBO has nixed the early On-Demand premiere of The Wire series finale. Set to bow on Sunday, March 9th from 9:00 to 10:35PM, that airing of the finale episode (entitled "-30-") will be its first.

This bucks the trend of debuting each new episode On-Demand the Monday before its Sunday premiere. HBO maintained this practice for all of season four and had been doing the same with season five, until now. This Sunday's new episode (it's the second to last one) has been On-Demand since Monday.

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HBO launches YouTube channel

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 26th 2008 11:43AM
EntourageIn recent weeks, TV Squad has reported that HBO has made episodes of their new drama series In Treatment available for free viewing online. Now, HBO has taken another step in expanding its brand and making some of their top shows available on the web. The cable channel has just inked a deal with YouTube to create an HBO channel online. The HBO/YouTube site is up and running -- you can click over there today and start catching up on HBO series.

The initial line up is impressive, starting with the Gabriel Byrne drama In Treatment. You can also catch up with Entourage episodes, which are always fun. There are more laughs with Flight of the Conchords, Extras, Stand Up Comedy, Def Comedy Jam, and Real Time With Bill Maher. On the dramatic front, there's The Wire. In addition, you can watch episodes of the award-winning magazine show Real Sports, as well as the Latino documentary series Habla y Habla.

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The Wire: Clarifications

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Feb 24th 2008 10:03PM

Michael K. Williams as Omar Little on 'The Wire.'
(S05E08) "A lie ain't a side of a story. It's just a lie." - Terry Hanning

Rest in peace Omar Little. Wow. Honestly, that's all I really want to talk about. So let's get everything else out of the way first. I'll come back to Omar. Where to start then? How about my weekly rant on Scott Templeton? When I first saw that quote at the head of the episode, I was wondering who the hell Terry Hanning was. I figured he must hold some weight if his quote was the one selected to grace the episode though. Then we saw him. The military vet that Scott "interviewed" under the bridge the day he went slumming with the homeless. I've been waiting all season for a moment like this.

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John Munch strikes again!

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Feb 19th 2008 9:07AM

Richard Belzer as Det. John MunchSo who saw this past Sunday's episode of The Wire? If you did, then you probably saw the quick little cameo by Richard Belzer as a bar patron near the end of the episode. After I watched it, one question came to mind: was he playing John Munch? According to this NPR article, he was. However, the basis for the logic was subtle and only a serious TV buff would have picked up on it. Not even I caught it and I'm a huge Wire and Homicide fan.

At one point during his conversation with the bartender (as Clark Johnson's character Gus Haynes walked by) Munch mentioned that he owned a bar once. Now if you recall, in the later seasons of Homicide, Munch did own a bar. Here's where it gets interesting though. Do you remember who he owned the bar with? Detective Meldrick Lewis... played by Clark Johnson. Crazy, huh?

Anyway, here's the real point of this post. With this appearance on The Wire, Belzer has now played Munch on eight different programs. That's insane! The only other characters to come close to that are Norm and Cliff (George Wendt and John Ratzenberger) from Cheers with seven distinct appearances each. Read on for more...

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The Wire: Took

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Feb 17th 2008 10:01PM

William F. Zorzi and Tom McCarthy
(S05E07) "They don't teach it in law school." - Pearlman

McNulty finally got his wish. After weeks of lies, Carcetti caved to the potential implications of a serial killer running amuck. For a man with aspirations to run for governor of Maryland, that can't happen. So Jimmy's case finally became a true red ball and the floodgates opened. Not even McNulty could have expected the insanity that came along with the department's complete cooperation. As it stands right now, McNulty can have anything or anyone he wants. While he and Lester had been feverishly awaiting this moment, it quickly turned into exactly what they didn't need.

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The Wire: The Dickensian Aspect

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Feb 10th 2008 10:02PM

Clarke Peters as Det. Lester Freamon in The Wire.
(S05E06) "If you have a problem with this, I understand completely." - Freamon

I thought the theme of this season was supposed to be newspapers and the media? Maybe it's just me, but more than any other season of The Wire, this one seems to be focusing the least on its stated theme. Other than the steady story of Scott "worst journalist ever" Templeton, we really don't see The Sun as much as I'd like. I love Gus Haynes. He's a great character and I hope that the final four episodes take a little more time to dig deeper into his role.

That being said, I realize this is the final season and I'm hugely appreciative that any and all plots (new and old) are being addressed. Most shows don't take the time to wrap everything up properly. Remember the final season of Alias? What a mess. I just think things could be a bit more evenly balanced.

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The Wire: React Quotes

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Feb 3rd 2008 10:01PM

Tom McCarthy as Scott Templeton on 'The Wire.'
(S05E05) "Just 'cause they're in the street doesn't mean that they lack opinions." - Haynes

I hate Scott Templeton. Or should I say M. Scott Templeton? Did you see that on the newspaper article he co-wrote with Alma? He added a pointless first initial to his name! Nowhere in his bio on The Wire website does it say anything about a first name that starts with M. This very well could be a pointless detail, but on this show those types of things rarely occur. It's just another reason that Templeton is a giant ass. He's really no better a man than McNulty when you consider what he's doing. The difference is that Scott has this air of arrogance about him, as if he feels as though he's meant for great things. Yeah right. He's lazy and has no work ethic whatsoever. And he wonders why Gus continually passes him over and gives him tons of grunt work. Imagine how Gus will look at him when the truth does come out. That being said, I loved how this episode played out. One bullshitter versus another. That always leads to a good story.

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The Wire: Transitions

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jan 27th 2008 10:30PM

Clarke Peters and Dominic West
(S05E04) "Buyer's market out there." - Templeton

Doing more with less. How many times have we heard that so far this season? You know what would be more accurate? Making something out of nothing. Just look at Colicchio in that opening scene. He saw Kenard with that brown bag and could have ignored it. For all he knew, it could have been a trout sandwich from one of those filthy carry-outs that everyone frequents. But Kenard was screwing around with Colicchio by filling that bag with leaves (and not some yellow-top vials) and Colicchio still hasn't figured out the simple fact that Michael and his hoppers are going to be back out there slinging again the next day. So why bother? Making something out of nothing is all that seems to be getting those Western officers through the day. Something tells me that a cop who's content with his job isn't going to be getting into any fist-fights with civilians.

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The Wire: Not For Attribution

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jan 21st 2008 10:44AM

Method Man (Cheese) and Robert F. Chew (Prop Joe)
(S05E03) "They're dead where it doesn't count." - Fletcher

Poor Bunk. Nothing can ever go his way. He sees Jimmy digging a hole that he isn't ever going to be able to get himself out of and he does what anyone with half a brain does. He appeals to someone with logic. Someone with brains, wit, and experience. He calls on Freamon to knock some sense into McNulty, so he stops with this fake serial killer business. Then, the two of them started talking. Poor Bunk.

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